Hong Kong construction site manager fined for dumping waste on protected wetland

Court sentences third person found guilty of filling in a mangrove site in the northwest New Territories

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 6:07pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 10:35pm

A construction site manager was fined HK$40,000 on Wednesday for dumping construction waste at an ecologically sensitive mangrove in Deep Bay in the northwest New Territories last year.

Yu Kim-ming, 44, was found guilty in Fanling Court of contravening the Waste Disposal Ordinance and Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance.

When convicted in September he had been ordered to clear up the waste within a month and had complied, a government statement read.

Yu was the third person to be penalised after a transport contractor and truck driver were each fined HK$15,000 in August for contravening the WDO.

An environmental activist group called the Land Justice League exposed the landfilling in Tsim Bei Tsui in December last year.

Environmental Protection Department officers later discovered three-metre-tall mangroves on government land had been excavated and covered with soil fill, and they spotted unauthorised site formation works. The area in question covered about one hectare.

The Tsim Bei Tsui mangroves, at the Mai Po and Inner Deep Bay wetlands, are largely zoned a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Under the EIA Ordinance, it is an offence to conduct land filling and site formation works at an SSSI without an environmental permit issued by the department.

Mai Po Inner Deep Bay is an official Ramsar Site, protected by the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for wetland conservation. It is an important wintering and stopover site for migrating waterbirds.

A department spokesman reminded contractors, those responsible for work projects and members of the transport sector, to “take all proper precautions and exercise due diligence to dispose of construction waste in accordance with laws”.