Evironmental Protection Department Environmental Performance Report 2004
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2  Organisation, Programmes and Responsibilities

Within Government, the Environment, Transport and Works Bureau has overall policy responsibility for the environment, while the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) implements environmental plans and legislation as well as advises on policy and new initiatives. The EPD was established on 1 April 1986, with staff and resources from six government departments and the aim of bringing the majority of pollution prevention and control activities under one organisation.

The department's responsibilities include implementing environmental policy and plans; promoting community environmental awareness; enforcing environmental legislation; monitoring environmental quality; providing collection, transfer, treatment and disposal facilities for many types of waste; advising on the environmental implications of town planning and new policies; and handling pollution complaints and incidents. These responsibilities are organised under seven programme areas (see below).

In 2003, out of a departmental expenditure of $2.291 billion, 50 per cent was for contract payments for the treatment and disposal of municipal and chemical wastes, 33.3 per cent was for staff costs relating to our programme areas, 10.2 per cent was for capital expenditure and 6.5 per cent was for general operating expenses.

Organisation Chart of the Environmental Protection Department
Organisation Chart of the Environmental Protection Department

Our Vision is of a Hong Kong which enjoys an environment that is both healthy and pleasant, in which the community places a premium on sustaining such an environment both for themselves and for future generations.

Our mission is to make our contribution towards realising this vision by applying our professional knowledge and judgement and drawing on our experience in the environmental field

•  to formulate and implement plans to improve and safeguard the environment;
•  to increase community awareness of environmental issues;
•  to implement environmental protection legislation;
•   to participate in the town planning process;

with a view to achieving and maintaining a high standard of environmental quality.


The department had an establishment of about 1 653 staff in 2003. About 28 per cent are professionals, about 45 per cent are technical-grade staff and the remaining 27 per cent are administrative and support staff.

Apart from the EPD, other government departments are also responsible for environmental initiatives that are related to their areas of responsibility. For example, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department is responsible for energy efficiency, while the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department is responsible for nature conservation.

Our aims and objectives under each of our programme areas are as follows:

Air Programme

  • Achieve and maintain satisfactory air quality through intervention in the planning process.
  • Participate in the risk management of potentially hazardous installations and in matters related to energy and global warming.
  • Enforce the Air Pollution Control and Ozone Layer Protection Ordinances.
  • Enforce the Road Traffic Ordinance against smoky vehicles.

Community Relations Programme

  • Promote community awareness through environmental campaigns, publicity, education and action programmes.
  • Build the capacity of stakeholders with the aim of enhancing environmental awareness in the community.

Environmental Assessment and Planning Programme

  • Pre-empt environmental problems associated with projects, plans, policies and strategies by assessing their environmental impacts and implementing preventive and mitigatory measures where potential problems are identified.
  • Strive for the best possible environmental performance in both the public and private sectors.
  • Enforce the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance.

Noise Programme

  • Prevent, minimise and resolve noise problems through intervention in the planning process, implementation of noise abatement measures and enforcement of the Noise Control Ordinance.

Waste Programme

  • Establish a framework of legislative and institutional controls to safeguard the health and welfare of the community from the adverse environmental effects associated with the improper handling and disposal of waste.
  • Enforce the Waste Disposal and Dumping at Sea Ordinances.

Waste Facilities Programme

  • Develop plans and programmes for the minimisation of waste.
  • Provide facilities for managing any residual waste in a cost-effective and environmentally acceptable manner.
  • Coordinate and manage the implementation of plans and programmes relating to waste minimisation and waste facilities.

Water Programme

  • Develop plans and programmes to ensure the quality of inland and marine waters meets with our conservation goals.
  • Formulate plans for sewerage, sewage treatment and disposal facilities and monitor their implementation to meet development needs and environmental standards.
  • Enforce the Water Pollution Control Ordinance.
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