Loading

Advisory Council on the Environment

Confirmed Minutes of the 74th Meeting of the Advisory Council on the Environment held on 29 May 2000 at 2:30 p.m.

Present:

Mr. Peter H. Y. WONG, GBS, JP (Chairman)  
Miss Ann CHIANG  
Mr. CHAN Kwok-wai, JP  
Mr. Clement CHEN  
Mr. Barrie COOK  
Mr. Paul C. H. FAN  
Professor Anthony HEDLEY, JP  
Professor Peter HILLS  
Dr. HO Kin-chung  
Professor LAM Kin-che (EIA Subcommittee Chairman)  
Mr. Edwin LAU  
Mr. Joseph LAU Man-wai, JP  
Mr. LIN Chaan-ming  
Dr. NG Cho-nam  
Mr. PAO Ping-wing, JP  
Mr. Otto L. T. POON  
Mr. Michael J. D. RUSHWORTH  
Mr. Plato YIP  
Mrs. Philomena LEUNG (Secretary)  

Absent with Apologies:
The Hon. Dr. LEONG Che-hung
Ms Iris TAM
Mr. TAN Teng Huat
Miss Alex YAU

In Attendance:

Mrs. Lily YAM Secretary for the Environment and Food (SEF)
Mr. Kim SALKELD DeputySecretary (B), Environment and Food Bureau (DS(B)/EFB)
Mr. Rob LAW Director of Environmental Protection (DEP)
Mr. Bosco FUNG Director of Planning
Mr. S P LAU Assistant Director (Conservation), Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department
Mrs. Pauline LING Chief Information Officer, EFB
Miss Petula POON Chief Executive Officer (B), EFB
Miss Cora SO executive Officer (B), EFB





In Attendance for Agenda Item 3 :

Mr. KO Wing-hon Assistant Director (Projects & Development), Drainage Services Department (AD(PD)/DSD)
Mr. CHOW Man-tat Chief Engineer (Drainage Projects Division), DSD (CE(DP)/DSD)
Mr. LAU Wing-kam &Senior Engineer (Drainage Projects Division), DSD (SE(DP)/DSD)
Mr. H M WONG Acting Principal Environmental Protection Officer (Territory Assessment), EPD (Atg. PEPO(TA)/EPD)
Mr. CHEUNG Kwok-wai Senior Nature Conservation Officer, AFCD
Mr. Tony LAM &Director, Binnie Black & Veatch Hong Kong Limited (Director/Binnie)
Mr. Richard DEACON &Technical Director, Binnie Black &Veatch Hong Kong Limited (TD/Binnie)
Mr. XIONG Huawu Director, Senior Engineer of Shenzhen River Regulation Office of Shenzhen Municipal Government (Director/SMG)
Mr. LEI Shaoping Senior Engineer of Research Institute for Protection of the Yangtze Water Resources (SE/RIPY)




In Attendance for Agenda Item 4 :

Mr. Thomas CHOW Deputy Secretary (C), EFB (DS(C)/EFB)
Mr. C W TSE &Assistant Director (Air), EPD (AD(Air)/EPD)




*************************

 


The Chairman informed Members that Mr. Tan Teng Huat would retire in June and he looked forward to receiving Mr. Tan's successor to continue the exchanges with Singapore Government in handling environmental problems. He wished to put on record the Council's thanks to Mr. Tan for his invaluable insights in environmental issues, his enthusiasm in serving the Council, and in particular, his assistance in arranging the Singapore visit in 1998.

Action

Agenda Item 1 : Confirmation of Minutes of the 73rd Meeting held on 17 April 20002.

2. A Member proposed an amendment to the first sentence in para. 22 of the minutes to replace "OZP" by "Country Park". With reference to para. 17, another Member said he understood that Sze Pak could be included in the Country Park. He requested the Secretariat to seek confirmation from WSD and AFCD, and if his understanding was correct, he would like to express appreciation towards WSD and AFCD for taking on board ACE's views.

[Post-meeting note: AFCD confirmed that Sze Pak would be included in the proposed country park.]

 

3. The minutes were confirmed subject to a Member's proposed amendment.

[Post-meeting note : Subsequent to the meeting, the Secretariat received a request from a Member to amend para. 51 of the minutes to read "A Member said that the Mong Tung Hang Stream which could be impacted by the access trails to the lookout areas was..."]

