In the summer of 2015 it was discovered that drinking water
supplies in Kai Ching House, Kowloon City, contained lead exceeding
the WHO guidelines of 10 μg/L. Following this discovery, a
number of other housing estates – both public and private
– were found to have lead contamination in their water
supplies, as well as some schools and kindergartens.
The first concern was for the health and wellbeing of those
people who had been exposed to the contaminated water supplies, and
to ensure a supply of lead-free drinking water for Hong Kong
A task force lead by the Water Supplies Department came to the
conclusion that the lead content of water was the result of lead
leaching into water in the 'inside system', i.e. inside the
estates, principally because leaded solders were used to join
copper pipes. Lead solders do not satisfy the 'British
Standard' of materials which both Hong Kong legislation and
most construction contracts require.
In the wake of this lead leaching saga, Clyde & Co have
given a series of presentations to various industry stakeholders
who are concerned as to where legal liabilities may lie, who will
be responsible for rectification costs, and whether the government
has done enough to protect the citizens.
It is also yet to be seen whether the high Blood Lead Level of
some Hong Kong residents may have detrimental effects on their
health, which could bring with it a host of legal actions.
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The process for obtaining planning permission for development of property in the Cayman Islands has been updated as a result of the latest revision of the Development and Planning Law and accompanying regulations (July 2015).
In principle, when the parties agree to arbitrate, they shall be
bound by that agreement. It should therefore follow that when a
party initiates arbitration proceedings, the other party - the
respondent – will avail itself of the opportunity to present
its case and participate in the proceedings.
It is interesting to look at what is happening in Dubai's construction industry, which has been exposed to economic pressures as a result of the plunge in oil prices since mid-2014.
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