An Analysis of the Tseung Kwan O Landfill Controversy
18 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2010
Date Written: November 18, 2010
This article examines the controversy that arose from the Hong Kong government’s plan to extend the South East New Territories landfill in Tseung Kwan O into the Clear Water Bay Country Park, particularly how the proposed landfill extension led to a confrontation between the government and the legislature. The authors argue that Section 14 of the Country Parks Ordinance (Cap 208) imposes an obligation on the Chief Executive to make an order which he is not free to repeal afterwards. This arrangement comports with the overall statutory scheme and purpose of the legislation which features a four-stage process with mechanisms for public consultation. The controversy calls into question the efficacy of this four-stage process as well as that of the environmental impact assessment regime. The authors suggest that there is a need to consider strengthening the statutory mechanism for public involvement to prevent a repetition of the present controversy. This article also examines the broader issue of the territory’s waste management strategy and the need for more environmentally sustainable policies.
Keywords: Hong Kong, environmental law, constitutional law, governance, public participation, legislative council, waste
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