 


Agenda Item 2 : Matters ArisingPara. 81 : ACE's advice on EIAs regarding Disney Theme Park

4. Members noted that the Secretariat had circulated the draft advice with the proposed conditions to those Members who took part in the discussion for comments and subsequently forwarded the advice to DEP.

 


Planning of Lantau Island
 

5.In response to a Member's question, the Secretary said that ACE Paper 12/2000, entitled "Planning of Lantau Island" which set out existing and proposed developments in Lantau, had been circulated to Members earlier. She undertook to pass a copy to that Member.







Secretariat


Agenda Item 3 : The Report of the 53rd EIA Subcommittee Meeting
(ACE Paper 19/2000, 19A/2000)

Tuen Mun Sewerage - Eastern Coastal Sewerage Extension

 

6. The EIA Subcommittee Chairman briefed Members on the EIA findings as well as the views and recommendations of Subcommittee Members. Members endorsed the EIA report with the condition set out in para. 9 of ACE Paper 19/2000 that the proponent would submit the method statement to DEP for endorsement before the commencement of the works along narrow alleys.

 


Shenzhen River Regulation Project Stage III


7. The EIA Subcommittee Chairman briefed Members on the concerns of Subcommittee Members on the EIA findings. He pointed out that there would be no net loss of ecological habitats after all proposed mitigation measures had taken effect. The only outstanding issue was the spoil disposal arrangement.

 


8. Before Members discussed the project, the Chairman reminded them that the role of the Council was to advise the Administration on environmental aspects of development proposals. Members were not bound to examine other factors such as the project schedule. They were also not obliged to solve the proponent's problem.

 


9. A Member considered that there should be better planning in using excavated materials. He was not satisfied that while earlier on it was said that there were insufficient fill materials and fresh marine sand had to be used for Phase I of the Penny's Bay Reclamation, 0.5Mm3 of excavated material would now be disposed in the Nam Hang Middle Valley. Another Member was unhappy that while the proposed project would solve the problem for Shenzhen River, the spoil disposal arrangement of the project created a problem for the Nam Hang Middle Valley.

 


10. In reply to the first Member's comments, the Chairman suggested inviting the Fill Management Committee to brief Members on fill management schedules, so that Members could have a better understanding of the disposal plans for excavated material of different projects.

[The Chairman handed over the chair to Prof. Lam.]


Secretariat


11. The Acting Chairman welcomed AD(PD)/DSD et. al. to the meeting. CE(DP)/DSD and TD/Binnie elaborated on the major issues set out in the ACE Paper 19A/2000.

 


12. Upon enquiry from a Member on the problem of transporting the spoil out of the project location for disposal, CE(DP)/DSD said that the existing Lo Wu Bridge and the Lo Wu Pedestrian Bridge imposed much constraint on transporting the spoil through marine access. Even after reprovisioning of the two bridges, only small barges could carry the spoil to the dumping ground and this would delay the completion time of the project by about 17 months.

 


13. In reply to a Member, CE(DP)/DSD said that they had considered using a conveyor system to transport the spoil away from the site, but subsequently dropped the idea due to time constraint and inability of the conveyor to handle the excavated wet soil.

 


14. The Acting Chairman asked why transporting the spoil through Man Kam To would result in "unacceptable boundary control and security problems". In reply, AD(PD)/DSD said that if all the spoil were to be transported through Man Kam To, it would take about 200 round trips per day. The boundary control authorities considered that unacceptable.

 


15. The Acting Chairman was concerned about the adverse impact of the fill materials on the environment of Nam Hang Middle Valley. In response, CE(DP)/DSD said that the spoil to be used in filling the Valley would be uncontaminated material because they had carefully examined the riverbed and clearly identified sections of contaminated and uncontaminated mud. He added that having weighed all factors, the proposed spoil disposal arrangement was the most cost-effective one.

