The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) was first established in 1986. To enable EPD to play a more efficient role and concentrate on the environmental protection work, the Environment Branch of the then Environment, Transport and Works Bureau, which was responsible for environmental policy making, merged with the EPD on 1 April 2005. The head of the Environment Branch took up the dual role of Permanent Secretary for the Environment and Director of Environmental Protection. This development has placed the EPD in the position of both determining and implementing environmental policies. Subsequent to the re-organisation of government bureaux on 1 July 2007, a new Environment Bureau was formed overseeing the formulation and implementation of policies on environmental protection, conservation, energy and sustainable development, etc. The Permanent Secretary for the Environment under the Secretary for the Environment is also the Director of Environmental Protection.

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