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Environmental Impact Assessment of Cross Island Line begins

The Land Transport Authority appoints Environmental Resources Management to carry out a study of the likely impact on the environment if the Cross Island Line is built across the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.

SINGAPORE: An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the upcoming Cross Island MRT Line on the Central Catchment Nature Reserve will start immediately, following the Land Transport Authority's (LTA) appointment of the company Environmental Resources Management (ERM) to carry out the study.

The LTA announced in a news release on Friday (July 4) that ERM has a good understanding of Singapore's environment, as its team includes biodiversity experts. They have conducted similar EIA studies for transport projects in places such as the UK.

In Phase 1 of the study, the company will map habitats in the existing ecosystem of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, and assess the impact of proposed soil investigation works.

In Phase 2, it will focus on assessing the potential impact from construction and train operations on the area. The EIA report is due to be completed in 2016, and its findings will help the Government decide on the final alignment of the Cross Island Line.

LTA's Chief Executive Chew Hock Yong says nature and resident groups have come forth with valuable input since the project began, and that the authority will continue to engage them.

"The Government will take into account these views, the findings from the EIA, as well as other factors such as connectivity, travel times, costs and land use compatibility, when deciding on the Cross Island Line alignment that will best serve the community," he said.

Writing on Facebook, Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo also promised that the Government would continue to engage stakeholders, and said a "robust" environmental impact assessment is critical.

The Cross Island Line she said, is a "vital part" of Singapore's rail network expansion plans as it will be connected to most existing and new rail lines by 2030.

"It is important we remain on track for the work required for the (Cross Island Line) while giving due care to nature," she wrote.

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