Recently, “clean air” has emerged as one of the top national priorities in Korea with the growing need of the people for urgent actions to protect their health from air pollution. Accordingly, the Korean government established the “Comprehensive Plan on Fine dust Management,” which is believed as the most ambitious and advanced package of measures than ever. The plan aims to reduce PM2.5 emissions by 35.8 % by 2022 from the level of 2014. This will result in the annual PM2.5 concentration to be decreased to 17 to 18 ㎍/㎥ from 25 ㎍/㎥ and the annual number of poor air quality days from 64 to 40 for the same period.
Ramping up the effort to protect the groups particularly vulnerable to fine dust, the Government provides subsidies to encourage to use LPG fuel for school buses and supply air purifiers in classrooms. In addition, it designated the areas where daycare centers, schools and facilities for the elderly are concentrated and high levels of fine dust are frequently reported as “Clean Zone” for intensive measures taken to control the emissions. The measures include restricting the use of old diesel vehicles and shortening operation hours of emissions facilities.
The plan set up a rigid and strict framework for tackling air pollution, particularly focusing on four major emitting sources of fine dust, namely, power generation, industries, transportation, and daily surroundings.
Power generation: Strengthen control over emissions from coal-fired power plants and increase penetration rates of new renewable energy
Industries: Introduce the “Dust Cap Regulation” targeting emission facilities in the Seoul Metropolitan Area and apply stricter permissible emissions levels to business facilities
Transportation: Apply tighter emission standards to diesel vehicles, expand restrictions of driving diesel vehicles, and encourage the use of eco-friendly cars
Daily surroundings: Mitigate fugitive dust from roads, root out illegal incinerations, and reduce emission sources of fine dust in urban and rural areas
When high concentrations of PM2.5 are predicted to occur or continue, the Government takes emergency actions to immediately reduce the emissions and protect the people against harmful particle pollution. The actions include adjusting operation levels of coal-fired power plants, construction sites and emission facilities, and driving bans for cars with high emissions.