The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG), upon deciding that fine dust, designated as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1) by the World Health Organization, is seriously threatening the health of citizens, set forth to implement various measures that will protect the health of the people.
The ultrafine dust concentration in Seoul, which decreased until 2012, has been on the rise again since 2016. In 2016, it increased by 3㎍/㎥ compared to the previous year and in 2017, there has been three ultrafine dust warnings. Deterioration of air quality is becoming more and more serious.
In response, the SMG will continue to carry out the Low Emission Vehicle Project with proven air quality improvement effects and make it mandatory to use environment-friendly construction equipment at SMG-operated construction sites. The SMG will also expand upon its limited operation measures by regulating the entrance of vehicles that deliver regional agro-fishery products into Seoul at public distribution centers.
The SMG has drastically reduced automobile-caused ultrafine dust emissions through its low-emission projects including early scrapping of aged diesel cars and installation of exhaust gas reduction devices.
The SMG hopes to see a gradual expansion of the limited operation of aged diesel cars, which used to be applied only to cars in Seoul since 2012, to other metropolitan areas in 2017. Traffic enforcement equipment will be installed in 22 new locations in addition to the 13 locations that are currently in operation. In 2019, a total of 61 locations will operate enforcement equipment to enhance the effectiveness of the operation.
In consideration of the volume of nationwide goods transportation, solely regulating the metropolitan area is not enough. The SMG therefore decided to limit the usage of facilities in Seoul for all aged cargo vehicles in the country.
Also, the SMG will make it mandatory to use environment-friendly construction equipment at SMG-operated construction sites starting in May 2017 to improve air environment deterioration. It was critical to take action since the five types of construction equipment, including dump trucks emit large amounts of nitrogen oxide, in spite of only accounting for a mere 1.4% of the all registered vehicles in Seoul.
To improve the air quality, all businesses that are willing to participate in the aged construction equipment low-emission project will receive support such as installation of exhaust reduction devices and provision of engine replacement costs for new construction equipment so that their losses will be minimized upon the implementation of the mandatory environment-friendly construction equipment. The project will be expanded to include the private sector in order to radically improve the air quality.
The SMG will conduct a special inspection through government-private cooperation over two months from April 3 to May 31 in 1,805 construction sites that have been reported for dust scattering in order to induce voluntary dust reduction.
Business sites that have been classified as special management sites will receive a focused special investigation and voluntary reduction management will be promoted through training for construction personnel and distribution of a manual. Through such efforts, the SMG hopes to establish a robust management culture for dust scattering.
In addition, 30 dust suction sweepers will be prepared in advance to eliminate dust scattering on roads and the operation of water sprinkler trucks will be increased to cease dust scattering during yellow dust and fine dust warnings.
To carry out the Global Car Scoring System that has been jointly announced with the mayors of Paris and London on March 29, the SMG has decided to cooperate with the government on re-calculating vehicle grades based on the operation of the real-driving exhaust gas management system and establishing an international standard for the new exhaust gas certification system.
The Car Scoring System evaluates the level of environment-friendliness for each vehicle and gives it a grade, contributing to the customer’s right to own an environment-friendly vehicle and expanded distribution of environment-friendly cars.
The SMG will cooperate with civic organizations for the settlement of the Global Car Scoring System. Efforts will include posting easy-to-read graphics of exhaust gas grades as provided by the Ministry of Environment on the SMG website as well as manufacturing and attaching environment-friendly stickers on vehicles owned by public organizations.