Author: Antonio Da Roza
Hartmann J (as he then was), Clean Air Foundation & anor v The Government of the HKSAR
Para 26 – 27  “I do not see how it can be prima facie argued that s.7 is itself lacking. The section reads as follows :
‘(1) The Secretary shall, after consultation with the Advisory Council on the Environment, establish for each air control zone air quality objectives or different objectives for different parts of a zone.
(1A) The Secretary may publish air quality objectives for an air control zone by issuing a technical memorandum which may specify different objectives for different parts of the zone.
(2) The air quality objectives for any particular air control zone or part thereof shall be the quality which, in the opinion of the Secretary, should be achieved and maintained in order to promote the conservation and best use of air in the zone in the public interest.
(3) Any air quality objective may be amended from time to time by the Secretary, after consultation with the Advisory Council on the Environment.”
As I read the section, it makes direct provision for the Secretary for the Environment, in consultation with a statutory body, not only to introduce air quality objectives but to update them whenever necessary. The contention must be, therefore, that the Government has failed to use its powers under the section to introduce what the applicants describe as ‘up-to-date’ air quality objectives.”