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February 1st, 2012:


Clear the Air says:

During Chinese New Year when the PRD and most of Hong Kong was shut down we still had high pollution levels; the contributing prevalent pollutant was Respirable Suspended Particulates (RSP).

But the ocean going vessels were still running as were the local diesel buses and ferries and our coal burning power stations.

The prevailing winds were from the east, not from the PRD.

This decimates the HK Government’s smokescreen babble  that 60% of our pollution is coming from China.

Hong Kong still has no Emissions Control Area (ECA) for shipping. In USA the Emissions Control Area is 200 miles from their shorelines. Passing through Hong Kong waters to Shanghai, Shenzhen and our own port we have the largest number of ocean going vessels in the world. They all burn high sulphur bunker fuel. Whereas when they enter USA and Baltic ports they have to switch to low sulphur diesel to comply with the ECA rules. These vessels have dual fuel tanks to allow for this. They could easily switch to a lower sulphur fuel in our waters. Yet again our Government is lacking.

Now, look at the effect Ocean Going Vessels and local shipping has on our environment : Shipping = 31% of RSP, 23% of sulphur and 27% of nitrogen oxides.

Download PDF : EA_Panel_20111221b_eng

Air pollution ordinance exposes Yau’s wafer-thin legislative smokescreen

South China Morning Post – Laisee – 1 Feb 2012

Environment Secretary Edward Yau Tang-wah’s trickiness over his handling of the introduction of new air quality objectives (AQOs) is beginning to gain some traction among lawmakers.

Yau said earlier this month that the new AQOs could not take effect until 2014, as it took time to go through the legislative process.

However, the Air Pollution Control Ordinance says that the AQOs “may be amended from time to time by the secretary, after consultation with the Advisory Council on the Environment”.

In other words, they just need to be gazetted. Not much more than the stroke of a pen.

This has caught the attention of lawmaker Audrey Eu Yuet-mee who, in yesterday’s South China Morning Post (SEHK: 0583,announcementsnews) , wrote that Yau’s approach was “a subterfuge”.

The ordinance adds: “The authority shall aim to achieve the relevant air quality objectives as soon as is reasonably practicable and thereafter to maintain the quality so achieved.”

This has clearly not been achieved. The Legislative Council paper on the Accountability System for Principal Officials states that officials “would be accountable to the chief executive for the success or failure of matters falling within the portfolios assigned to them by the chief executive. They would accept total responsibility and they may have to step downfor serious failures relating to their portfolios.”