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Barge operator convicted and fined for illegal dumping of sand in waters off Ma Wan
     A barge operator of a marine works company, who illegally dumped sand in waters south of Ma Wan in January this year, was fined $6,000 by Eastern Magistrates' Courts today (November 8) for contravening the Dumping at Sea Ordinance (DASO).
     During a monitoring operation on January 16 this year, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) found that a barge had dumped sand into the waters south of Ma Wan. Following thorough investigation and evidence gathering, the EPD confirmed that the barge, owned by a marine works company, had illegally dumped sand into the sea. The EPD subsequently initiated prosecution in accordance with the DASO.
     An EPD spokesman said that in order to protect the marine ecology, construction and demolition waste, sand and silt and other waste should not be dumped into the sea. The EPD strictly controls the dumping of sea mud according to the DASO. Such activity is mainly confined to the disposal of marine sediment originating from the seabed, or river sediment (such as marine deposits generated from channel dredging and marine mud dredged from construction works). All vessels engaged in dumping operations should have global positioning system devices and automatic recording equipment installed to ensure that the vessels dispose of marine mud at the designated marine dumping areas.
     The spokesman said the EPD monitors and records information of vessels, including the locations of barges and routes, via the above-mentioned monitoring systems. The EPD will conduct blitz operations at both sea and land and via helicopter search to monitor illegal dumping at sea. According to the law, first-time offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and six months' imprisonment.
     Members of the public may visit the EPD's website for information about the control of marine dumping: www.epd.gov.hk/epd/english/environmentinhk/waste/guide_ref/daso_gr.html.
Ends/Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Issued at HKT 19:42
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