To address the increasing public awareness about the issue of indoor air pollution, the Government had today (Friday) launched a public consultation on the proposed indoor air quality (IAQ) management programme which is aimed to protect public health in indoor environment and promote public awareness of the importance of IAQ.
The proposed management programme will start with a publicity campaign to raise public awareness of IAQ and an IAQ Information Centre will also be set up in 2000 for disseminating IAQ information.
The Government will take the lead in implementing an IAQ certification programme for government buildings in 2000. In parallel, private owners and building management will be invited to participate in the certification programme.
Speaking at a press conference to launch the programme, the Deputy Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Kim Salkeld said that three years after implementation, i.e., in 2003, the Government will review the position and consider the need to broaden the scope and to make annual certification a compulsory requirement.
"To evaluate and manage indoor air quality, we have also prepared a set of recommended air quality objectives as well as a set of technical guidance notes for the better management of IAQ," Mr Salkeld said.
He said that a consultation had begun with various professional bodies in August this year. Most of the views received were supportive of the proposed IAQ management programme.
"Their comments had been taken into account when revising the consultation package which includes a set of Guidance Notes for better management of IAQ in offices and public places, besides the IAQ management programme.
"A wider public consultation on the programme is now underway and our proposed programme will be further refined to respond to public aspirations," Mr Salkeld added.
The consultation documents are now available from the Planning, Environment and Lands Bureau, the Environmental Protection Department and all District Offices. It can also be downloaded from the Bureau's homepage.
Views on the proposed IAQ management programme should be sent to the Planning, Environment and Lands Bureau before December 31, 1999 for the Government to finalize the programme.
Comments from the professional bodies can be browsed at the Bureau's homepage at http://www.etwb.gov.hk/
Besides the consultation package, a series of publicity pamphlets are available to the public to clearly explain the causes of indoor air pollution in simple terms, and to advise ways to improve IAQ.
Ends/Friday, November 5, 1999