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Coffee bean roasting factory in Kwai Chung fined twice for causing air pollution nuisance
     A coffee bean roasting factory in Kwai Chung, which failed to comply with a statutory notice to properly repair the exhaust treatment facility of its coffee bean roaster and had caused environmental nuisance, was convicted again and fined $8,000 by Fanling Magistrates' Courts today (August 1) for contravening the Air Pollution Control Ordinance (APCO). The factory had already been convicted in January this year.

     During the investigation of an odour complaint against the factory in July last year, enforcement staff of the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) found that the exhaust treatment facility of its coffee bean roaster was out of order and therefore smoke and odour were generated and caused environmental nuisance. In accordance with the APCO, the EPD issued a statutory notice which required the factory to repair the exhaust treatment facility and stop operating the roaster until the repair work was completed. During a follow-up inspection in September last year, EPD staff found that the factory had violated the statutory notice requirements by operating the roaster while the treatment facility was out of order. The EPD initiated prosecution against the factory and it was convicted and fined $7,000 in January this year. During a surprise inspection of the factory in January, the EPD found that it had once again violated the statutory notice requirements by operating the roaster without getting the exhaust treatment facility properly fixed. The EPD subsequently prosecuted the factory again.

     The factory involved later implemented a number of remedial measures, including the addition of a pre-treatment process to remove the peel of coffee beans and improving the design of its scrubber. During recent inspections, the EPD found that the situation had improved and the department did not receive further odour complaints against the factory.

     An EPD spokesman reminded operators of food factories that they should install proper air pollution control equipment in accordance with the EPD's guidelines. They should also ensure regular maintenance and proper operation of the exhaust systems so as to avoid causing environmental pollution or nuisance to nearby residents. According to the APCO, it is an offence if anyone fails to observe the statutory notice requirements. First-time offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $100,000. Upon second or subsequent convictions, a maximum fine of $200,000 and six months' imprisonment may be imposed.

     Members of the public may visit the EPD's website for viewing the guidelines for the control of cooking fumes and odour from food factories:

Pamphlet on Control of Oil Fume and Cooking Odour from Restaurants and Food Business:

Leaflet on Cooking Fume Emission Control for the Restaurant and Catering Trade:
Ends/Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Issued at HKT 18:58
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