Author: Antonio Da Roza

Date: 5/8/10

The aim of APCO is to provide for “abating, prohibiting and controlling pollution of the atmosphere”. [1]

‘Pollution of atmosphere’ is not defined in APCO, but it is similar to ‘air pollution’ – so it could be argued that the aim of APCO is to ‘abate, prohibit and control the emission of pollutants that are prejudicial to health’. [2] The definition of ‘air pollution’ is not referred to in the setting of the AQOs. The definition of ‘air pollution’ does not apply to the licensing regime, which is instead directed against ‘noxious or offensive emissions’.

Despite the power of the Secretary for Environment to make regulations under APCO, there are no emergency powers in respect of air pollution levels prejudicial to health. [2] Despite their other powers, neither the Secretary for Environment nor the EPD are expressly required by APCO to monitor the levels of air pollution in Hong Kong.

APCO also does not provide for any private rights for damages or other remedies in respect of air pollution. [2]

The provisions of APCO, including its aims, do not take precedence over provisions of other Ordinances. [2]


  1. Long Title, Chapter 311, Laws of Hong Kong - last accessed 7/8/10
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 ‘A Review of the Air Pollution Control Ordinance for Legal Professionals’, Antonio M. Da Roza, February 2009 - last accessed 7/8/10