Hong Kong’s POLLUTING BUSES A Major Threat to Human Health “
25% of all RSP (Respirable Suspended Particulates)
27% of all NOx (Oxides of Nitrogen)
Of road vehicles, commercial diesel vehicles (buses & trucks)
contribute 80-90% of roadside RSP and NOx
Road vehicles are the 2nd largest source of air pollution in HK Source: LegCo Panel in Environmental Affairs, 20 Dec 2006
Source: Verbal Statement by Edward Yau, LegCo Panel on Environmental Affairs, 29 July 2009
40% of roadside emissions come from buses
On busy corridors, franchised buses contribute:
Composition of Bus Fleet Source: HK Department of Transport July 2009
ROADSIDE EMISSIONS from commercial vehicles are the major threat to our health, not Guangdong 53% of the time, the dominant source of HK air pollution is LOCAL Source: HKUST
The pollution concentration at roadside is much higher than that released several hundred feet above the ground by, say, power plants. It is concentration exposure which is determinative of harm to human health.
Source: HK Department of Transport July 2009
How do diesel bus fumes affect our health?
Diesel bus fumes contain:
Particulate Matter (PM)
can cause acute and chronic lung disease
Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) +
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) ,
react together in sunlight to form ground-level OZONE
OZONE and NOx
can cause acute and chronic lung impairment
The bus fleet can be divided between FRANCHISED (5768) and NON-FRANCHISED buses (7068).
Both classes are subject to the same regulations , but franchised buses are subject to franchise agreements which fix routes, costs and conditions of operation.
None of these licensing frameworks set ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS*.
*There is a control on smoke emissions, but the assessment is based on superficial factors, which are not necessarily to tied to health impacts. LAWS AND REGULATIONS
Being controlled by only 5 companies, franchise buses represent the biggest opportunity for immediate clean-up of air pollution impacting human health. In comparison, the non-franchised bus fleet’s ownership is more fragmented and complex. WHY FOCUS ON FRANCHISE BUSES?
75% of buses are OLD and DIRTY (pre-Euro, Euro I and Euro II standard)
Less than 1% of the buses have adopted the Euro IV standard
Given the current rates of retirement, bus companies will be left with heavily polluting fleets over the next 20 years
Hong Kong’s Franchised Bus Fleet
HONG KONG’S BUS FLEET BY EURO STANDARDS
What are the differences between Euro buses in terms of emissions?
Emissions by Euro Standard *This rendering measures emissions in 3 dimensions.
Current legislation requires that new buses must be Euro IV or higher. However, some of the dirtiest buses will be on the road until 2019 . Thus, we urge the Government to:
Eliminate older, more polluting buses from the streets as soon as possible by
Setting an earlier date by which ALL buses must meet stricter mandatory emissions standards (Euro III is proposed); OR
Mandating the early retirement of all pre-Euro, Euro I and Euro II buses by a fixed date (Measure 2. of Phase I of Govt’s proposed package)
Adopt a significant percentage of hybrid/clean-tech buses by a fixed date, like London. (Measure 22. of Phase II of Govt’s proposed package)
WHAT SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT DO?
Review the bus franchise agreements to:
Incorporate environmental performance standards
Offer variable franchise time lengths based on the use / disuse of environment-friendly bus technologies (i.e., longer franchises granted for major capital investments by bus companies.)
Conduct “green competition ”, namely, the use of more efficient vehicles and environment-friendly policies, as part of the bidding criteria
Reduce or waive the Transport Department’s annual license for buses that meet the Euro IV standard, and charge higher licensing fees for vehicles that are below Euro III standard
WHAT SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT DO?
What CAN we do?
CAN is encouraging Hong Kongers to speak out about air pollution by SIGNING THE PETITION FOR CLEAN AIR! “ Air pollution is Hong Kong’s most serious public health crisis, killing over 1,100 people every year. I urge the government to improve our air quality until pollution is no longer a significant threat to our health. • Adopting the WHO Air Quality Guidelines and setting an early date to comply. • Focusing clean-up measures on roadside emissions, the biggest local source of health impacts. • Improving accountability by reporting the health impacts of air pollution every year.”
Support CAN and sign the Petition for Clean Air NOW! www.hongkongcan.org