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Summary: Antonio Da Roza, Jessica Hefes

Originally reported: The Standard

Date: 6/2/10

Originally: 30/3/07

Clean Air Foundation takes Government to court [1]

Environmental activists are stepping up pressure on the government to update Hong Kong's environment laws by applying for a judicial review that the government has the legal obligation to protect people's health. They claim that existing legislation denies the public the right to breathe clean air. Concern group Clean Air Foundation and its founder, Gordon Oldham, a local resident of 28 years and lawyer, applied to the High Court Thursday for a legal declaration that current legislation and policies on air quality breach, or are inconsistent with, the government's legal commitments to protect public health. Oldham said present laws, such as the outdated Air Quality Objectives, breach the government's duty to protect the territory's health. According to the application, the Air Quality Objectives, set in 1987, are long outdated and provide no health protection from pollution. The application for a judicial review also cites other government failures, such as banning the use of pre-Euro and Euro I standard commercial vehicles on Hong Kong's urban roads during peak periods, reducing competing bus services where rail lines have excess capacity and considering urban design to facilitate air circulation to help reduce and protect people from transport pollution.

Endnote

  1. The Standard, http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?pp_cat=11&art_id=41275&sid=12899692&con_type=1&d_str=20070330&sear_year=2007, 30/03/07

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