Environment Protection  DepartmentThe Operation of Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance in Hong Kong
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The Statutory Process under the Environmental Ordinance

Content > Structure of the Ordinance > Designated Projects > The Statutory Environment Impact Assessment Process > The Register > Technical Memorandum on the Environmental Impact Assessment Process > Environmental Impact Assessment (Appeal Board) Regulation > Offences and Penalties

...to avoid, minimize and control adverse impacts on the environment by designated projects...

Structure of the Ordinance

To achieve the Ordinance's objective "to provide for assessing the impact on the environment of certain projects and proposals, for protecting the environment and for incidental matters", the following fundamental features were built into the statutory framework of the EIA Process.

* A list of designated projects covering both public and private sector works that requires an environmental permit.
* An environmental impact assessment process with statutory time limits and provision for formal public consultation.
* An environmental permit system, which provides an effective enforcement mechanism.
* A Register containing all information and documents produced under the EIA process for public inspection.
* A Technical Memorandum to cover the principles, procedures, guidelines, requirements and criteria for the various steps in the EIA process.
* A clear list of penalties for offences relating to environmental permits and interference with enforcement of the legislation.
* Enforcement power granted for investigation of possible offences and to impose cessation order where warranted.
* An independent appeal board to settle disagreements on major decisions relating to EIA reports, environmental permits and any conditions imposed

Under this statutory framework, all designated projects are legally bound to undertake appropriate level of environmental impact assessments. In addition, the project proponent is required to apply for an environmental permit which lays down the prevention and mitigation measures to be complied with during its construction, operation or decommissioning, unless exempted due to prior authorisation, approval or permission obtained from previous ordinances or regulations before 1 April 1998.

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