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HK to Review Its Air Quality Objectives
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The Environmental Protection Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government signed a consultancy agreement with an environmental company here Tuesday to come up with a new set of Air Quality Objectives for the city and devise a long-term plan for such new objectives.

Ove Arup and Partners Hong Kong Limited, which won the consultancy agreement, will undertake a comprehensive study to examine in details the new World Health Organization (WHO) Air Quality Guidelines and the findings of relevant reviews in the developed countries or regions.

According to the agreement, the study is expected to provide detailed information on required specific measures, their implications and available options for achieving any new air quality objectives for Hong Kong.

"Through the study, we will evaluate carefully the need and justifications for revising local air quality objectives according to the principles suggested by WHO and taking into account local factors and considerations," a spokesman for the Environmental Protection Department said.

WHO announced in October last year an updated set of Air Quality Guidelines, recommending progressive interim targets and provided a scientific basis for supporting the development of air quality policies and management strategies in various parts of the world to protect human health.

The spokesman said upon completing the study by the end of 2008, the government plans to launch a thorough public engagement process so as to finalize the new objectives and the required long-term strategy on air quality management within 2009.

(Xinhua News Agency June 6, 2007)

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