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Pearl River Delta Regional Air Quality Monitoring Network results for 2012 announced today

     The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and the Department of Environmental Protection of Guangdong Province (GDEPD) today (April 29) released a report on the 2012 monitoring results of the Pearl River Delta Regional Air Quality Monitoring Network. Since operation of the Network began in 2006, the levels of various air pollutants in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region have decreased significantly, reflecting the continuous improvement of regional air quality.

     The average annual concentrations of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and respirable suspended particulates in the region decreased by 62 per cent, 17 per cent and 24 per cent respectively in 2012, when compared with 2006 levels, and the number of days on which Regional Air Quality Index (RAQI) met Class 2 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (applicable to general residential areas) increased from 68 per cent to 84 per cent. The efforts of the two sides in implementing emission reduction measures have borne fruit.

     In addition, despite continuous economic growth in the PRD region in 2012, the average annual concentration levels of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, respirable suspended particulates and ozone also decreased by 25 per cent, 5 per cent, 13 per cent and 7 per cent respectively in 2012, when compared with 2011 levels. Apart from favourable meteorological conditions last year, the reductions are also attributed to the emission reduction measures implemented in the two places.

     Key emission reduction measures implemented in Hong Kong over the years include tightening of power plant emission caps, installing desulphurisation and denitrification systems at power plants, tightening of statutory specifications for vehicle fuels to Euro V standards, tightening of sulphur content limits in diesel for industrial and commercial uses, installing vapour recovery systems at all petrol filling stations, and restricting VOC content of consumer products. Last year, additional control measures were rolled out, including tightening of emission standards for newly registered vehicles to Euro V standards, continuing to promote the replacement of ageing commercial diesel vehicles, and encouraging ocean-going vessels at berth to switch to low-sulphur fuel.

     As for the PRD Economic Zone, key measures implemented include installing desulphurisation systems at large-scale thermal power generating units and closing down small-scale units; phasing out heavily polluting cement plants as well as iron and steel plants; installing vapour recovery systems at petrol filling stations, oil depots and on tanker trucks; implementing new pollutant emission standards for boilers as well as cement, furniture manufacturing, printing, shoe-making and surface coating (automobile manufacturing) industries; and tightening of emission standards for newly registered petrol vehicles to National IV standards. Last year, further new measures were implemented, including requirement of low-NOx burners and denitrification systems at power plants and new dry-type cement kilns, enhancing the remediation of coal-fired boilers and progressively supplying petrol at National IV standard.

     The Network is one of the major achievements in environmental co-operation between the two sides. It comprises 16 automatic ambient monitoring stations in the region, 13 of which are in the PRD Economic Zone, i.e. Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Zhongshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Jiangmen, Zhaoqing, Shunde, Huiyang, Panyu and Conghua, while the other three are in Tsuen Wan, Tung Chung and Tap Mun in Hong Kong. The Guangdong Provincial Environmental Monitoring Centre and the EPD are responsible for the co-ordination, management and operation of the monitoring stations of the two sides.

     The report covers the monitoring results of four major air pollutants (sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and respirable suspended particulates) measured by the Network in 2012. The regional air quality trend since 2006 is shown in the Annex, and the report is available on both the EPD website ( and the GDEPD website (

Ends/Monday, April 29, 2013
Issued at HKT 15:00


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