Hong Kong 2006
Chapter 14:
The Environment
Administrative Framework
Pollution Prevention
Cross-boundary Cooperation
Legislation and Pollution Control
Air Pollution
Indoor Air Quality
Water Quality and Sewerage
Waste Management
Government Laboratory
Terrestrial Fauna
Marine Fauna
Legislation and Nature Conservation
Protected Areas
Topography and Geology
Hydrography and Oceanography
Meteorological Services
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Pollution Prevention

The Government has been successful in pre-empting environmental problems by applying an environmental assessment process to policy planning and project proposals. Development and policy proposals submitted to the Executive Council that involve environmental issues and all submissions to the Public Works Subcommittee of the Legislative Council's Finance Committee must contain an assessment of the environmental implications.

Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance

The Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance provides a transparent and systematic framework for assessing the environmental impact of designated projects and for identifying effective mitigating measures if needed. It is supplemented by a technical memorandum setting out clear and consistent technical guidelines and criteria. Since the implementation of the ordinance, 103 environmental impact assessment (EIA) reports have been approved (as at December 31) and more than 1.5 million people and many ecologically sensitive areas are being protected against the effects of unacceptable environmental problems. In addition, the EPD has been promoting continuous public participation in the EIA process.

Environmental Monitoring and Auditing

The environmental monitoring and auditing process seeks to validate the assumptions made in the planning stage and to monitor the effectiveness of mitigation measures and to ensure that every project meets the environmental performance promised in the impact assessments. In 2006, the EPD managed about 110 monitoring and auditing programmes for major projects.

For major projects, permit holders are required to set up dedicated websites to publish project information, including the results and data obtained from the environmental monitoring and auditing process. Since April 2002, proponents of major projects have been required to set up web camera systems to enable the public to see conditions at their sites.

Land Use Planning

For major land use planning studies, a Strategic Environmental Assessment is required to incorporate environmental considerations into the formulation of land use plans. Under the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance, an EIA must be carried out as part of the engineering feasibility study of urban development or redevelopment projects with a study area of more than 20 hectares or involving a population of more than 100 000 people. These environmental assessments form an integral part of the planning studies and help identify major environmental issues and possible mitigation measures for inclusion in the land use plans.

Environmental Management and Sustainability

The new review of the Territorial Development Strategy entitled — Hong Kong 2030: Planning Vision and Strategy, which began in September 2000, contains a strategic environmental assessment study which addresses long-term environmental sustainability issues. Public engagement took place throughout the study process.

The Government promotes environmental management in both the public and private sectors, through the Green Manager Scheme, environmental auditing, environmental management systems (EMS) and environmental performance reporting. All bureaux and departments have appointed Green Managers, most have regular environmental audit programmes and some hold ISO 14001 standard certificates. All bureaux and departments publish annual reports of their environmental performance. Starting from 2007, all annual environmental performance reports will incorporate, where appropriate, the principles of the 'Clean Air Charter' which the Government supports to improve Hong Kong's air quality.

To provide continuing support to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to carry out their EMS programmes, the EPD has produced user-friendly ISO 14001 EMS support packages for the construction and electrical/electronic sectors to follow. These packages were updated in November 2005.

Rural Developments

The Government is committed to improving the quality of life in rural areas and to ending or removing land uses that downgrades the rural environment. The facilities for sewage disposal in the rural areas of the New Territories are also better than before and are still being improved. In 2006, the Government earmarked an additional $2.1 billion to enable the connection of the domestic discharges from a further 245 000 people living in 383 villages and other unsewered areas to public sewers.

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