The Ministry of Environment ("ME," Minister Cho KyeungKyu), Seoul Metropolitan Government, Incheon Metropolitan City and Gyeonggi Province will implement emergency mitigation measures, such as the alternative-day-no-driving system in administrative and public institutions as well as shortened operation of places of business and construction sites run by public institutions, from February 15 when a high level of PM2.5 concentrations occur in the metropolitan areas.
After ME and three local governments agreed to introduce the emergency mitigation measures in the metropolitan areas at the end of last year, they finalized the dissemination and reporting system. And, briefing sessions for officials in charge of the emergency mitigation measures were held by region.
On February 8-9, mock exercises were held to prepare for the occurrence of high level of PM2.5 concentrations, and a working-level meeting was held on February 10 to have a final check on preparations.
When the emergency measures are issued, the alternative-day-no-driving system and curtailment of operation of business places and construction sites in 738 administrative and public institutions in the metropolitan areas will be implemented.
Under the alternative-day-no-driving system, cars with license plates that end with end with odd numbers can only enter government/public buildings only on days ending with odd numbers. The same goes for license plates and days ending with even numbers. It is mandatory for public officials to follow the rule, while citizens will be encouraged to voluntarily join the 2-day-rotation system.
In case of short-time operation, places of business and construction sites run by administrative and public institutions can decide the scope of curtailment. And, the government authorities will induce voluntary participation of private places of business and construction sites.
When a high level of PM2.5 concentrations occur in the metropolitan areas, the Joint Government Committee on Emergency Mitigation will make a decision on the issuance at 17:10, and ME will spread the issuance of emergency mitigation measures to administrative and public agencies at 17:30 via official notice and text messages.
[Emergency Mitigation Measure Requirements]
▶ (Requirements) A day when warning on PM2.5 was issued in more than one of nine metropolitan areas*
① The Day (00～16:00): Average concentration of PM2.5 exceeds 50㎍/㎥; and
② Next Day: Forecast"Very Bad for more than 3 hours (exceeding 100㎍/㎥)"
The details of emergency mitigation measures for high concentration PM2.5 to be implemented from 2017 are as follows.
Moreover, the Ministry of Public Safety and Security will send Cell-broadcast message to residents in the metropolitan areas and inform citizens of the issuance of emergency measures through local media outlets, billboards, websites of ME and local governments and SNS.
The emergency mitigation measures will be test-conducted in administrative and public institutions to analyze their effects in 2017. From 2018, the measures will be expanded to the private sector in the metropolitan area by legislating penalty for violations, and will be gradually spread to other regions by 2020.
In addition, municipalities will sign MOUs with private organizations including the Chambers of Commerce to encourage active participation of the private sector this year.
ME and three municipalities will periodically update the contact points of administrative and public institutions, and hold more than one mock exercise every quarter to fill loopholes.
The Ministry of Environment expects that the emergency measure will not only reduce harmful damages from PM2.5 to the public health but also raise citizens' awareness on the seriousness of particulate matters.