Air Pollution Control (Amendment) Bill 2008 to be introduced
The SAR Government will introduce the Air Pollution Control (Amendment) Bill 2008 into the Legislative Council to ensure a smooth, timely and transparent implementation of the emission caps for the power sector.
"Power generation is the largest local emission source. The SAR Government has therefore imposed stringent caps on the emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and respirable suspended particulates from all power plants since 2005," a government spokesman said today (February 5). "We are progressively tightening the caps to ensure that Hong Kong can meet the 2010 emission reduction targets as agreed with the Guangdong Provincial Government in April, 2002. The accomplishment of these targets is instrumental in meeting the Air Quality Objectives of Hong Kong, as well as in alleviating the visibility and photochemical smog problems in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) Region."
"The bill will stipulate the emission caps for the three above-mentioned pollutants from power plants in Hong Kong in 2010 and beyond. It will also allow power plants to use emissions trading, including cross-boundary emissions trading with power plants in the PRD Region, as an alternative means for achieving the emission caps. This flexible and cost-effective practice has already been adopted in many countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom," he said.
In addition, the bill will propose to bar a public officer from serving as a member of an appeal board, to further enhance the independence and impartiality of the appeal system under the Air Pollution Control Ordinance (Chapter 311) (APCO). It will also remove the provision in APCO which enables the Director of Environmental Protection to refer an appeal board's decision for review by the Chief Executive in Council.
"The SAR Government places air quality improvement high on its policy agenda. Following the inclusion of incentive and penalty arrangements in the new Scheme of Control Agreements signed with the two power companies on January 7 this year to encourage them to reduce emissions, the introduction of this bill will further underline our commitment to achieving the 2010 emission reduction targets," the spokesman said.
The bill, to be published in the Gazette tomorrow (February 6), will be introduced into the Legislative Council on February 20.
Ends/Tuesday, February 5, 2008