Malodor Management

Unlike common air pollution, malodors are caused by a variety of substances, demonstrate complex interaction, and tend to occur and disappear locally and momentarily. This restricts methods that manage the entire country in a standardized manner, such as those for air pollution. In accordance with this perspective, the Malodor Prevention Act, newly enacted after being separated from the Clean Air Conservation Act, has been in force since February 2005. Changes were made according to this act such as managing malodors in regional units instead of the previous facility units and introducing more scientific methods of malodor measurement. The Act also allows the heads of local governments to designate malodor control areas and apply strict permissible emission levels to these areas. Consequently, 32 areas, including the Ulsan National Industrial Complex, have been designated and are managed as malodor control areas. In addition, a project has been in implementation since 2003 to create green space to act as a buffer between industrial complexes and residential areas.

Despite these efforts, civil complaints against malodors have been continuously increasing at an average annual rate of 15% over the past several years. The main method of malodor control is for the heads of local governments to designate malodor control areas, but they are reluctant to do so due to concerns regarding decreased land value and local economic recession. Consequently, 86% of malodor-related civil complaints arise outside malodor control areas. While malodor complaints are increasing, malodor-emitting facilities exceeded permissible emission levels by only 1.4% during the past three years, highlighting the need to reexamine the efficiency of the management system for malodor-emitting facilities.

Key improvements to the malodor management system being made as of 2014 are as follows.

First, the scope of target emission facilities will be extended to ensure effective malodor management. Currently, only facilities within malodor control areas are required to declare installation, but this will be extended to all emission facilities regardless of region. Current conditions are that any facility against which complaints persist for one year and that exceeds emission limits three times, and this will be tightened to one complaint and one violation of limits.

Second, the classification system for air pollutant-emitting facilities was applied to establish the current definition of malodor-emitting facilities, but independent classification standards will be formulated and used based on factors such as malodor induction and persistence of civil complaints.

Third, malodor monitoring and measurement methods will be redesigned. This involves enhancing reliability by standardizing the malodor monitoring networks being autonomously operated by each local government, modifying standards for the measuring height of complex malodors, and reviewing the feasibility of introducing automatic malodor collectors.

Boiler NOx Reduction

NO2 concentrations in the Seoul Metropolitan area are continuously exceeding the environmental limit of 30ppb, and non-industrial sectors such as residential facilities accounted for 29% (as of 2010) of the NOx generation in Seoul, pointing to a need for measures to reduce NOx in non-industrial sectors.

Costs to replace medium to large industrial gas boilers with low NOx burners have been subsidized since 2006. Permissible emission levels will be applicable to new large gas boilers of 2 tons or more starting from 2015, pointing to a need to change boiler NOx reduction measures.

Installation costs for low NOx boilers in homes will be subsidized to cover a total of 680,000 units in the Seoul Metropolitan area from 2015 to 2020. New manufacturing standards will be formulated for home boilers and low NOx boiler installation will become compulsory when building any multi-unit dwelling of 20 households or more. In terms of industrial boilers, eligibility for the low NOx burner replacement cost subsidy will be extended from 0.3 tons or more to 0.1 tons or more. The subsidy excludes new boilers of 2 tons or more, to which the new permissible emission levels will apply.

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Last modified : 2017-12-12 08:38

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