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Demolition contractor convicted for illegal removal of asbestos cement sheets at building rooftop in North Point
     A demolition contractor who illegally removed and handled asbestos cement sheets during building demolition work at Java Road in North Point was fined $30,000 at Eastern Magistrates' Courts today (June 12) for contravening the Air Pollution Control Ordinance (APCO) and the Waste Disposal (Chemical Waste) (General) Regulation.

     A spokesman for the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) said that the department received a complaint in January that asbestos cement sheets were illegally removed at a building rooftop at Java Road in North Point. During the on-site investigation, EPD staff found that the contractor was removing the asbestos cement sheets without following the requirement of the law that the removal work must be carried out by a registered asbestos contractor. In addition, the contractor had not registered with the EPD as a chemical waste producer, and the asbestos waste generated from the removal work was not properly packed, labelled and stored as required by the law. The department subsequently initiated prosecution against the contractor after completion of evidence collection.

     The spokesman explained that, to safeguard public health, asbestos abatement work must be carried out by a registered asbestos contractor in accordance with the statutory requirements and the code of practice on asbestos control to prevent the release of asbestos fibres which may affect the health of workers and other members of the public. The dismantled asbestos cement sheets are classified as chemical waste which should be properly packed, labelled and stored as required by the law, and should be collected by licensed chemical waste collectors for delivery to licensed chemical waste treatment facilities for disposal.

     According to the APCO and the Regulation, any person who illegally conducts asbestos abatement work or illegally handles waste asbestos is liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and six months' imprisonment.
Ends/Monday, June 12, 2017
Issued at HKT 12:30
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