Environment Hong Kong 2006 Chapter 1: IntroductionChapter 2: Cross-boundary and International Co-operationChapter 3: Community AwarenessChapter 4: Customer Service and PartnershipChapter 5: Environmental Assessment and Planning
Chapter 6: AirChapter 7: NoiseChapter 8: WasteChapter 9: WaterChapter 10: ConservationChapter 11: Environmental Compliance
Vision & MissionForewordDirector's MessageContentsSummaryHomeEnglishChinese TraditionalChinese Simplified

In April 2005, the Environmental Protection Department merged with the Environment Branch of the Environment, Transport and Works Bureau. The new set-up, called the Environmental Protection Department and under the Bureau, was geared up for various environmental challenges, not least cross-boundary co-operation. Top on our agenda is regional air pollution, which we have been tackling together with Guangdong.

Significant progress has been made in implementing a regional air quality management plan. A key achievement in this regard was the commissioning of a regional air quality monitoring network on November 30, and the daily reporting of a regional air quality index. On the local front, on January 1, we introduced Euro IV petrol standards for our vehicles, and in August, we introduced a new policy of imposing emissions caps in the specified process licences for power plants. We also completed a programme of retrofitting about 36 600 heavy diesel vehicles with emission reduction devices as well as another programme which provided incentives to owners to replace 2 521 diesel light buses with LPG light buses. Agreement was also secured with suppliers that a mandatory control scheme be introduced for common products containing volatile organic compounds, scheduled to come into effect in 2007.

We are fully aware of the public's aspirations for a clear blue sky. Both Guangdong and Hong Kong are committed to reducing air pollution to well below 1997 levels by 2010. We expect that many measures in the management plan, such as tackling emissions from power plants and introducing more stringent motor vehicle emissions standards, will begin to bring positive effects to our air quality in the coming two years.

During the year, we enacted legislation on charging for the disposal of construction waste. The issue of tackling municipal solid waste is also an imminent challenge. In December, we published "A Policy Framework for the Management of Municipal Solid Waste (2005-2014)". The Policy Framework charts our way forward for the coming ten years. The development of Phase I of the EcoPark in Tuen Mun is set for occupation in late 2006 to provide appropriate infrastructure for the recycling industry. Our priority right now is to put in place producer responsibility schemes through legislation in 2006, to be followed by the introduction of legislation on municipal solid waste charging in 2007.

We also decided to proceed with Stage 2A of the Harbour Area Treatment Scheme, an expensive but essential piece of infrastructure to clean up the harbour's waters, subject to the community's agreement to full recovery of operating costs through the sewage charging schemes. A bill to control medicine from endangered species was also introduced into the Legislative Council.

Our battle with environmental challenges cannot and should not be fought by the Government alone. Individuals in the community have a vital role to play. Small contributions from every one of us taking care of the environment can make a significant difference. We will continue our efforts in promoting public awareness through community activities, educational programmes and incentive schemes.