A project has been in progress since 2012 to build the infrastructure for a soil contaminant inventory and soil contamination assessment in order to strengthen the scientific foundation of soil and groundwater environment management by identifying the status of point sources that cause soil contamination, examining the background concentrations of soil contaminants nationwide, and building a soil environment map. Environment management will be systematically implemented in areas of contamination concern by assessing vulnerability to soil and groundwater contamination based on the contaminant data and background concentrations.

National Soil Contaminant Survey

In December 2011, mid- and long-term plans were formulated on national soil and groundwater contaminant surveys for potential soil-contaminating facilities, and a national soil contaminant survey and inventory-building project will be carried out from 2012 to 2015. Target facilities have been classified into 16 categories, including hazardous materials facilities and mine areas. Yearly survey plans are as follows. In 2012, specific facilities subject to soil contamination control were investigated throughout the country, and in 2013, a database was constructed by investigating approximately 65,000 facilities that are not specific facilities subject to soil contamination control, such as petroleum production and storage facilities (with a total capacity of less than 20,000L), toxic product storage facilities, transport and handling facilities, and waste storage and treatment facilities. The soil contaminant data obtained will be available for widespread use in determining and addressing the contamination status of regions of interest and selecting areas for priority control.

Yearly Plan for the National Soil Contaminant Investigation

Creating a Soil Environment Map

Since 2012, a soil environment map has been in construction by investigating the background concentrations of soil nationwide by dividing the country into 10 regions. This is expected to take a total of 10 years until 2021.

The investigation involves collecting and analyzing samples of soil, river sediments, and river water in terms of soil contaminant items prescribed in Soil Environment Conservation Act. The country is divided into 4km×4km grid squares, and soil samples are taken from the center of each square. Sampling points are further refined in urban areas and regions with contaminant sources. River sediment and river water samples are taken from selected locations upstream and downstream from river junctions.

Development of Soil and Groundwater Contamination Vulnerability Assessment Techniques

Soil and groundwater contamination vulnerability assessment techniques have been in development since 2012 in order to create a national, scientific soil contamination control system through the systematic assessment of soil and groundwater contamination sources and contaminated areas.

Assessment items consist of three factors: source characteristics to evaluate the likelihood of contamination, regional characteristics to represent the spread and mobility of contaminants in an area in the event of contamination, and receptor characteristics to represent risks to the human body and ecology. A database will be built regarding these characteristic factors and the final results will be used to plot a vulnerability map.

Vulnerability assessment results can also be used as basic data to select target areas for soil contamination investigations and also as information for land suitability analysis to minimize contamination when selecting sites for new industrial complexes or landfills.

For more information, please contact us :
Public Relations Team  (mepr@korea.kr)   
Last modified : 2017-12-12 08:38

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