Air pollution law upgraded
July 10, 2013
Secretary for the Environment KS Wong said he was pleased to see the passage of the Air Pollution Control (Amendment) Ordinance 2013 by the Legislative Council today, to implement new air quality objectives on January 1.
Mr Wong said the objectives, which are benchmarked against a combination of interim and ultimate targets under the World Health Organisation's Air Quality Guidelines, are broadly comparable to the air quality standards adopted by the European Union and the US.
"Further underlining our on-going commitment to protecting public health and improving air quality, we have also included a provision to review the air quality objectives at least once every five years in the new ordinance."
He said the new air quality objectives will be used as the basis for air quality impact assessment of projects or processes under the Air Pollution Control Ordinance and the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance from January 1.
"To preserve the integrity of the environmental impact assessment system, the new ordinance also includes a transitional arrangement for designated projects with environmental permits granted under the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance."
The Government has accorded top priority to improving air quality and the goal is to broadly achieve the new air quality objectives by 2020. It will also continue to expedite the implementation of various air quality improvement measures outlined in the "A Clean Air Plan for Hong Kong" released in March.