 


16. Considering that Shenzhen had a well-established road system whilst there was only one road in Man Kam To area, a Member suggested transporting the spoil to Shenzhen for disposal. In reply, CE(DP)/DSD said that the spoil generated under Phase I and II of the project had already been disposed in Shenzhen area, it would only be fair for Hong Kong to have its share this time. Director/SMG supplemented that in Stage I and II of the project, the Shenzhen Municipal Government had willingly taken the spoil for disposal because there were suitable disposal sites. But in Stage III, a suitable disposal site was not available because of the urban and physical environment around Shenzhen City.

 


17. A Member said that he would accept the spoil disposal proposal if the project proponent could justify the selection of Nam Hang Valley for spoil filling. In reply, TD/Binnie said that the Nam Hang Middle Valley had the lowest ecological value among the three valleys nearby. The project proponent had already planned to take two third of the spoil to NeiLingDing Marine Dumping Ground in the Mainland. Only one-third of the spoil would be disposed in Nam Hang Middle Valley and that was the best compromise possible.

 


18. A Member said that he was sympathetic to the Shenzhen side and he appreciated the constraint of the project proponent. In response to his enquiry, SE/RIPY said that a number of options had been considered but some dumping ground had inadequate capacity whereas other places had higher ecological value. Nam Hang Middle Valley was the only choice left.

 


19. In response to a Member's suggestion to utilise the spoil for Penny's Bay reclamation, CE(DP)/DSD said that they had liaised with Civil Engineering Department on the proposal. However, the Disney project required good engineering material for the reclamation to meet the very stringent settlement control criteria. It would also be contractually undesirable for the Shenzhen River contractor to transport the spoil to Penny's Bay for direct reclamation due to complications on who should be responsible for the quality of the material. The only possibility was to transport the spoil to a dedicated location (say Tuen Mun) such that the Disney contractor could pick out those suitable materials and re-export them to Penny's Bay.

 


20. A Member enquired about the ecological value of Nam Hang Valley after completion of the project. In reply, TD/Binnie said that the East Valley would be preserved, the West Valley would be reprofiled for ecological enhancement, and the Middle Valley would be planted with well-designed woodland to prevent fire damage and to enhance biodiversity. The woodland could also provide an ecological linkage between the East and the West Valleys.

 


21. In response to the Acting Chairman's suggestion of making use of the spoil for ecological benefits, TD/Binnie said that they had considered creating ponds at the height of +18mPD, but found it infeasible because there was no natural catchment behind the Valley to sustain the ponds and they were unable to devise a workable mechanical system.

 


22. In response to a Member's suggestion of commencing the ecological compensation process simultaneously with the project, TD/Binnie assured Members that they would not wait till the completion of the project to start planting the proposed woodland. They would do it immediately after the platforms of both sides of the filled Valley were formed.

 


23. In response to SEF's question on the possible adverse impact on the environment if the project were delayed, SE/RIPY said that the environmental problems brought by flooding were more serious than the problem caused by the spoil disposal arrangement. Putting aside the economic loss and inconvenience brought to the community, since the water of the Shenzhen River already suffered from severe pollution, flooding would spread the pollutants over a large area, jeopardizing the soil quality and causing odour problem.

 


24. The Acting Chairman considered that the crux of deliberation on whether to endorse the EIA report was whether it was more environmentally acceptable to complete the project under the proposed time schedule with some of the spoil filled in Nam Hang Valley, or to extend the project by 17 months with all the spoil transported out and disposed in public filling areas. On that basis, the Acting Chairman enquired about the probability of flooding in a period of 17 months. CE(DP)/DSD said that based on past records, flooding would occur 2 to 3 times a year. Though the 17 months would cover one more raining season, the project might suffer from a further delay due to unexpected hiccups like prolonged time taken to resume land, etc.

 


25. Given the frequency of flooding, a Member commented that people living along the Shenzhen River would look forward to the early completion of the project.

 


26. In response to a Member's enquiry, TD/Binnie said that the management of the enhanced ponds in the western valley would be looked into in the context of the Wetland Compensation Study. SE(DP)/DSD supplemented that the Shenzhen Municipal Government would manage the two meanders of the River which fell onto the Shenzhen side of the trained River.

 


27. After much discussion, the Acting Chairman asked Members to make a decision on the proposed spoil disposal arrangement. A Member proposed and Members agreed that the proponent should be required to reduce the quantity of fill material in Nam Hang Valley by "at least" 100,000m3. The majority of Members accepted the proposed spoil disposal arrangement.

