Non-registered renovation works contractors fined for illegal removal and handling of asbestos cement sheets in Wong Tai Sin and Mong Kok

     Tak Cheong Water & Electric Engineering Co and the owner of another renovation works contractor, both non-registered, which illegally handled asbestos cement sheets at Mei Tak House, Fung Tak Road in Wong Tai Sin, and illegally demolished asbestos building structure at a ground floor shop at Tsui Yuen Mansion, Waterloo Road in Mong Kok respectively, were fined a total of $16,000 at Kwun Tong Magistrates' Courts today (April 19) for contravening the Air Pollution Control Ordinance (APCO).

     An Environmental Protection Department (EPD) spokesman said that a report was received last October from a member of the public about a large quantity of asbestos cement sheet debris being found at a flat at Mei Tak House, Fung Tak Road. After investigation, the EPD issued a notice to the responsible contractor, Tak Cheong Water & Electric Engineering Co, requesting it to hire a registered asbestos contractor to clean up the asbestos cement sheet debris. Subsequent inspection carried out by the EPD officer indicated that the contractor concerned had illegally cleaned up the asbestos cement sheets debris itself.
     Separately, the department received another report from a member of the public in November last year about the illegal removal of an asbestos building structure at a ground floor shop at Tsui Yuen Mansion on Waterloo Road. After investigation by the EPD, it was confirmed that no registered asbestos contractor had been engaged to remove the asbestos in accordance with the statuary requirement, and the EPD had not been notified prior to the commencement of the works. After evidence gathering, the two contractors were prosecuted under the APCO.
     The spokesman explained that, to safeguard public health, asbestos abatement works 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 from affecting the workers and public health. Offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and six months' imprisonment. Contractors should give not less than 28 days' written notice to the EPD before commencement of the asbestos abatement work, failing to do so is liable to a maximum fine of $200,000.

Ends/Thursday, April 19, 2018
Issued at HKT 16:35