Anti-fine dust mea­sures to be ex­panded to pri­vate sec­tor

The Korea Times - - NATIONAL - By Jung Hae-my­oung haemy­oung.jung@gmail.com

The al­ter­nate day driv­ing ban will be ex­panded from the pub­lic sec­tor to all driv­ers start­ing next Fe­bru­ary, as a strength­ened coun­ter­mea­sure against fine dust, the govern­ment said Thurs­day.

In­cen­tives for diesel cars will also be abol­ished be­cause old diesel ve­hi­cles are one of the fac­tors gen­er­at­ing fine dust.

The govern­ment an­nounced a set of tough­ened anti-fine dust mea­sures, after high lev­els of fine and ul­tra­fine dust clouded the na­tion for days.

Ac­cord­ing to the mea­sures, driv­ers will be sub­ject to an al­ter­nate day driv­ing ban based on even and odd last num­bers of li­cense plates, de­pend­ing on their emis­sion dis­charg­ing lev­els, start­ing Feb. 15. So far, the rule has been ap­plied only to pub­lic ser­vants and is only rec­om­mended for the pri­vate sec­tor.

The govern­ment will also abol­ish the “clean diesel pol­icy,” pro­mul­gated by the Lee Myung-bak ad­min­is­tra­tion which ar­gued that diesel cars had a higher fuel ef­fi­ciency com­pared to gaso­line cars.

It will end in­cen­tives for diesel cars pur­chases, in­clud­ing dis­counts at park­ing lots, and will ex­pand fi­nan­cial sup­port for those who got rid of old diesel trucks and buy ones that run on liq­ue­fied petroleum gas (LPG). In the pub­lic sec­tor, it plans to re­place gaso­line cars with eco-friendly ones such as elec­tric.

As sus­pend­ing op­er­a­tion of coal-fired power plants has proven to be ef­fec­tive in re­duc­ing fine dust lev­els, the govern­ment plans to shut down more from March to June.

The govern­ment will in­stall air pu­ri­fiers at schools and kinder­gartens, and help day­care cen­ters mea­sure in­door air qual­ity.

Co­op­er­a­tion with neigh­bor­ing coun­tries to tackle fine dust will be strength­ened, es­pe­cially with China, to re­duce the in­flow of air pol­lu­tion from the coun­try. The govern­ment will co­op­er­ate with re­gional gov­ern­ments in China to out­fit fac­to­ries there with Korea’s ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy on en­vi­ron­ment pro­tec­tion.

“When fine dust lev­els are high, the govern­ment will make all-out ef­forts, treat­ing it is a nat­u­ral dis­as­ter,” an en­vi­ron­ment min­istry of­fi­cial said. “The pub­lic sec­tor will lead, so that the pri­vate sec­tor will fol­low suit.”

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