Ombudsman seeks public views and information on Government’s control over landfilling and fly-tipping activities on private land
16 November 2016
The Ombudsman, Ms Connie Lau, today (November 16) invited members of the public to provide views and information on how the Environmental Protection Department (“EPD”), the Planning Department (“Plan D”) and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (“AFCD”) control landfilling and fly-tipping activities on private land.
Presently, the three departments have the following roles: EPD enforces the Waste Disposal Ordinance and other environmental protection laws to tackle acts of dumping of wastes on private land that do not have the consent of all the owners of the land as well as any related environmental problems; Plan D takes enforcement actions under the Town Planning Ordinance against unauthorised landfilling activities in the Development Permission Areas; while AFCD, according to the circumstances, incorporates enclaves by phases into country parks for better protection of those sites.
In recent years, there have been frequent occurrences of illegal landfilling and fly-tipping activities. Even though actions were taken by the departments concerned, those actions were criticised as futile and ineffective by different sectors of the community.
The Ombudsman has, therefore, decided to initiate a direct investigation against EPD, Plan D and AFCD. The ambit of the investigation covers the powers, responsibilities, mechanisms and procedures of those departments regarding the control of landfilling and fly-tipping activities on private land. Her Office will also examine the departments’ enforcement actions and their outcomes. The aim is to identify inadequacies in the current legal framework, system and enforcement regime.
To make the investigation more comprehensive, The Ombudsman welcomes views and/or information from members of the public, particularly parties affected by illegal landfilling and fly-tipping activities, landowners, as well as concern groups. Views and information in writing should reach the Office of The Ombudsman by December 16, 2016:
Address: 30/F, China Merchants Tower, Shun Tak Centre
168-200 Connaught Road Central, Hong Kong
Fax: 2882 8149
Office of The Ombudsman
November 16, 2016