Environment Protection  DepartmentThe Operation of Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance in Hong Kong
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Follow-up and Enforcement

Content > Seeing It Through To The End > EIA Follow Up > Enforcing the Ordinance on a Territory-wide Basis > Enforcement Figures and Prosecution

Enforcement Figures and Prosecution

Photo of Construction of West Rail at Yuen Long.
Construction of West Rail at Yuen Long.

Photo of Construction of West Rail at Kam Tin.
Construction of West Rail at Kam Tin.

Photo of Cyberport Site Formation at Telegraph Bay.
Cyberport Site Formation at Telegraph Bay.

Photo of Reclamation at Pak Skek Kok.
Reclamation at Pak Skek Kok.

When processing applications, on-site details identified during initial screening of a project are used to determine the boundary of the study area and subjects to be laid down in the EIA study brief. As such, site inspections have become an integral step taken during the processing of each application.

Enforcement Figures

During the first 3-1/2 years of the Ordinance, over 70 designated projects with environmental permits have commenced construction work. These have included large-scale projects such as KCR West Rail, MTR Tseung Kwan O Extension, Pak Shek Kok Development, the Cyberport Development and Kai Tak Airport Decommissioning. Please refer to Appendix X for a complete list of projects.

Total projects representing an area of no less than 386 hectares of land and 75 km of railways required regular monitoring at close distance. Overall, regular surveillance for illegal designated projects over the entire 1000km2 area of Hong Kong presented a large challenge for the newly enacted Ordinance.

ChartIn meeting this challenge, a total of 1713 site trips were undertaken to identify issues, investigate complaints and check compliance with environmental monitoring and auditing requirements for over 100 environmental permits to ensure certain requirements such as baseline monitoring were carried out before the commencement of work. For regular survey work, a helicopter was used for more efficient coverage of remote areas. Total flights totaling 3429 km were carried out.

Follow-up Actions

Based on aerial or land surveillance work and investigation reports, staff from the Environmental Protection Department can identify if any potential violation of the EIA Ordinance has occurred. If permit conditions have been breached, a warning letter is issued and/or legal action is taken, depending on the severity of the offence.

Prosecution of Offences

To achieve full compliance with the EIA Ordinance, the threat of prosecution against offences must serve as a strong incentive for project proponents and permit holders to comply with EIA regulations.

A total of 43 warning letters were issued during the first 3-1/2 years of operation of the Ordinance to warn permit holders of minor issues.

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