Just followed up on the Marine Dept reply to Charles Frew (which he posted in first post in this thread):
I live on Cheung Chau, and Charles Frew has forwarded me your correspondence regarding a smoky ferry from Cheung Chau. I have previously complained to First Ferry and (via the EPD) the Marine Dept regarding smoky ferries; though First Ferry indicated they planned to reduce the smoke, I haven’t seen an improvement.
I was startled to see, in your email to Mr Frew, “Vessel emitting dark smoke along the harbour to discomfort the public could be considered as an instant of public nuisance”
This is not a “public nuisance” issue.
As many scientists – including Professor Anthony Hedley, head of the Dept of Community Medicine of the University of Hong Kong, to whom I am cc’ing this email – have shown, smoky emissions can cause serious health problems, and can even be life threatening.
Thus, this is a public health issue. I am concerned that your failure to mention this is further evidence that the HK government is adopting a head-in-the-sand-approach to air pollution: as if by not acknowledging the potential severity of impacts on public health, air pollution will be less of an issue.
CEO Donald Tsang has lately indicated the problem is chiefly cosmetic: do we have nice blue skies. This is a worrisome attitude, which I hope is not prevalent within the Marine Dept. – as a significant proportion of our air pollution is from shipping.