Legal challenge over incinerator plan

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 April, 2012, 12:00am


A veteran activist has lodged a legal challenge over the government's plan to build a HK$14.96 billion waste incinerator on an island west of Cheung Chau.

Ho Loy, who previously protested against the demolition of the Star Ferry and Queen's piers, filed an application for judicial review with the High Court on Monday.

The government plans to build an incinerator at Shek Kwu Chau, located south of Lantau and west of Cheung Chau, as part of its waste strategy. It would be capable of handling 3,000 tonnes of waste per day.

Ho is asking the court to reject the decision to approve Shek Kwu Chau as the site for the incinerator. She also wants the approval already given to an environmental impact assessment on the project to be suspended.

The application names the Town Planning Board and the Environmental Protection Department as respondents.

Ho is not being represented by a lawyer. She previously took part in protests over the demolition of the piers and ran, unsuccessfully, in a Legislative Council by-election. Further details on her application were not available in her court filing.

The Legislative Council's environmental affairs panel will discuss the project on Friday.

The city deposits 18,000 tonnes of waste into landfills per day - 2.7kg per person - according to government figures, and relies mainly on landfill sites for waste disposal.

Secretary for the Environment Edward Yau Tang-wah said last week that an incinerator could burn 3,000 tonnes of rubbish per day, reducing the burden on landfill sites by one million tonnes a year.

However, green groups have argued against building an incinerator.

WWF says Shek Kwu Chau is home to rare species of wildlife, including the white-bellied sea eagle. And it says the waters surrounding the island provide a core habitat for the finless porpoise.