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Marine Pollution – Questions from LegCo

Marine Pollution – Questions from LegCo:

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

Section 50 of the Shipping and Port Control Ordinance (Cap. 313) stipulates that no vessel in the waters of Hong Kong shall emit smoke in such quantity as to be a nuisance, except in circumstances affecting the safety of life or of the vessel. Regarding the emissions from vessels, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the respective numbers of complaints received by the authorities concerned about emission of smoke from vessels, verbal warnings issued to and prosecutions instituted against the shipowners concerned by the Marine Department, and convictions in the past three years;

(b) whether it has assessed the adequacy of the current arrangement whereby law enforcement actions are taken by the Marine Department only; whether it will consider empowering the Environmental Protection Department to take law enforcement actions in this respect, particularly in cases involving excessive smoke emitted from the vessels berthing at the piers along both sides of the Victoria Harbour (for example, the Ocean Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui and piers for inner harbour and outlying island services);

(c) given that the above provision only targets the quantity of smoke emitted from vessels and does not specify limits on the concentrations of various harmful substances contained in the smoke, whether it will consider amending the legislation to specify the emission standards applicable to vessels;

(d) whether it has conducted tests on the concentrations of harmful substances in the emissions from vessels and assessed their impact on public health and the air quality; and

(e) whether it will draw up measures to encourage the installation of emission reduction devices in vessels?

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