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Greeners let fly after runway study calls fail

HK Standard

Kenneth Foo

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A green group has lodged a complaint with the Ombudsman accusing the Transport and Housing Bureau of repeatedly ignoring calls for a social cost- benefit study on the proposed third airport runway.

Greeners Action said the bureau is “neglecting its duties” by turning a blind eye to an earlier request by the Legislative Council panel on environmental affairs to conduct the study and a carbon audit, in addition to the statutory environmental impact assessment.

Activists insist that performing a Social Return on Investment study is crucial as it will reveal true environmental and social costs, the rise in aviation emissions and other associated costs.
“The bureau is colluding with the authority to speed up the entire process as they are aware that a more in-depth study might jeopardize the entire project,” Greeners Action senior project officer Yip Chui-man said.This comes after the Airport Authority officially began the impact assessment process on Tuesday by submitting a profile of the project to the Environmental Protection Department.

“A social cost-benefit study will analyze the possible effects on the community,” Yip added.

The authority claims the environmental assessment will cost HK$100 million, take a year to be approved and another two years to complete.

Meanwhile, Green Sense president Roy Tham Hoi-pong also criticized the authority for giving groups a mere 14 days to attend briefing sessions and submit their comments

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