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EPD initiates prosecution for suspected contraventions of Water Pollution Control (General) Regulations at Pillar Point Valley Restored Landfill
     The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) today (November 21) said that, since the discharge from the leachate treatment plant at Pillar Point Valley Restored Landfill (PPVRL) in Tuen Mun contravened the requirements of the licence issued under the Water Pollution Control Ordinance, the department has laid summonses to initiate prosecution against the contractor concerned, SITA Waste Services Limited.
     The EPD's Environmental Compliance Division found that from the end of May to June this year the amount of discharge from the leachate treatment plant repeatedly exceeded the discharge limit specified in the licence, and the contractor concerned did not notify the EPD immediately in every occasion as required in the licence. It was also found once that the total nitrogen level in the discharge exceeded the limit specified in the licence. The contractor was therefore suspected to have violated the Water Pollution Control (General) Regulations (WPC(G)R). Having completed evidence collection, the EPD decided to initiate prosecution against the contractor concerned for a total of 14 offences of contravening the WPC(G)R.
     Under the WPC(G)R, it is an offence to discharge wastewater exceeding the required standards of the licence, or violate the licence terms and conditions. An offender is liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and six months' imprisonment upon conviction.
     The EPD had earlier set up an investigation team to investigate the alleged malpractices of the contractor of PPVRL. The investigation results will be released when the entire investigation process is completed. As the leachate treatment plant has failed to meet its design requirements for effective treatment of leachate, the EPD has been deducting operation payments according to the contract provisions. Up to mid-November, the EPD had already deducted a total amount in operation payment in excess of $3.3 million.
     The contractor has already completed the first phase of the repair works for the leachate treatment plant, and partially resumed its operation in handling less concentrated leachate in mid-October. The EPD has also instructed the contractor to carry out the second phase of the repair works as soon as possible in order to fully restore operational efficiency.
Ends/Monday, November 21, 2016
Issued at HKT 18:26
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