Disney gives itself a pass on fireworks

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 July, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 July, 2005, 12:00am

Disney has won official backing for its fireworks after deeming its own tests met enviromental standards, despite gaps in the information it provided to an environmental watchdog.

It said some data on air quality and noise levels were lost during the trials.

The Advisory Council on the Environment said yesterday a fireworks trial on May 6 and 7 met noise and air quality requirements in general but it wanted Disney to provide more information.

A report submitted by Disney said the noise level recorded in Discovery Bay and Peng Chau was slightly lower than the legal limit of 55 decibels, while air pollutants also met standards.

Despite the missing data, environmental officials said Disney could carry out firework displays because the company's environmental impact assessment report submitted in 2000 had already been approved.

But council member Mei Ng Fong Siu-mei said the latest report was non-conclusive on the real impact, given the data loss and short duration of the fireworks' trial. She urged Disney to abandon fireworks, warning that fireworks, on top of cheering crowds, could push noise levels beyond legal limits.

'Fireworks belong to the 19th century. It is now time to consider some eco-friendly visual display that is not polluting the environment,' she said.

Council chairman Lam Kin-che said the report aimed to confirm the extent of the fireworks' impact.

Environmental protection director Keith Kwok Ka-keung said explanations would be sought from Disney regarding the council's latest concerns.

He declined to say under what conditions Disney could be stopped from holding fireworks displays, saying only that the issue would be dealt with according to air and noise pollution laws.

Disney said last night the report was comprehensive and it would try its best to meet all legal requirements. It has been asked to carry out monitoring during its first year of operation and submit another report covering the first two months.