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Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Pearl River Delta Regional Air Quality Monitoring Network results for 2014 released today

     The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Pearl River Delta Regional Air Quality Monitoring Network (Network) released today (May 18) a report on its 2014 monitoring results. The report shows a continual improvement of air quality in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region. As the three sides completed the Network enhancement work in September 2014, the three months' data of the new parameters and new monitoring stations are not sufficient for annual trend analysis. Thus, the report covers only the monitoring results and pollution trends of the four major air pollutants (i.e., sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and respirable suspended particulates) measured at the original 16 stations.

     The average annual concentration levels of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and respirable suspended particulates in the PRD region decreased by 11 per cent, 8 per cent and 11 per cent respectively in 2014 when compared with the 2013 levels. The 2014 average annual concentration levels of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and respirable suspended particulates also revealed a significant downward trend in comparison to the levels in 2006 when the regional monitoring network began its operation, with decreases of 66 per cent, 20 per cent and 24 per cent respectively. The continual improvement of air quality in the region is attributable to the efforts of the two sides in implementing emission reduction measures. However, the average annual concentration level of ozone in 2014 increased by 19 per cent when compared with the 2006 level, calling for further alleviation of the regional photochemical smog problem. The pollution trends of the four air pollutants since 2006 are shown at Annex.

     To further improve regional air quality, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and the Department of Environmental Protection of Guangdong Province (GDEPD) endorsed in November 2012 the emission reduction targets for 2015 and the emission reduction ranges for 2020 for the PRD region. Hong Kong unveiled "A Clean Air Plan for Hong Kong" in March 2013 and Guangdong announced "The Guangdong Air Pollution Control Plan (2014-2017)" in February 2014, under which both sides put forward a series of air quality improvement measures covering land and marine transport, power plants and non-road mobile machineries. The measures to be taken forward under these two plans will contribute to the further improvement of air quality in the PRD region. The two sides will embark on a mid-term review and study the emission reduction targets for 2020 so as to continue improving regional air quality, including the alleviation of the ozone problem.

     Key emission reduction measures implemented in Hong Kong in recent years include tightening the emission caps for power plants, reviewing the fuel mix for electricity generation, progressively phasing out pre-Euro IV diesel commercial vehicles, strengthening the control of emissions from LPG and petrol vehicles, and tightening the sulphur content of locally supplied light diesel for vessels' consumption. Key emission reduction measures recently implemented in Guangdong include promoting cleaner power generation to enhance the structure of energy supply; introducing stringent environmental requirements for new projects; phasing out polluting industries with low production capacities and embarking on programmes to reduce air pollution by adoption of desulphurization, low nitrogen-oxides combustion and de-nitrification technologies; designating restriction zones for combustion of high polluting fuels; fully implementing restriction zones for yellow-label vehicles; fully supplying diesel at National V standards in the PRD region; implementing National V emission standards for petrol vehicles; and introducing a subsidy plan in Shenzhen to encourage ocean-going vessels to switch to low sulphur fuel or onshore power supply while berthing. The two sides will continue to take forward various emission reduction measures to further improve regional air quality. The Macau side is also taking forward various air quality improvement measures under the Macao Environmental Protection Plan (2010-2020), including forbidding the import of highly polluting vehicles, establishing tailpipe emission standards for vehicles, and enhancing vehicle emission inspection system. Meanwhile, the emission standards for major stationary sources will be developed and relevant control systems will be enhanced.

     In September 2014, the EPD and GDEPD enhanced the Network with the Macao Environmental Protection Bureau (Macao EPB) and the Macao Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau (Macao MGB) to release real-time air quality information for the PRD region. The number of monitoring stations has been increased from 16 to 23 with the inclusion of a monitoring station at Taipa Grande, Macau. The number of monitoring parameters has also been increased from four to six with the inclusion of fine suspended particulates and carbon monoxide. The Guangdong Provincial Environmental Monitoring Centre, the EPD, the Macao EPB and the Macao MGB are responsible for the co-ordination, management and operation of the monitoring stations of the three sides, and will continue to release the annual reports on the monitoring results and pollution trends of the PRD region as well as the quarterly statistical monitoring results.

     The 2015 annual report will include monitoring results of all the 23 stations and six parameters. Members of the public can visit the website of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Regional Air Quality Monitoring Information System ( directly, or via the websites of the GDEPD (, the EPD (, the Macao EPB ( and the Macao MGB ( to obtain relevant annual reports and quarterly statistical monitoring results.

Ends/Monday, May 18, 2015
Issued at HKT 15:01


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