Unlike China, many international conventions are implemented in Hong Kong when it comes to environmental law, including for businesses. These are in place to protect the environment and reduce emissions, to create a safe working environment for all manner of different sectors. Firms that specialize in this area, such as Withers lawyers, can be contacted for any advice you may need. Here we present some of the essential areas to be aware of:
The Air Pollution Control Ordinance controls activities relating to the production of air-borne emissions and covers businesses that work in construction and other areas. From creating guidelines that affect cement works to the installation and use of fuel-burning equipment such as chimneys, it is all covered. Those involved with the use of asbestos and materials containing it and emissions from non-road machinery are protected too.
Waste is one of the biggest producers of pollution and it is especially important that any hazardous waste is disposed of correctly, not just for safety but for environmental protective reasons as well. The Waste Disposal Ordinance includes all the requirements and procedures for acquiring a licence or permit, along with advice for the planning and management of waste across many different areas.
Many industrial, construction and commercial activities can result in water pollution. It is therefore necessary that such businesses comply by all the standards set by Hong Kong’s Water Disposal Ordinance to reduce any negative effects. Water pollution that affects public sewers, rainwater drains and river courses is incredibly dangerous, which is why there are licensing controls in place which must be abided by every business it affects.
Product Eco-Responsibility Ordinance
This provides the legal basis for producer responsibility when it comes to environmental issues. The first example of this is the charge for plastic bags which has been rolled out across Hong Kong, as it has various other locations, in compliance with international environmental guidance. They are enforced by licences and permits being issued for controlled activities.
Environmental Impact Assessment
The application of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) is used to control the environmental effect of various projects. Before construction and the start of operation for such projects these ensure that the appropriate permits are in place so that it is legally sound and safe. If your business has an upcoming project, then it is worth checking with this body first.
Take notice of these pieces of environmental law that may affect your business and research further details before embarking on any new projects.