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Waste Disposal (Amendment) Bill 2013 gazetted today

     The Waste Disposal (Amendment) Bill 2013 was published in the Gazette today (June 21) and will be introduced into the Legislative Council for scrutiny on Wednesday (June 26). The Amendment Bill is one of the Government's measures to enhance regulation of the depositing of construction waste on private land.

     "The Amendment Bill will address various practical constraints in citing evidence that have caused much difficulty in effective enforcement under the existing legislation. Upon implementation, the new measure will help strengthen deterrence against the fly-tipping of construction waste on private land and thus better protect the interests of landowners as well as the environment in which their land lies," said a spokesperson for the Environmental Protection Department.  

     As proposed under the Amendment Bill, a person who intends to deposit construction waste on private land has to seek prior permission in writing from all owners of the private land concerned. The written permission will not be regarded as valid unless it bears the Director of Environmental Protection's acknowledgement, which will only be given after satisfactory completion of a checking procedure. Any person who deposits construction waste on private land, or causes construction waste to be deposited on private land, without following the procedures will be liable to a fine of up to $200,000 and imprisonment for up to six months.

     The spokesman said the proposed new procedures represent enhanced control because at present the permission might be given in any form by any owner or lawful occupier of the private land concerned. Practical experience shows that that after having identified a relevant depositing activity, it may take considerable time to confirm whether the activity was carried out with permission, and the investigation may not necessarily be completed for initiating prosecution within the time limit of six months.

     The spokesperson added that apart from the Amendment Bill, the Government has stepped up inter-departmental co-ordination to monitor the situation on fly-tipping and illegal landfilling as well as publicity and public education efforts to help prevent such illegal activities.

Ends/Friday, June 21, 2013
Issued at HKT 11:31


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