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Legislative amendment to control volatile organic compounds in fountain solutions and printing machine cleaning agents
     A spokesperson for the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) said today (October 10) that the Government will publish on October 13 (Friday) in the Gazette the Air Pollution Control (Volatile Organic Compounds) (Amendment) Regulation 2017 (the Amendment Regulation), which extends the existing control on products containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to fountain solutions and printing machine cleaning agents.

     The Amendment Regulation will prohibit the import and local manufacture of fountain solutions and printing machine cleaning agents with VOC content exceeding 80 grams per litre and 500g per litre respectively. Similar to the existing regulation, the Amendment Regulation will require importers and local manufacturers to display relevant product information, report their sales information to the Authority (i.e. the Director of Environmental Protection), and keep the reported information for at least three years and produce it for inspection if requested by the Authority.

     Those who import or locally manufacture products with VOC content exceeding the legal limit will be liable to a fine of $200,000 and six months' imprisonment, while failure to display product information, submit a report or keep records may result in a fine of $50,000 and three months' imprisonment.

     VOCs are organic chemicals that evaporate at room temperature. Some of them are toxic while most could contribute to the formation of photochemical smog, which is a key regional air pollution problem in the Pearl River Delta. "With the implementation of the Amendment Regulation, an annual reduction of about 370 tonnes of VOC emissions is expected, which will help reduce photochemical smog formation," the spokesman said.

     The Amendment Regulation will be tabled at the Legislative Council on October 18. If approved by the Council, the Amendment Regulation will take effect on January 1, 2018.
Ends/Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Issued at HKT 19:05
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