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January 15th, 2008:

Hong Kong Idling Engine Ban

Date: 15 Jan 08

To: Panel on Environmental Affairs

Re: Legislative Council Panel on Environmental Affairs: Special meeting on 16 January 2008 – Idling Engines

Dear all,

Clear The Air is a green organization that seeks to empower the people of Hong Kong to improve the air quality and reduce air pollution.

We are in favour of a comprehensive, all encompassing ban on idling engines, with no exemptions. Aside from economic benefits to vehicle owners and reduction of pollution resulting from banning idling engines, health benefits are by far the biggest concern.

One of our members conducted a test with a specialised machine to measure the number of particles in the air at Fa Yuen street in Mongkok. What he found was the particulate level was 77% higher on the pavement next to idling public light buses then when he was standing in the middle of the street where vehicles were driving by.

We are here to give a voice to the people of Hong Kong. This past week, Minispotters organization and one of our members went out on the streets and surveyed those that work at street-level shops and here’s what we found:

People we talked to worked an average of 10 hrs, breathing in car exhaust just outside their shops.

From a waitress: “We don’t have a choice but to stand on the street to solicit clients to come into the restaurants, thereby we suffer from breathing idling exhaust all day”

Most people complained of increased allergies, sore throat, coughing, respiratory infection, and in general, difficulty in breathing.

85% of the people we interviewed were in favour of the idling engine law.

95% think idling engines have had a negative effect on their health.

We will continue to do this survey on the streets to give the people of Hong Kong a voice.

Yours in Clean Air,
Amy Ng
Secretary, Clear The Air