To meet the growing public interest in ultrafine particles, the Seoul Metropolitan Government strengthened supervision of construction sites and other commercial establishments to minimize fugitive dust and improve the air quality, thereby boosting the wellbeing of the citizens.
Efforts to Reduce Fugitive Dust for the Last 30 years
Seoul, the First Mover to Tackle Fugitive Dust
As Seoul prepared to host the 1989 Asian Games and the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the city government took the initiative to reduce fine dust by establishing the very first Anti-Fugitive Dust Measues in May, 1986. Afterwards, the then Office of Environment laid out the standard for managing facilities responsible for fugitive dust, a pioneering move in the nationwide anti-fugitive dust effort.
Expanding the Scope of Supervision
After the Clean Air Conservation Act was enacted in 1991, the regulations for managing fugitive dust was put in place. Initially, 6 types of business operators including those involved in construction and sediment transport were subject to the regulation. The regulations have been strengthened since then to include 10 types of business operators as of 2014.
Thorough Inspection and Civic Participation
Strengthening Inspection of Sites that Produce Fugitive Dust
The Seoul Metropolitan Government entrrust each administrative district office to conduct regular inspections on construction or other business sites that produce dust clouds. Each administrative district office inspects relevant sites to confirm that appropriate dust reduction facilities are installed and operated. If any violations of the Clean Air Conservation Act is detected, the administrative district office issues an enforcement notice to make necessary improvements. In 2014, Seoul Metropolitan Government conducted a series of special investigation and training with the administrative district offices, Special Judicial Police and experts. After inspecting 1,170 sites, SMG issued enforcement notices to 57 sites (including 6 implementation orders, 28 correction orders, and 23 warnings).
Civic Participation in Monitoring Fugitive Dust Producing Sites
Watchdog committees composed of local residents, members from civic groups and environment groups were formed to conduct customized monitoring of sites that produce fugitive dust at each administrative district. The committee monitors the level of fugitive dust at each site and provides guidelines when a public-private joint inspection is scheduled.
Education and Advocacy Activities Targeting Business
The Seoul Metropolitan Government promoted the policies to manage fugitive dust through various channels and provided special education sessions for business operators under supervision on an annual basis. At these sessions, the business operators were informed of various measures implemented by the city government, their responsibilities under relevant laws, and best practices of reducing fugitive dust. In 2014, SMG provided education on the guidelines to manage fugitive dust to business operators and responsible public servants at the administrative district offices to encourage voluntary participation and management of fugitive dust.
Encouraging Voluntary Participation to Prevent Fugitive Dust
Two best practices sites at each administrative district were designated as model sites for other business operators to benchmark. The main purpose of designating model sites was to disseminate dust reduction technologies and encourage voluntary participation from the business operators. In addition, high-priority control sites were mandated to clean the nearby roads with the introduction of One Company One Road Clean-up Service initiative. As such, each business operator is advised to come up with its own plan to reduce fugitive dust considering the size of the construction site and the conditions of the surrounding environment.