Reply To: Oct 08 petition re air pollution


I wasn’t impressed by the standard response; emailed govt:

Thanks for the reply.

Makes no mention of whether public opinion is indeed being gathered – and of whether the views I emailed will be taken into account.

Do people in Hong Kong matter?

– or to what extent are health issues over-ruled by cost-effectiveness, transport, industry, and urban planning?

Received this reply, which far better:

Dear Dr Martin Williams,

Thank you for your email of 16.10.2008.  Yes, public’s opinion is being
gathered. Their opinion including yours would be duly considered in
devising the new Air Quality Objectives for Hong Kong as well as the
strategy for the achievement of the new Air Quality Objectives. To ensure
transparency in the course of the study, this department held two public
forums in December 2007 and January 2008, respectively.  You may wish to
 for details.    We are also planning to stage another public forum
probably this coming December to report on the study progress and solicit
views from the public on some preliminary  findings.   Please watch out for
the advertisement in the newspapers or visit the EPD homepage nearer the
time for details.  After completion of the study, we plan to launch a
thorough public engagement process to seek public’s view on the findings
and recommendations of the study so as to finalize the new  Air Quality
Objectives and the required long-term strategy on air quality management
within 2009.

On your second question, you may be interested to know that protecting
public health and minimizing the impact of air pollution is the major
consideration in drawing up the new Air Quality Objectives.  On this
premise, the review will be undertaken with reference to World Health
Organisation Air Quality Guidelines and the latest scientific evidence on
the adverse health effects of air pollution in determining the new Air
Quality Objectives.

( C. Y. MAK )
for Director of Environmental Protection