Spotlight Activity: The Fight Against Fine Dust
The Ministry of Environment (MOE) and the three metropolitan area municipalities including Seoul Special City, Incheon Metropolitan City, and Gyeonggi Province will form an alliance for “fight against fine dust.” In order to reduce pollutants emitted from diesel cars that are considered to be major causes of fine dust in the metropolitan area, the head of the municipalities has decided to increase the budget for expansion of early-scrap of old diesel vehicles, to hasten enactment of special laws about fine dust, to eliminate the proposed price gap between gasoline and diesel as OECD suggested, and to announce a long-term internal combustion engine exemption as EU did. MOE also said that it would keep consulting with related ministries.
In the future, MOE will introduce restrictions on vehicle operation based on the emission rating system for automobiles, limit the entry of old vehicles into the agricultural wholesale market, logistics complex, and ports. In addition, diesel buses are to be replaced by more eco-friendly vehicles such as compressed natural gas (CNG) buses, electric buses and hydro buses. MOE and the three municipalities have decided to consider raising the fine dust reduction from 20 ㎍ / ㎥ in 2021 to 15 ~ 18 ㎍ / ㎥ in 2022. Also they are planning to expand the transport restrictions of old-age diesel vehicles that are currently being applied to the wholesale market in Garak, Gangseo and the landfill of Incheon metropolitan area to agricultural wholesale markets, public distribution centers and ports in the metropolitan area. They also have decided to limit the introduction of new buses to the metropolitan area from 2022 and replace them with eco-friendly.
Regarding the thermal power plants in the metropolitan areas, a capping system will be introduced to limit the amount of power generation when high-concentration fine dust occurs from this coming October this. If fine dust warning is issued until 14 o’clock and the fine dust is predicted to exceed 50 μg / ㎥ on the next day as well, the generation amount of the Yeongheung Thermal Power (Coal) Unit 2 in Incheon and the Pyeongtaek Thermal Power Unit 1 ~ 4 in Gyeonggi Province will be reduced to less than 80% of maximum capacity for expiration.
Source. Ministry of Environment, http://www.me.go.kr/home/web/board/read.do?pagerOffset=0&maxPageItems=10&maxIndexPages=10&searchKey=&searchValue=&menuId=284&orgCd=&boardId=881660&boardMasterId=108&boardCategoryId=&decorator= (July 6, 2018)
Status: Right Direction
MOE’s plants with the major metropolitan municipalities are concrete. As long as almost half of the whole Korean population live in the three metropolitan areas, concrete actions in these areas are critical when fighting against air pollution.
We would like to express our appreciate and encourage the cooperative efforts MOE made together with the three major metropolitan municipalities. In South Korea, climate has been changing dramatically for the last couple of years and air conditions have been getting worse. Though international variables cannot be neglected, South Korea’s individual efforts are necessary and meaningful too. Please, keep working on this.
Ministry of Environment
Clean Air Planning Division
Director: Mr. HONG Dong-kon