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Law Aims To Cut Sulphur-Dioxide Emissions

Environmental Protection Department

The new law requiring the use of ultra low sulphur diesel in industrial and commercial processes will be tabled to lawmakers on May 21, the Environmental Protection Department says. If endorsed, it will take effect from October 1, cutting local sulphur-dioxide emissions by about 2,480 tonnes a year.

The Air Pollution Control (Fuel Restriction) (Amendment) Regulations, gazetted today, mandates the use of clean diesel with sulphur content of no more than 0.005 % by weight in industrial and commercial processes.

Sulphur dioxide is a major pollutant responsible for respiratory illness. It plays a significant role in causing regional air pollution and reacts with other chemicals in the atmosphere and transforms into fine particles which impair visibility and contribute to smog formation.

The Hong Kong Government and the Guangdong Provincial Government reached a consensus in 2002 to cut sulphur dioxide emissions 40% by 2010, using 1997 as the base year. The new law will help reach the reduction target, enabling Hong Kong to improve the smog problem, air quality and public health.

It will also bring Hong Kong to the forefront of using clean fuel: At present, nowhere in the world is clean fuel being used in this comprehensive manner.

The new law will not cause any major impact on the operational environment of the industrial and commercial sectors. It could create a ‘win-win’ situation for the environment and the business sector, showing that protecting the environment need not be at the expense of economic growth.

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