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Environmental Health

Korea's Recent Environmental Laws, Reports, and Press Releases based on KEI Research

Persistent Organic Pollutants Control Act
  • Date2022-06-07 10:04
  • TypeLaw
  • View358

Amended by Act No. 13886, Jan. 27, 2016

Lastly Amended by Act No. 15841, Oct. 16, 2018



CHAPTER I GENERAL PROVISIONS



Article 1 (Purpose)

The purpose of this Act is to protect citizens' health and the environment from hazards posed by persistent pollutants and to promote international cooperation by prescribing matters necessary for the control of persistent pollutants, such as dioxins, mercury and mercury compounds, which are prescribed by both the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and the Minamata Convention on Mercury for the implementation thereof.


Article 2 (Definitions)

The terms used in this Act shall be defined as follows:

1. The term "persistent pollutants" means chemical substances that pose hazards to people and ecosystems, having the characteristics of toxicity, persistence, bioaccumulation, long-range transportability, etc., which are prescribed by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (hereinafter referred to as the “Stockholm Convention”) and the Minamata Convention on Mercury (hereinafter referred to as the “Minamata Convention”), and the details of which shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree;

2. The term "discharge facilities" means facilities, machines, implements, or other objects prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment that discharge persistent pollutants;

3. The term "wastes containing persistent pollutants" means trash, burnt ashes, sludge, waste oil, waste acid, waste alkali, etc. contaminated with persistent pollutants exceeding the standards for persistent pollutants content prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment among the commercial wastes as defined in subparagraph 3 of Article 2 of the Wastes Control Act, which are wastes prescribed by Presidential Decree among substances that become unnecessary for citizens' lives or their business activities.


Article 3 (Scope of Application)

This Act shall not apply to the control of persistent pollutants at sea (referring to the sea defined in Article 3 of the Framework Act on Marine Fishery Development).


Article 4 (Relationship with other Acts)

(1) This Act shall apply to the control of persistent pollutants unless otherwise prescribed by the Toxic Chemicals Control Act, the Pestcide Control Act and other Acts.

(2) The Wastes Control Act shall apply to matters concerning the control of wastes containing persistent pollutants, not prescribed by this Act.


Article 5 (Master Plan for Control of Persistent Pollutants)

(1) The Minister of Environment shall establish a master plan for the control of persistent pollutants (hereinafter referred to as "Master Plan") every five years after consultation with the head of a related central administrative agency and the Special Metropolitan City Mayor, Metropolitan City Mayors, the Special Self-Governing City Mayor, Do Governors or the Special Self-Governing Province Governor (hereinafter referred to as "Mayor/Do Governor") and then deliberation of the Central Environmental Preservation Advisory Committee under Article 58 (1) of the Framework Act on Environmental Policy. The same shall apply to any planned modification to the matters herein prescribed by Presidential Decree.

(2) The Master Plan shall contain the following matters:

1. General objectives of and direction-setting for advancement of the control of persistent pollutants;

2. Major plans for promoting the control of persistent pollutants;

3. Control conditions of persistent pollutants and prospect thereof;

4. Plans to raise funds for various projects concerning the control of persistent pollutants;

5. Plans for cooperation with international organizations and with foreign and domestic agencies concerning the control of persistent pollutants;

6. Matters necessary for the control of persistent pollutants.

(3) Other matters necessary for the establishment of the Master Plan shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.


Article 6 (Implementation Plans for Persistent Pollutants)

(1) The Minister of Environment and the head of a related central administrative agency shall establish and implement a detailed plan for the implementation of the Master Plan (hereinafter referred to as "implementation plan") every year. In such cases, the head of the related central administrative agency shall submit the implementation plan and the results of advancement to the Minister of Environment.

(2) Matters necessary for the establishment and implementation of an implementation plan, submission of the results of advancement, etc. shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.


Articles 7 and 8 Deleted.


Article 9 (Establishment of Maximum Permissible Daily Exposure)

(1) The Government may establish a maximum permissible daily exposure as a standard at which a body may be continuously exposed to persistent pollutants through respiration, skin contact, ingestion, etc. during a whole lifetime without any apprehension of influence on health.