 


28. The Acting Chairman informed Members that a Member had just given him her feedback on the proponent's responses to her queries. That Member was greatly concerned about the lack of a joint Oil Pollution Contingency Plan to deal with oil spillage incidents which might happen in the Shenzhen River and Inner Deep Bay. In response, a Member considered that the issue of joint contingency plan to deal with accidents in pollution should involve relevant authorities of both sides and that thorough discussions would be required. Director/SMG clarified that Shenzhen already had an Oil Pollution Contingency Plan and Atg. PEPO(TA)/EPD suggested interested Members to study the EM & A protocol submitted by the proponent should they have questions about the environmental management plan of the project.

 


29. The Acting Chairman concluded that the majority of Members endorsed the EIA report on the following conditions :

  1. a 2-year monitoring exercise would be conducted for the operation stage of the project on its impact on the sedimentation rate and particle size at the mouth of Shenzhen River;
     
  2. a study on the 'Dismantle of Lo Wu Railway Bridge' would be conducted within at least 6 months before commencement of the project, which should include detailed rules on information recording and dismantle procedures, dismantle programme, guidelines for preserving the dismantled materials, location of re-erection, restoration programme and detailed rules for restoration. The Bridge should only be demolished after the dismantle proposal was approved by the Hong Kong Antiquities and Monuments Office and other relevant authorities;
     
  3. benthic monitoring would be conducted at the river mouth during construction and operational phases of the project until such time that the Ramsar monitoring was formally started to take over the benthic monitoring; and
     
  4. the scale of spoil filling in Nam Hang Middle Valley as indicated in the EIA report would be reduced by at least 100,000m3.
 

Agenda Item 4 : Comprehensive Control of Vehicle Emissions
(ACE Paper 20/2000)

[Mr. Peter Wong resumed the chair.]


30. The Chairman welcomed DS(C)/EFB and AD(Air)/EPD to the meeting.

 


31. SEF said that the new measures set out in the paper not served to reinforce the environmental policy initiatives announced in the Chief Executive's Policy Address last October. To enhance communication and cooperation between different government bureaux/departments, a task force had been set up to oversee the implementation of the new air pollution control initiatives and the pledged measures.

 


32. Noting that the Council had not been informed of some environmental implementation plans like the retrofitting of diesel vehicles with particulate traps as contained in LegCo papers, the Chairman said that it would help Members to keep track of EFB's efforts in improving the environment if they were timely updated. SEF undertook to circulate copies of the relevant papers to Members. EFB

 

33. DS(C)/EFB briefed them on the latest progress of existing measures as follows :
 


Phasing out diesel taxis

34. There were currently 700 in-service LPG taxis. It was envisaged that the availability of 8 more permanent LPG filling stations later this year could cater for a total of 7,920 LPG taxis. In addition, the Administration was discussing with interested oil companies with regard to incorporating LPG filling facilities into some of their existing petrol-filling stations. The Administration's target was to provide LPG filling capacity for the whole taxi fleet by end-2001. EFB intended to seek Finance Committee's approval in June to provide a grant of $40,000 for each diesel-taxi that was replaced by an LPG one.

 

Particulate Traps
 

35. The original six-week tendering period for particulate traps was shortened to three weeks with a view to speeding up the process. The installation programme would start in September this year.

 


Diesel catalysts
 

36. A trial of different types of catalytic converters was underway. Financial assistance would be provided to retrofit pre-Euro medium to heavy diesel vehicle owners to install the catalytic converters.

 


Enforcement against smoky vehicles

37. Upon approval of LegCo to increase the fixed penalty to $1,000, the new penalty level would be effective starting in December 2000. The six-month grace period was to allow sufficient time for the maintenance trade and vehicle owners to gear up their equipment and engines. To further assist the trade, the Vocational Training Council was running training sessions for vehicle maintenance mechanics. At the same time, the Administration was in the process of seeking the agreement of vehicle manufacturers to release the manuals and essential data to the maintenance trade.

