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Executive Summary
1. Air pollution is one of the major problems in Hong Kong. The
Environment Bureau (ENB) and the Environmental Protection Department (EPD)
are responsible for formulating and implementing environmental policies, including
those on air quality. In 2012-13, the EPD’s estimated expenditure on managing air
quality is $627 million.
2. The existing air quality objectives (AQOs) in Hong Kong were set
in 1987, some 25 years ago. The AQOs stipulate the concentration levels for seven
major air pollutants, of which sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and
particulate matters with a diameter of 10 micrometres or less (PM10) are the most
relevant and significant ones in Hong Kong. Since 1999, the EPD has also
compiled an hourly air pollution index (API) for each of the 11 general air-quality
monitoring stations and three roadside stations.
3. In January 2012, the Government announced that, based on the Air
Quality Guidelines (AQGs) issued in 2006 by the World Health Organisation
(WHO), the AQOs in Hong Kong would be revised to more stringent levels with
effect from 2014 (2014 AQOs).
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