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Management company fined for illegal wastewater discharge into Shing Mun River
     Link Asset Management Limited was today (November 1) fined $15,000 by Fanling Magistrates' Courts in a case involving an illegal wastewater discharge from Mei Lam Shopping Centre into Shing Mun River.

     The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) said that the EPD received reports of polluted water entering Shing Mun River at the end of March this year. The investigation found that wastewater was being discharged from Mei Lam Shopping Centre into Shing Mun River via storm drains. EPD officers requested the management company of the shopping arcade to immediately stop the wastewater from entering the storm drains and the company was also told to take steps to prevent any recurrence of similar incidents. Subsequently, the EPD initiated prosecution against the management company under the Water Pollution Control Ordinance (WPCO).

     Under the WPCO, any person who discharges wastewater into storm drains or directly into streams or the sea commits an offence under the WPCO. First-time offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and six months' imprisonment. A maximum fine of $400,000 and six months' imprisonment may be imposed for second or subsequent convictions. In addition, a daily fine of $10,000 may be imposed for a continuing offence.

     An EPD spokesman reminded all building owners and property management companies that they must adopt all measures to ensure that wastewater is not discharged into storm drains. In addition, they have to conduct regular checks on the sewer systems of their properties and repair any breaks or blockages of the sewer pipes to prevent any discharge of wastewater that may pollute the environment. If they find that wastewater is being discharged from their buildings into storm drains, they should stop the discharge immediately and divert the wastewater into sewers. They should also repair any broken or choked sewer pipes to protect the nearby rivers and water environment.
Ends/Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Issued at HKT 11:30
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