• Sun
  • Nov 23, 2014
  • Updated: 9:28am
NewsHong Kong
ENVIRONMENT

Delta air quality improves, but roadside pollution worse in Hong Kong

Clean-ups at power plants and tighter controls on vehicle emissions cited as key factors

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 April, 2013, 6:41am
 

Air quality in the Pearl River Delta improved last year, according to the latest regional air quality report, but concerns are mounting about the deterioration of roadside air in Hong Kong.

The biggest improvement was in sulphur dioxide concentrations, which fell by an average of 25 per cent from 2011 levels.

Respirable suspended particles - tiny specks of pollutants that can penetrate the lungs - fell 13 per cent year on year, while ozone dropped by 7 per cent and nitrogen dioxide by 5 per cent.

Environment officials in Hong Kong attributed the decrease to "favourable meteorological conditions" as well as emission reductions. Last year Guangdong expanded the supply of cleaner petrol and boosted a clean-up at power plants and cement kilns, and in Hong Kong vehicle emission standards were tightened, officials said.

According to the Hong Kong Observatory, last year there was 20 per cent less rainfall than normal, and 15 per cent less sunshine. The region also experienced its worst storm in years, when tropical cyclone Vicente swept into the city last July.

Professor Wang Tao, an air pollution expert at Polytechnic University, said the news came as little surprise as pollution had been on a declining trend.

He said the fall in sulphur levels could be due largely to a clean-up at mainland power plants. "It is very efficient to remove sulphur by as much as 90 per cent if scrubbers are installed," he said.

Officials said accumulated improvements in air quality ranged from 17 to 62 per cent since 2006, the first full year air data became available under a cross-border monitoring network comprising 16 stations on building roofs.

Despite the improvement, a local clean air advocacy group remained deeply worried about air quality at street level.

"The continuing improvement to the regional air quality is in stark contrast to Hong Kong's deteriorating roadside air pollution, in particular nitrogen dioxide," said Kwong Sum-yin, of the Clean Air Network.

The continuing improvement to the regional air quality is in stark contrast to Hong Kong's deteriorating roadside air pollution, in particular nitrogen dioxide
Kwong Sum-yin of the Clean Air Network

Earlier this month, Hong Kong recorded one of its worst roadside quality readings, with the air pollution index soaring to more than 210 in Central.

Kwong urged the government to speed up a phase-out of dirty diesel trucks. Some HK$10 billion has been earmarked to compensate truck operators under a plan to remove up to 88,000 trucks from the streets by 2019.

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jillangus
No surprises there then.... The Pearl Delta figures came down proportionately to the reduction in the regions factory production rates, while In Hong Kong, with no factories, the pollution rates continued to increase.
I guess when the wold economy picks up again, the Delta's pollution figures will hit the stratosphere.
rease.92
Introduce electric cars and distributed electricity production by windmills and photovoltaics.
Sewage pipes in mountainous areas could be fitted with turbines to generate electricity.
Universities could investigate the use of sewage turbines in high rise buildings.
To reduce the heat island effect and reduce the need of idling cars to switch on their air con, high rise buildings could use their aircons to heat water, which is then flushed out of the buildings, leaving the air around the buildings cooler, reducing need for aircons even further.
Since every home now has an aircon, they would benefit from aircons connected to the hot water cistern: Use the heat generated from the aircon to heat the shower water. Saving gas and electricity. Collect the distilled water generated by the aircons to water the plants around the house.
If you could collect the methane released by the sewage before it entered the atmosphere, import of LPG could be reduced, and GDP increased.
If you could clean the sewage and recycle the water, you could reduce the import of water and clean up the sea around Hong Kong.
If you could make it mandatory for every ship and pleasure vessel to pump bilge and toilet water into the sewage system, water quality could be improved further, reducing costs for e-coli and other infections, and providing clean beaches and scuba diving spots for tourists, local and foreign.
There are numerous opportunities for a bright and clean Hong Kong future.
dlplaw
many buses are running with 10-20% passengers, clogging up tragic; often there are 20+ buses waiting their turns at bus stops; government should take steps to reduce bus schedule
donniemcm
HK is about 90% of :
- Buses
- Taxi
- Minibuses
- Trucks
- Vans
And they are running 7 days a week whereas personal cars are mostly run during WE and nights.
Honestly, limiting personal cars by raising tax is one thing but please don't tell **** and ignore the real deal. I mean HK Gov.

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