Establishing the cost of the environmental impact of development will be the subject of a workshop sponsored by Environmental Resources Management (ERM) as part of the conference and exhibition. Thomas Tang, managing director of ERM, said the Environmental Economics workshop would quantify the costs involved in mitigating environmental impact. He said the workshop would be aimed at raising awareness and putting a figure on the economic costs incurred as a result of road, rail and other major construction or development projects which had an environmental impact on people. The workshop was designed for people involved in the management of this type of work and would provide them with a useful insight of the interaction between environmental and economic considerations. Mr Tang said an example of this would be a better understanding of the cost of erecting noise barriers near road projects and fitting double glazing in apartments to alleviate rail noise as a result of transport development. He said noise pollution was a critical issue in Hong Kong because of the crowded population and the close proximity of major transport systems to buildings. Some case studies included in the workshop will be taken from the ERM's experience in carrying out environmental studies in Hong Kong and Europe and will deal with environmental economics in a local context. ERM has been involved in many strategic planning and transport studies such as the Railway Development Strategy, Northeast New Territories Study and the Comprehensive Study on Transport. It has also undertaken studies in private and public housing and infrastructure projects and helped the Government and industry draw up policies to shape the SAR's development. The workshop will explore the complex ways environmental protection laws and projects have implications for society and the need to maintain a stable environment as an important factor in determining health and quality of life. It will look closely at how governments have increasingly used environmental economics as a part of the decision-making process. Examples such as air and water quality legislation in the United States and how the European Union is subjected to economic analysis will be highlighted.