▷ To accelerate fine dust reduction, we must introduce the Integrated Environmental Permit System (IEPS), a detailed permit system.
▷ The Minister will share the 'Three Policy Directions on the Management of the Places of Business Emitting Air Pollutants' announced at the end of June this year, and listen closely to the voices of participating companies.
Minister of Environment Cho Myung-rae will have a meeting with the CEOs of ten major companies, including GS E&R, Hyundai Steel, Kumho Petrochemical, Lotte Chemical, S-Oil and SK Hynix, in the afternoon on July 8th at Kensington Hotel in Yeouido, Seoul. The companies have obtained the Integrated Environmental Permit (IEP) or are in the application stages.
※ The ten companies : Korea District Heating Corporation, KG ETS, Hyundai Steel, Dongkuk Steel Mill, Lotte Chemical, Kumho Petrochemical, Hyundai OCI, S-Oil, and SK Hynix
In the meeting, Minister Cho will discuss a variety of topics, including the measure to accelerate the settlement of the IEPS, a scientific and detailed permit system, and the difficulties of companies derived from the 'Three Policy Directions on the Management of the Places of Business Emitting Air Pollutants', which was announced by the government on June 28th of this year.
※ Three Policy Directions on the Management of the Places of Business Emitting Air Pollutants: ① to improve workplace management systems , ② to completely overhaul pollutant measurement control systems , and ③ to conduct a thorough workplace monitoring
After almost four decades, the Ministry of Environment made a complete overhaul of the previous permit systems of the facilities, generating pollutants and introducing the IEPS from 2017.
The previous environmental permits, which were divided into each environmental sector, were unified under the IEPS, and the Ministry of Environment became the sole issuing agency of the environmental permit for large places of business*. The ministry sets tailored permit standards per each workplace, reflecting their industrial characteristics and environmental impacts.
* The large places of business generating 20 tons or more air pollutants, or emitting 700 ㎥ or more waste water per a day, accounting for about 70 percent of the total pollutant generation from workplaces
The Ministry of Environment review the permits issued under the IEPS per every five years to reflect environmental changes and the latest pollution reduction technologies.
Also, through the permit review report and annual report on workplaces (issued every year), the Ministry transparently reveals essential information on the following four environmental impact areas affecting workplaces: ① the usage of raw materials and water ② the types and locations of the facilities emitting pollutants, ③ the emission permit standards of pollutants and the current emission status (standards, densities, and amounts of emitted pollutants), and ④ the response plan for environmental pollution incidents.
Accordingly, the 'Three Policy Directions on the Management of the Places of Business Emitting Air Pollutants' included the 'acceleration of the transition to the IEPS' as one of the main tasks.
The IEPS is in the stage of a phased implementation until 2021 to the 19 types of business that have large environmental impacts. Workplaces for power generation, steam supply, and incineration became subjects of the IEP in 2017, and must get the permit until the end of 2020 (four years of grace period).
※ The workplaces will be shut down and accused if they failed to obtain the IEP within the period given.
So far, the Ministry of Environment has operated consultative groups per each type of business* to preemptively discover and solve issues regarding the IEPS, and provide support for companies to obtain the IEP within the grace period through the one to one application creation service, exhibitions, trainings and voluntary agreements.
* March 2018 - July 2019: supported 134 companies in seven industries, including power generation, incineration and petrochemistry, for 39 times in total
On top of such efforts, the Ministry of Environment holds this discussion between the Minister and ECOs because high-level business leaders required the acceleration of a transition to IEPS.
※ Current situation: issued permits for 23 places of business, 1,411 applications will be reviewed until the end of 2024
The Ministry is planning to have executive-level and other types of meetings as well after the CEO meeting, in order to promote an active transition of workplaces to the IEPS.
"The IEPS ensures detailed permitting, autonomous managements, and transparent revealing of operational status. We believe the IEPS will minimize the environmental impact of workplaces and will be an efficient bridge of communication between companies and citizens," stated the Minister of Environment Cho Myung-rae. "We will keep communicating with companies to share and solve the difficulties in every workplace."