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  • Seoul suspends test operations of emergency generators on days of fine dust alerts

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    • –Starting from May 15, test operations of 15,432 emergency generators in buildings to be suspended when fine dust alerts are issued
    • –Seoul City mandates this measure at all buildings of Seoul City Hall, 25 autonomous district offices, and its affiliated organizations, and encourages private office buildings to join the city’s efforts
    • –Stopping test operations of all of the emergency generators is expected to reduce 1,009kg of air pollutants a day

    SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, May 14, 2017 — The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced to suspend its once-a-week test operations of a total of 15,432 emergency generators placed in public buildings, apartments and high-rise buildings throughout the city starting from May 15 when fine dust alerts are issued, or emergency fine dust reduction measures are enforced.

    Emergency generators are used to supply powers to fire extinguishing equipment and elevators in case of emergency when utility power is cut off in buildings. When the emergency generator is operated, various air pollutants, such as fine dust, ultrafine dust, nitrogen oxides and the like, are generated, which are critically harmful to the citizens’ health.

    According to the research about emission factors of air pollutants released by the National Institute of Environmental Research in 2012, when an emergency generator with 500kW installed in an 14-story office building is operated for 30 minutes in a no-load condition, 0.026kg of sulfur oxide, 0.036kg of nitrogen oxide, 0.002 kg of fine dust, and 0.001kg of ultrafine dust are produced.

    The Seoul Metropolitan Government will mandate this measure at all buildings of Seoul City Hall, 25 autonomous district offices, and the city-funded affiliated organizations. In addition, it will encourage private office buildings to join the city’s efforts.

    Given the fact that Russian medical tourists tend to stay longer than tourists from other countries, Seoul expects to establish a basis for influx of medical tourism by promoting Seoul tourism and wellness programs to Russian medial tourists.

    If the test operations of all of the 15,432 emergency generators are stopped for an average of 30 minutes in a day, it is expected that a total of 1,009kg of air pollutants including 556kg of nitrogen oxides, 394kg of sulfur oxides, 36kg of fine dust, and 23kg of ultrafine dust can be reduced.

    This measure is especially meaningful because it was an idea suggested by a citizen. Thinking about ways to improve the air quality, he proposed his idea to stop the test operation of emergency generators to the city. And then the city officials reviewed his idea and developed it systematically to implement it into a policy.