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Reply from EPD

From: []
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2011 17:26
To: James Middleton
Subject: E(11/1515) : Port Strategy – A new dawn

Dear Mr Middleton,

Thank you for your message regarding the maritime air pollution in Hong Kong.

To control emissions from marine vessels, Hong Kong has been diligently implementing the requirements of MARPOL Annex VI, which caps the fuel sulphur content of ships and controls their emissions when operating within Hong Kong waters.  All marine vessels operating within the waters of Hong Kong are subject to the requirements, including the fuel sulphur cap.

There are now two Emission Control Areas (ECAs) in operation, one in the Baltic Sea and the other in the North Sea.  Another one covering the waters of 200 nm off the coasts of North America will come into force in August 2011.  China has not yet designated its waters, including the waters of Hong Kong, as an ECA under the framework of MARPOL Annex VI.  Therefore, the Mainland and Hong Kong cannot “enforce” any ECA requirement on vessels within our waters.

As for the Fair Winds Charter, the Government welcomes the ship liners’ voluntary green move.  The move provides an opportunity for us to collect data and assess the environmental benefits and implications (for cost and operation) arising from fuel switch at berth.   The findings will help us chart the way forward.

Thank you for pointing out the significance of reducing emissions from marine vessels.  Hong Kong will keep closely watching worldwide development of maritime emission control policy, technology and measures and will explore the feasibility of introducing them into Hong Kong where opportune.

Best regards,
Tony Y T Lee
Senior Environmental Protection Officer
Air Policy Group
Environmental Protection Department

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