(2) The maximum permissible daily exposure by kind of persistent pollutant under paragraph (1) shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.


Article 10 (Establishment of Environmental Standards)

(1) The Government shall establish environmental standards for persistent pollutants in order to protect the health of people and to create a comfortable environment, and shall strive to have the appropriateness thereof maintained as the environmental conditions change.

(2) The environmental standards under paragraph (1) shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.


Article 11 (Installation and Operation of Measurement Network)

(1) The Minister of Environment shall install a persistent pollutant measurement network (hereinafter referred to as "measurement network") to ascertain the situation of pollution by persistent pollutants of air, water, soil, river, sediment, living organisms nationwide, and measure pollution levels.

(2) The Mayor/Do Governor and the head of a Si/Gun/Gu (referring to the head of an autonomous Gu; hereinafter the same shall apply) may install a measurement network to ascertain the situation of pollution by persistent pollutants in his/her jurisdiction, and measure the pollution level.

(3) The Minister of Environment shall establish a plan for the installation of a measurement network, which clearly states the location, district, items to be measured, measurement period, measuring frequency, etc. under paragraph (1).

(4) Paragraph (3) shall apply mutatis mutandis to cases where a Mayor/Do Governor or the head of a Si/Gun/Gu installs a measurement network pursuant to paragraph (2).

(5) Where a Mayor/Do Governor or the head of a Si/Gun/Gu installs and operates a measurement network, the Minister of Environment may provide financial and technological support within budgetary limits.


Article 12 (Use of Land, etc.)

(1) The Minister of Environment, a Mayor/Do Governor or the head of a Si/Gun/Gu may use land, or building or fixtures on the land in the district necessary for the installation of a measurement network or for the investigation into the conditions of pollution.

(2) The Act on Acquisition of and Compensation for Land, etc. for Public Works shall apply mutatis mutandis to the procedures of use under paragraph (1) or to the compensation for loss, etc.



CHAPTER II PROHIBITION OF OR RESTRICTION ON MANUFACTURE, EXPORTATION, IMPORTATION OR USE OF PERSISTENT POLLUTANTS



Article 13 (Prohibition of, or Restriction on, Manufacture, Exportation, Importation, or Use of Persistent Pollutants)

(1) No person shall manufacture, export, import, or use banned persistent pollutants (referring to the persistent organic pollutants prescribed in Annex A to the Stockholm Convention, however, excluding restricted substances and prohibited substances under Article 32 of the Toxic Chemicals Control Act and pesticides under the Pesticide Control Act; hereinafter referred to as “banned persistent pollutants”): Provided, That the same shall not apply to cases falling under any of the following:

1. Where banned persistent pollutants, the production or use of which is permitted for specific purposes under Annex A to the Stockholm Convention are manufactured, imported, exported, or used for such specific purposes;

2. Where banned persistent pollutants are manufactured, imported, exported, or used for purposes of testing, research or examination.

(2) Those who intend to manufacture, export, import, or use banned persistent pollutants pursuant to the proviso to paragraph (1) shall comply with the standards for control prescribed by Presidential Decree, such as labeling on their containers or packages for safety control.

(3) Restricted persistent pollutants (referring to persistent organic pollutants prescribed in Annex B to the Stockholm Convention and mercury and mercury compounds prescribed in the Minamata Convention, however, excluding restricted chemicals and prohibited chemicals under subparagraphs 4 and 5 of Article 2 of the Chemical Substances Control Act and pesticides under the Pesticide Control Act; hereinafter referred to as “restricted persistent pollutants”) may be manufactured, exported, imported, or used only in any of the following cases: Provided, That no mercury emissions from chlor-alkali plants shall be manufactured, exported, imported, or used:

1. Where restricted persistent pollutants are manufactured, imported, exported, or used for purposes under Annex B to the Stockholm Convention;

2. Where restricted persistent pollutants are manufactured, imported, or exported for a purpose other than those for which the manufacture, import, or export is prohibited according to the phase-out date specified in Article 6 of the Minamata Convention and Part 1 of Annex A thereto;

3. Where restricted persistent pollutants are used for a purpose other than those for which the use is prohibited according to the phase-out date specified in Annex B to the Minamata Convention;

4. Where restricted persistent pollutants are manufactured, imported, exported, or used for purposes prescribed by Presidential Decree, such as testing, research or examination.