 


Ultra-low Sulphur Diesel (ULSD)
 

38. EFB would move a resolution in LegCo in June to introduce a differential duty on ULSD to make the price of the environmentally cleaner fuel competitive with that of regular motor diesel. Given that ULSD was produced by refineries in Europe at present and the lead-time to import the fuel was six months, it was anticipated that the fuel could be made available in Hong Kong in early 2001. Some oil companies would consider changing some of their refineries in Asia to provide ULSD when there was a bigger local market for the fuel.

 


Task Force
 

39. Apart from the standing members mentioned in the paper, representatives of other Bureaux and Departments would also be co-opted when necessary.

 


40. The Chairman welcomed the new initiatives, in particular, the introduction of ULSD.

 


41. A Member expressed full support for all the existing and new measures. However, as air pollution was attributed mainly to vehicle emission, he was slightly disappointed that no representative from the Transport Bureau (TB)/Department (TD) had turned up for discussion of this item. As a suggestion, he said that the Administration could consider designating "environmental zones" in congested areas where below-standard vehicles would be barred from access. He said that the suggestion was inspired by his recent trip to Beijing where only those up-to-standard vehicles could have access to certain areas.

 


42. DS(C)/EFB said that TB was a standing member of the Task Force and the two Bureaux had been working closely as a team on resolving air pollution problem. He said that the suggestion of designating "environmental zones" would be looked at by the Task Force.


EFB


43. A Member said that the Motor Trade Association (MTA) was delighted at the introduction of ULSD, but was concerned about the prevalent use of illegal diesel by Public Light Buses (PLBs) because the fuel was cheap and easily available. Noting that the road-use in the past two years had increased by 1.2% and vehicle emission played a major part in contributing to street level air pollution, that Member urged the Administration to control the number of vehicles and road use. He said that to make significant improvement in air quality, old diesel vehicles should be quickly phased out. He said that retrofitting diesel vehicles with particulate traps might not be the best solution since it would damage the valves of the vehicles. As regards releasing data or manuals to the maintenance trade, MTA had been providing as much assistance as possible.

 


44. SEF thanked MTA for its assistance to the maintenance trade to comply with the upgraded standards. She said that Customs & Excise Department was fully behind EFB in tackling cross-border smuggling of illegal diesel. The Task Force would have to examine the need in restraining vehicle numbers and road use. In the meantime, the Government would implement other measures to improve air quality. The Administration was aware that co-operation from all sectors of the community, especially the transport sector, was the key to improving air quality.

 


45. In response to the Chairman's question, a Member said that the technology of maintaining European vehicles was more advanced and complicated. But since 70% of local vehicles were imported from Japan, taxi and PLB owners had little excuse for not being able to maintain their vehicles in proper conditions because MTA had been releasing data and manuals to the maintenance trade.

 


46. A Member echoed another Member's disappointment at not having representatives of TB at the meeting. He said that representatives of Economic Services Bureau, which was responsible for policy on fuel supply competition, should also be present at the meeting to provide insights on encouraging the use of environmental-friendly fuels. He was concerned that based on the estimated traffic growth as set out in the Third Comprehensive Transport Study (CTS-3), the benefits of all the existing and proposed air pollution control measures would soon be offset by the increase in vehicle numbers and road use. He was also concerned that the Task Force would only be an ad-hoc institutional arrangement. He hoped that EFB would not only focus on air pollution problems, other environmental problems should warrant attention as well.

 


47. In response to that Member' concern over the role of the Task Force, SEF said that at the moment, there was no plan to disband the Task Force within a short time. As for CTS-3, the issues raised would likely be taken up by the proposed Sustainable Development Unit.

 


48. A Member said that legislation was important in the control of smoky vehicles. She fully supported the proposed increase in fixed penalty for smoky vehicles and suggested establishing dedicated teams to strengthen enforcement on those vehicles.

 


49. A Member welcomed the proposed package from the health point of view. He said that there was strong evidence that the decrease in sulphate in respirable suspended particulates (RSP) would bring health benefits to people, especially children. He was, however, concerned that sulphate in RSP was a regional pollutant. He asked what actions would be taken to eliminate the source.

 


50. DEP said that unifying fuel standard was on the agenda of the liaison group between Hong Kong and the Guangdong authorities. He added that in the meantime the Task Force would look into practical ways to limit the amount of fuel transporting from across the border.

