The “Chemical Emissions Survey System” identifies and notifies the government of the volume of chemicals that have been discharged or have moved into the environment (air, rivers, soil, wastes, etc.) from businesses that manufacture or use the chemicals. The government gathers the reported data and discloses it to the public.

The Ministry of Environment has been progressively increasing the scope of target chemicals and industries with the aim of identifying the total emissions of key chemicals in Korea. Starting with 80 chemicals in the two industries of oil refining and chemicals in 1999, the survey was carried out for 415 chemicals in 39 industries in 2011. The survey previously targeted establishments with 30 employees or more, but as of 2014 it targets establishments with one or more workers.

Emission surveys have also been conducted at nonpoint sources every four years since 2003. In 2011, the third survey was carried out for 15 nonpoint sources after adding two-wheeled vehicles, watercraft, and construction equipment to existing survey targets, including agriculture, homes, and railways.

Voluntary agreements are being used to reduce chemical emissions. The 30/50 program, a voluntary agreement to reduce chemical emissions, has been entered into by major emitters since 2004. The main aim of the agreement is to reduce emissions by 30% in the next three years and by 50% in the next five years, with participating companies being able to make their own decisions on which substances to reduce. From 2004 to 2009 the agreement had been signed by a total of 200 establishments, investing a total of 803.4 billion won to achieve an emission reduction of 80% compared to the baseline year.

The “Chemical Emission Reduction SMART (Stewardship-based Management for Area-specific Risk reduction Target) Program” has been implemented since 2011 to reduce emissions of chemicals of regional interest based on the achievements of the 30/50 program. The SMART program sets reduction goals for industrial complexes that emit large amounts of specific substances by gathering opinions from a variety of stakeholders, including local residents, environmental groups, associated businesses, and local governments. The pilot project began in 2011, and four industrial complexes had signed the agreement by the end of 2013. The aim is to reduce benzene by 100 tons, 1, 3-butadiene by 29 tons, and dichloromethane by 950 tons by 2019.

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Last modified : 2017-12-12 08:38

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