Court strikes out concrete firm's claim

December 13, 2023

The Court of First Instance of the High Court today struck out China Concrete's civil claim against the Environmental Protection Department on the operation of its concrete batching plant at 22 Tung Yuen Street, Yau Tong.


In handing down its decision, the court pointed out that on whether the plant is required to have a Specified Process Licence (SPL) to operate, China Concrete had disclosed no reasonable causes of action and abused the legal process on filing a civil claim against the department.


Therefore, the court allowed the Department of Justice's (DoJ) application on striking out China Concrete's claims and ordered the costs of the proceedings be paid by China Concrete. The Environmental Protection Department welcomes the court's decision.


China Concrete filed in their claims to the High Court on August 8, 2022, that according to the Air Pollution Control Ordinance, its concrete batching plant at 22 Tung Yuen Street did not require obtaining an SPL to operate.


China Concrete believed that the department misinterpreted the definition on silo capacity set out in the ordinance, and requested the court to declare that the plant does not require an SPL to operate and for the department to compensate for the losses caused by the alleged illegal operation of the plant without a licence.


The DoJ applied to the High Court on October 28, 2022 on behalf of the depatment to strike out the relevant claims. The High Court conducted a hearing on the striking-out application on June 6, 2023, and handed down the judgment today, striking out China Concrete's relevant claims.


The department said it will continue to closely monitor the concrete batching plants at Tung Yuen Street, Yau Tong.


If violations and/or operations are found to cause air pollution nuisance, enforcement action will be taken and the evidence collected will be passed onto the DoJ for consideration and appropriate follow-up.


Additionally, the department is working on the legislative amendments of the Air Pollution Control Ordinance to enhance enforcement power for closing illegal premises, enabling the department to handle similar cases more efficiently and effectively in the future. The amendments are set to be introduced into the Legislative Council in the first quarter of next year.

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