 


51. A Member enquired about the achievements that could be attained after implementing all the proposed measures. In reply, AD(Air)/EPD said that with existing measures, RSP concentration would decrease by 60% and 80% by 2003 and 2005 respectively. Taking into account the new initiatives, RSP concentration would drop by 70% and 85% by 2003 and 2005 respectively. As regards nitrogen oxides concentration, it would be reduced by 30% by 2005. AD(Air)/EPD said that it was envisaged that by 2003, most of the RSP concentration measurements would meet the Air Quality Objectives and street level air pollution would be significantly reduced in both visible and actual terms.

 


52. In response to that Member's further question on actions to be taken to tackle the photochemical smog problem, DEP said that it was a regional problem and Hong Kong was engaged in a joint study with the Guangdong Environmental Protection Bureau to characterize the air pollution problem across the Pearl River Delta region. It was hoped that upon completion of the project early next year, it would shed light on ways to tackle the problem.

 


53. A Member informed Members that a Ride Green Day would be coming soon to encourage the use of public transport. He would personally monitor the Ride Green Day with regard to its effect on air quality. He hoped that No-taxi or No-PLB Day would follow soon. He noted that despite the fact that emission from diesel vehicles was the major contributor of street level air pollution, the Administration was licensing 5,000 to 6,000 diesel vans every year.

 


54. Noting that the Administration would propose a price for the sale of ULSD to ensure its competitiveness with standard diesel, a Member said that setting an "incentive price" would be more encouraging to vehicle users. He also suggested that tree planting in the urban areas could add to the effect on air quality improvement.

 


55. SEF said that the Task Force would devise a differential duty on ULSD to ensure that it would be sold at a competitive price. She assured Members that to improve the local environment, the Administration would not only provide financial assistance to the taxi trade, but would also provide incentive by way of forgoing $700 million per year from dutiable fuel.

 


56. A Member commended that good efforts had been made on launching campaigns and organising seminars to raise vehicle owners' awareness of eco-driving and proper maintenance. He suggested EPD to increase the involvement of different sectors of the community in environmental campaigns. He also suggested incorporating eco-driving into the licensing system for drivers so as to equip them with the knowledge. Lastly, he considered that through the help of District Councils, environmental awareness could be better promoted among the public. SEF said that she had already met with the chairmen of 18 District Councils. EFB staff would further explain the new initiatives to individual District Councils.

 


57. A Member said that recently he had a chance to see the East Kowloon Development Plan and noted that the proposed Central Kowloon Route would provide a very convenient access between eastern and western Kowloon. His view was that a railway would be more environmentally friendly than the Central Kowloon Route but the idea was not taken forward because it was not economically viable.

 


58. A Member said that he generally supported the initiatives but felt that some of them could be expedited, namely the effective date for the increase of fixed penalty for smoky vehicles, the processing time for prosecuting the smoky vehicles, and the time to try out diesel catalysts for buses. He said that better planning of road construction would improve traffic flow and alleviate street level air pollution. He also suggested providing more parking spaces near public transportation stations to encourage people to use public transport.

 


59. The Chairman said that the last two points should be addressed to TB but he doubted if it would be easy to provide parking space in old KCRC stations. He then reminded Members that there would be a visit in July to have a look at KCRC's new stations. In reply to that Member's comments, DS(C)/EFB said that the six-month grace period was to allow garages to obtain the essential data for carrying out maintenance. He said that although vehicle owners whose vehicles were found by spotters to be emitting black smoke would be given two weeks to repair the engines, during this time they would face the risk of being charged by Police. As regards diesel catalysts, DS(C)/EFB clarified that the bus companies had already started to install the 2,000 pre-Euro buses with catalytic converters. AD(Air)/EPD clarified that EPD was required to send out within 2 to 3 days upon receiving spotters' reports the notice requiring the spotted vehicle owners to conduct the emission test. But sometimes spotters might not send out the reports immediately.

 


60. A Member expressed Conservancy Association's support for the new initiatives. As a member of the Competition Subcommittee under the Energy Advisory Committee, he noted that the Subcommittee was thinking of ways to reduce petrol prices. It appeared that other Policy Bureaux were going in opposite directions with EFB.

