The Korean Special Act on Fine Dust Abatement and Management (hereinafter as “Special Act on Fine Dust”) entered into force on February 15, 2019. The law, primarily, focus is restricting producers of fine dust to reduce the fine dust level in Korea. The Special Act on Fine Dust defines different types of dust and enables officials to set certain fine dust reduction measures.
Legal Definitions of Fine Dust
The Special Act on Fine Dust provides definitions of “fine dust,” “micro-fine dust” and “precursors to fine dusts”:
- “Fine dust” are particulate matters up to 10 micrometers in diameter.
- “Micro-fine dust” are particulate matters up to 2.5 micrometers in diameter.
- “Precursors to fine dusts” are sulfuric oxide, nitrogen oxide and volatile organic compounds.
Reduction Measures against Fine Dust for Officials
The Ministry of Environment publishes the respective limits on the concentration level of micro-fine dust daily. Mayors and governors in the affected areas of a higher fine dust-level are enabled, by this Act, to set certain emergency measures, such as restrictions of vehicle usage and of company activities, which cause air pollution (construction companies and similar facilities). A violator to this regulation can be punished with a fine up to KRW 2,000,000. Furthermore, the mayor or governor can advise a respective company owner a time-limited suspension of working hours or establishing a flexible working-time. However, there is currently no punishment, if they do not take note of this suggestion.
In addition, a new committee under the Prime Minister’s office was established. The committee is tasked to work on procedures and corrective measures, on how to reduce the fine dust pollution. We shall update the reader when more information is available.
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