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September 6th, 2013:

RTHK English News

Chaotic scenes greet environment chief


audio   Altis Wong reports:

audio   Sai Kung District Councillor Christine Fong spoke to Francis
Moriarty about their protest

There have been chaotic scenes at Tsueng Kwan O when the Environment
Secretary, Wong Kam-sing, arrived there to meet with Sai Kung District
Councillors to discuss a plan to expand the landfill in the area.
Some 20 Tseung Kwan O residents staged a sit-in outside the venue to
express their dissatisfaction with the Council’s decision to bar them
from attending the close-door meeting.

Toxic landfill ash

Metro incinerator ash fails tests on new front


By Surrey Leader
Published: September 05, 2013 11:00 AM
Updated: September 05, 2013 07:367 PM

Some samples of bottom ash from Metro Vancouver’s garbage incinerator are testing positive for high concentrations of cadmium – sometimes at twice the allowable levels for conventional landfilling in Delta. A Metro Vancouver staff report shows that so far this year bottom ash loads have failed 19 times out of 479 tests, with eight tests coming back at more than twice the limit.

The test failures are different from the high cadmium levels detected a year ago in some fly ash – taken from scrubbers in the waste-to-energy plant’s stack – that operator Covanta Energy failed to report until those loads were already dumped at the Cache Creek regional landfill. The bottom ash instead goes to the Vancouver Landfill at Burns Bog in Delta.

Trouble with incoming loads there was first flagged in 2007, when some bottom ash exceeded allowed levels of lead, but Metro’s report says subsequent testing determined it wasn’t hazardous to workers and steps were taken to ensure compliance with the landfill’s operating certificate. Metro was advised starting in April of this year that some bottom ash was exceeding leachable cadmium levels.

At the request of the B.C. environment ministry, Metro has filed a management plan to address questions about bottom ash. Meanwhile, bottom ash loads from two weeks in July and one week in August that tested at more than twice the regulatory limit are being stockpiled at the Vancouver Landfill pending further decisions.

Ash that fails the test but is below twice the limit is being landfilled after further tests confirm it’s not hazardous, according to Metro. Up until April, the ash was being used in road construction and as cover at the landfill. According to Metro, sources of cadmium in the waste stream are thought to have increased in recent years. Household batteries are the main source, particularly rechargeables, including electronic device batteries. A much smaller fraction likely comes from plastics. Metro officials say they intend to further study cadmium sources in the waste stream and to work with Covanta to ensure the treatment of bottom ash to neutralize metals ahead of landfilling is effective.

The region will also push for increased recycling of batteries through product stewardship programs. The question of what happens to suspect loads of fly ash at the Cache Creek landfill is still unresolved.

Cache Creek Mayor John Ranta said consultants have been hired to try to determine whether it must be landfilled elsewhere instead. He hopes to learn if the plant’s process for binding bottom ash is effective indefinitely or if it degrades over time.

Findings are expected in mid-October.

Fly ash from the incinerator has been trucked to a landfill near Hinton, Alberta instead of Cache Creek, at a cost of about $500,000 more per year, since the test failures came to light.

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Holy row over report

The government has been criticized for failing to have a Chinese version of an English Environmental Impact Assessment report into the northeast New Territories development project.

Friday, September 06, 2013

The government has been criticized for failing to have a Chinese version of an English Environmental Impact Assessment report into the northeast New Territories development project.

The Justice and Peace Commission of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese yesterday lodged a complaint with the Ombudsman to investigate the Environment Bureau.

The commission said villagers, many of whom understand only Chinese, are being denied the right to be fully informed and take part in the consultation process.

Under the project, those in affected villages in Kwu Tung and northern Fan Ling are facing eviction to make way for a new town. Nearly 67,000 flats for 174,000 people are planned in the next 10 years.

Yip Po-lam, project officer for the commission, said: “We hope that the Ombudsman can launch an investigation.”


HK activist’ arrested over village incinerator protest

· china_incinerator_protest_xay801_12603619.jpg

Guangdong police have arrested three activists, one of them a Hong Kong resident, for organising protests over a planned incinerator in Huizhou. Photo: AP

South China Morning Post

Published on South China Morning Post (

Home > ‘HK activist’ arrested over village incinerator protest

‘HK activist’ arrested over village incinerator protest

Friday, 06 September, 2013, 12:00am



Police take hard line against trio accused of organising demonstration in Huizhou

Guangdong police have arrested three activists, one of them a Hong Kong resident, for organising protests over a planned incinerator in Huizhou.

The Huiyang district police bureau said in an online statement yesterday that the three detainees were suspected of “disrupting social order by attempting to mobilise several thousand villagers to demonstrate in front of local government buildings”.

A Beijing-based environmentalist who has studied mainland incinerator projects, and who wished to remain anonymous, said that Pan Yu, a Hong Kong resident, was arrested on August 30 during a trip to Shenzhen.

“Villagers and other property owners, mostly from Shenzhen, oppose the incinerator so they soon joined the protests against the project,” the environmentalist said. “But police accused Pan and two others of leading local villagers in the protests.”

Pan and the two other suspects own property near the planned incinerator location.

A spokesman for Hong Kong’s Immigration Department said last night it had not received any request for assistance.

The arrests are the latest in a series of detentions as mainland authorities take a harder line on protests against construction seen by local residents as undesirable for their neighbourhoods.

The incineration plant, planned for Shatian town with a daily burning capacity of 1,200 tonnes, is strongly opposed by residents of Lanzilong village and a nearby property development.

Local environmental authorities have tried to reassure residents that the incinerator would be safe, saying it uses the most advanced technology and similar environmental standards to those in the European Union.

But many villagers remain unconvinced. Residents have protested three times this year, according to media reports, with the biggest turnout estimated at several hundred. Protesters and police clashed at one rally in May, attended by 60 demonstrators, of whom 10 were detained briefly.

The police statement said the incinerator had won majority support from local residents.

Incinerator projects have become a popular cause for environmental protests on the mainland in recent years, with some residents fearing that the emissions cause cancer. Earlier this year, about 10 protesters against an sewage pipeline in Jiangsu received criminal charges.

Additional reporting by Danny Mok

Source URL (retrieved on Sep 6th 2013, 5:43am):