An environmental permit system, in which facilities discharging pollutant should obtain the permits and comply with the permit conditions that regulate the pollutant discharges, is one of the most fundamental measures of pollution control policy.

As public awareness of environmental issues has increased, the need for strengthened management of pollutant discharges is rising, and types of substances regarded as pollutants are diversifying. Still, pollution control has focused on specialized treatment by medium or substance, thereby making it difficult to have an integrated response to rising problems.

To resolve the problems associated with tranditional mode of pollution control, the European Union (EU) introduced the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive7) in 1996, and mandated that its member countries establish an integrated environmental management system. In 2010, the EU adopted the Industrial Emission Directive (IED)8) to supplement the existing measure. Korea plans to fundamentally change the paradigm of the existing pollution control system, by introducing components from EU’s IPPC system.
7) Directive 96/61/EC
8) Directive 2010/75/EU

The new permit system can reduce the administrative burden of businesses and regulatory authorities by integrating permits by medium in one process. It also offers an opportunity for reflecting technological progress and changed conditions and correcting errors by regularly reviewing the contents of permits.

The new system selects Best Available Techniques (BAT) for each industry in consideration of effectiveness of pollution reduction and economic feasibility. BAT refers to the most effective and advanced techniques that are technologically and economically applicable with regard to discharge of pollutants among the environmental management techniques concerning the design, installation, operation and management of pollutant-emitting facilities.

Since the emission limit value of each business is set in consideration of the BAT, the local level of pollution, goals of environmental quality and conditions of each business, the new system ensures emission regulations at the highest level of environmental protection for each business that have considered the cost.

A professional technical review organization, which will be established for the implementation of the new system, is expected to alleviate the technical burden of the permit authority by undertaking technical review of permit applications. In addition, a Technical Working Group, which is directly participated in by the industries, will support the task of selecting the BAT in consideration of process characteristics by industries, abatement technology status and emission characteristics, and preparing BAT reference documents (BREF). To provide the technical information needed for integrated permits and support permit procedures, an Online Integrated Environment Permitting System will be built.

Permit Procedure for the Integrated Environmental Management System

The government has formed a forum consisting of major business operations, economic organizations, industrial associations, the academic community, and civilian experts to discuss the framework of the new system and collected opinions from stakeholders by forming a consultative body consisting of local governments and environmental industries.

The legislative procedures for the integrated environmental management are currently underway, and a pilot program of BREF preparation is operating for several industry sectors. The new system will be gradually applied to 20 industry sectors when the legislation is complete.

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Last modified : 2017-12-12 08:38

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