Contractor Hung Key Cheong Yip denies illegal asbestos removal

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 September, 2012, 11:12am

A contractor involved in the demolition of three buildings has denied breaking the law on the handling of asbestos.

Hung Key Cheong Yip yesterday pleaded not guilty to charges that it had failed to hire a registered asbestos remover or give at least 28 days' notice about the work, as required by the Air Pollution Control Ordinance.

Lawyer Danny Choi Kai-hung told Eastern Court that the company would call a consultant to testify that there had been no asbestos in the material removed.

The breaches are alleged to have occurred during demolition of three former government residential blocks at 21, 23 and 25 Borrett Road, Mid-Levels, between November 4 and December 29.

Chief environmental protection inspector Francis Lo Shu-chung said the government planned to call seven witnesses.

Acting Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai scheduled a pre-trial hearing for September 24.

The demolition work took place close to schools and kindergartens. Inhaling the dust-like particles can cause diseases.

Carrying out unauthorised asbestos removal attracts a maximum fine of HK$200,000, plus HK$20,000 for each day the work is carried out, along with up to six months in prison.