Korea Cleaning Up Its Environmental Act
Korea Cleaning Up Its Environmental Act
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  • 승인 2006.10.01 12:01
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Environment Technology / CleanSys A closer look at a complex legal system This is the second in a series of articles about CleanSys. ...Ed. CleanSys is a collaborative project with many different aspects of Korean government and industry. It is designed to monitor industry pollution emissions so that steps can be taken to control emissions and improve the environment. As a summary, since 1999 the Ministry of Environment (MOE) decided to pursue more scientific way of inspection emission facilities of big stationary sources. The Ministry judged the prior method of inspecting these emission facilities through public manpower as being too inefficient in keeping watches on air pollution and maintaining business transparencies. Thus, to improve efficiency of the inspection system, it has decided to use CleanSys in stacks. This new technology will dramatically improve the whole inspection process by making it possible for the Ministry to maintain strict 24-hour watches on these emission facilities. With implementation of this new measure, the Ministry wishes to collect for administrative uses and create an environment where companies will voluntarily try to improve their environmental policies. Organizational Structure Lets take a closer look at the organizational and bureaucratic structure of the CleanSys program. CleanSys rests on a stable legal platform created by the Clean Air Conservation Act. The Minister of Environment has legal authority to use data from the CleanSys project for administrative purposes. These can include such things as checking the amount of pollutants coming from designated facilities to see if they meet emission standards and assessing related emission charges. CleanSys includes a designated control center in a location chosen by the Minister of Environment. Furthermore, the Minister can designate the locations of other control centers and delegate duties and operations of these centers. The purpose of this is to watch over sources of pollution which are in his jurisdiction. This is mandated by the Clean Air Conservation Act. There are also legal provisions for the installation of CleanSys monitoring systems, measuring systems, and installation deadlines categorized into company size, area, air type, and facility type. The administrative measures against companies are chosen depending on the types of violations and to provide stable standards for installation and maintenance of CleanSys. The Ministry of Environment oversees the CleanSys project by pursuing stable maintenance and growth of the project. It can establish and amend current environmental policies and also support the management of emission facilities in the program. Local governments also have a role. This role includes regularly inspecting various emission facilities and choosing the targets for CleanSys installations. The local government chooses the companies which must install CleanSys based on the amount of pollutants produced by the facilities in their jurisdiction. In charge of building and maintaining both integrated and regional control centers is the Environmental Management Corporation (EMC). This corporation has additional duties including collecting and analyzing data sent by CleanSys systems, transmitting the applicable data to other organizations, and performing various environmental tests on emission facilities. Examining any abnormal data, and providing technological support to the facilities operating CleanSys monitoring equipment are additional duties that the EMC performs. Companies are also mandated under the Clean Air Conservation Act to install appropriate analyzers and to maintain appropriate emission standards. The companies are required to transmit the CleanSys data to monitoring stations. They are also required to use the data to try to reduce air pollutants within their equipment. Between 2001 and 2005, the Ministry of Environment legislated the systematic installations of CleanSys on emission facilities that produce air pollutants and connected them to Integrated control centers to active CleanSys data transmission between them. CleanSys control centers are modern environmental supervisory systems that perform on-line environmental data collection and maintenance. These control centers help to improve everyday lifestyles of citizens by improving the environment around them. Beyond that, they increase the international competitiveness of Korea by creating new ways to use technology to improve the environment. Technical details Underneath the organizational and legal structure are the technical details. There are certain areas within the Korean peninsula which have been designated special air quality conservation areas: Ulsan, Onsan, the Meepo industrial complex, and the Yeosu industrial complex. In addition to this, most cities within the peninsula are designated as Atmospheric Environment Regulation Areas. There are three classes of facilities. The highest level are facilities that produce over 80 tons of air pollutants per year. The second class are facilities that produce between 20 to 80 tons of air pollutants per year. The third class are those facilities that produce only 10 to 20 tons of air pollutants in a year. Target facilities are divided into eleven different categories. The facility categories are metal smelting, metal surface treating, chemical compound producing, petroleum and petrochemical refining, cork producing, non-metallic producing, power plants, boilers, incinerators, sand preparation facilities, and miscellaneous. Each type of facility is monitored for different emissions of chemicals dangerous to the environment. These chemicals include nitrogen oxide (NOx), sodium oxide (SOx), hydrochloric acid (HCl), hydrofluoric acid (HF), ammonia (NH3), carbon monoxide (CO) and dust. Measuring country by country One might be curious to know how the CleanSys environmental measures stack up against the environmental measures of other countries. The different measures can be compared in different ways, such as legal basis, major facilities monitored, which items are measured, how data is utilized and transmitted, and how long such measures have been in operation. We can compare Korea's CleanSys to measures taken by the United States, Japan, and Germany. To begin with, the legal basis for environmental regulations vary by country to country. Korea's legal basis starts with the Clean Air Conservation Act, which has been active since 2002. Japan's regulations come from its Land Conservation Act enacted in 1975. Germany's TA-LUFT regulations were put into place in 1990. The United States' 40CFR plan was also enacted in that year. Korea targets many types of facilities, but the major emphasis is on power plants, boilers, incinerators, and chemical production facilities. The United States focuses on oil refineries, cement plants, steel production facilities, glass works, and mineral processing plants. Japan focuses on boilers and metal smelting plants. Germany heavily regulates big power generators and incinerators with heavy pollutant products. How data is transmitted and utilized also differs by country. German monitoring systems transmit data partially on-line in four states, and they use this data to check emission standards. Japanese monitoring systems are also partially on-line and focus on restricting the total amount of certain chemicals. The US restricts the total amount of dangerous chemicals as well, but the data within the monitoring infrastructure is transmitted by postal mail Korea's system is a nationwide on-line monitoring system that checks emissions in real time and charges them.

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