 


61. AD(Air)/EPD said that that was precisely the reason why EFB had to be careful in devising the differential duty for ULSD to make it competitive with regular motor diesel. The Bureau would not want to give an impression that ULSD was not a pollutant. Nor would the Bureau encourage drivers to use more ULSD than necessary.

 


62. A Member said that Hong Kong's image would be enhanced internationally should all the measures be put together as a single package committed to improvement of air quality. He suggested the Administration to consider imposing pollution fee on air pollution so as to build up a sense of common responsibility in the general public. Besides, the fee collected could be spent in the implementation of environmental programmes. As a related issue, he hoped that the Administration had a plan to dispose the 18,000 diesel taxis to be phased out.

 


63. SEF thanked that Member for his views. She said that the implementation of the polluter pays principle remained a government objective and that diesel taxis would be properly disposed of.

 


64. A Member made two suggestions which arose from a recent conference he attended in Stockholm : (1) to levy a higher charge for a vehicle license and use the income to improve the maintenance of smoky vehicles; (2) to add a provision in vehicle warranty to cover repair of emission problems. He also asked when would the Council for Sustainable Development be set up. SEF advised that the Council for Sustainable Development was likely to be set up before October this year.

 


65. Upon enquiry from a Member, SEF said that both ULSD and standard diesel would be available on the market for a period of time but the Administration's aim was to phase out regular diesel in future. That Member said that oil companies were reluctant in selling two types of diesel in the past and he was concerned that they would not co-operate this time.

 


66. The Chairman concluded that the Council fully supported the existing and new measures to combat air pollution problem, and he looked forward to the next stage of development.

Agenda Item 5 : HK-BEAM - An Environmental Assessment for New Residential Buildings

67. In the interest of time, the Chairman and Members decided to postpone the item to the next meeting.

 


Agenda Item 6 : Any Other BusinessTentative Schedule of Work for ACE in 200068.

68. Members noted the tentative schedule of work.

 

Air Pollution Control (Asbestos) (Administration) (Amendment) Regulation
 

69. The Chairman informed Members that the proposed amendment set out in ACE Paper 18/2000, which had been circulated to Members, had been endorsed without condition. The amendment was subsequently gazetted on 26 May 2000.

 


Meeting with the SSDS International Review Panel (IRP)
 

70. The Chairman reported that he and five Members attended the meeting with the SSDS IRP held on 26 May, and exchanged views with Panel members. He said that Members should learn about sewage treatment in other places. Furthermore, in the light of concern expressed during the meeting on the importance of tackling cross-border pollution, it would be useful for the Council to undertake a trip to northern Europe to study their efforts in handling cross-border pollution issues. A Member concurred with the Chairman and said that the study trip to Singapore two years ago was a most fruitful one as it provided an environment for Members to brainstorm on a variety of environmental issues.

 


71. SEF said that if Members could come up with a list of issues they wished to look into and the places they wished to visit, EFB would consider the proposal of an overseas trip further.

Opening ACE meetings to the public

72. The Chairman informed Members that FoE had written to him to urge ACE to open its meetings to the public to enhance transparency. He decided to put it on the agenda of the next meeting so that Members would have adequate time to think over the issue.

 


73. DS(B)/EFB said that a paper, setting out the pros and cons of opening ACE meetings to the public, would be put together to facilitate Members' discussion.


EFB


Petition letter from a group of Lantau bodies

74. The Chairman said that he had received a petition letter from several Lantau bodies which expressed concern on the construction of the Lantau North-South Road Link. He asked the Secretariat to re-circulate a copy of the letter for Members' information.




Secretariat


Joint meeting with Energy Advisory Committee (EAC)
 

75. A Member said that the Chairman of EAC had expressed interest in meeting with the Council to discuss issues of mutual concern. The Chairman said that the initiative would be welcome. SEF suggested that the EAC could extend an invitation to the Council together with the items the EAC wished to discuss.

Agenda Item 7 : Date of Next Meeting

76. Members noted that the next meeting would be held on 26 June 2000.



Environment and Food Bureau
June 2000
 


 

Back to topdot_clear.gifTable of Content
User defined date2: 
Friday, 28 April, 2006