(4) Those who intend to manufacture, export, import, or use restricted persistent pollutants shall comply with the standards for control prescribed by Presidential Decree, such as labeling on the containers or packages of restricted persistent pollutants for safety control.

(5) A person falling under any of the following subparagraphs shall each time submit an application for export approval, specifying the main use, the country of import, the export volume, etc., and obtain approval from the Minister of Environment as prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment. The same shall also apply to any modification to important matters prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment among those so approved:

1. A person who seeks to export banned persistent pollutants, falling under paragraph (1) 1;

2. A person who seeks to export restricted persistent pollutants, falling under paragraph (3) 1;

3. A person who seeks to export mercury among restricted persistent pollutants, falling under paragraph (3) 2 or 3.



CHAPTER III REGULATION ON DISCHARGE OF PERSISTENT POLLUTANTS



Article 14 (Permissible Discharge Standards)

(1) Permissible discharge standards for persistent pollutants to be discharged from discharge facilities in the form of exhaust gas, waste water, etc. shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment.

(2) When the Minister of Environment intends to legislate or amend the Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment under paragraph (1), he/she shall consult with the head of a related central administrative agency in advance.

(3) A person who operates discharge facilities (hereinafter referred to as "discharge business operator") shall comply with the permissible discharge standards under paragraph (1) (excluding the permissible discharge standards for persistent pollutants in the form of waste water, in cases of persons who operate a zero wastewater discharge facility established under the proviso to Article 33 (1) and (2) of the Water Environment Conservation Act, among the discharge facilities established under subparagraph 2 of Article 15).

(4) When the Minister of Environment prescribes permissible discharge standards under paragraph (1), he/she shall consider whether the environmental standards under Article 10 can be maintained or achieved, whether the technology of reducing persistent pollutants is economical, applicable, etc.


Article 15 (Standards for Installation of Discharge Facilities)

Any person who intends to obtain or file any of the following permits, approval, or reports shall be equipped with the facilities that can meet the permissible discharge standards under Article 14 (hereinafter referred to in “permissible discharge standards”), in addition to the standards for facilities prescribed by the relevant Acts:

1. A permit, report, modification permit, or modification report under Article 23 (1) through (3) of the Clean Air Conservation Act;

2. A permit, report, modification permit, or modification report under Article 33 (1) through (3) of the Water Environment Conservation Act;

3. A permit, modification permit, or modification report for the waste control business under Article 25 (3) or (11) of the Wastes Control Act;

4. Approval, report, modification approval or modification report under Article 29 (2) or (3) of the Wastes Control Act.


Article 16 (Orders of Improvement, Orders of Suspension of Use and Orders of Closure)

(1) Where the level of persistent pollutants discharged from the discharge facilities exceeds the permissible discharge standards, the Minister of Environment may order the use of all or some of the discharge facilities suspended for a period of up to six months, as prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment: Provided, That with respect to discharge facilities prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment, such as the discharge facilities in which the degree of violation of the permissible discharge standards is minor, the Minister of Environment may order the relevant discharge business operator to take measures necessary to lower the discharge density of the persistent pollutants below the permissible discharge standards (hereinafter referred to as “improvement order”), in consideration of the measures necessary for improvement, the period for installation of facilities, etc.

(2) Where a person ordered to suspend use under paragraph (1) fails to comply with such order, or where compliance with the permissible discharge standards is deemed impossible due to the structure of the relevant discharge facilities, deterioration of prevention facilities, etc., the Minister of Environment may order the closure of such discharge facilities.

(3) Where an administrative disposition taken to order a discharge business operator the suspension of use under paragraph (1) or the closure under paragraph (2) becomes final and conclusive, the Minister of Environment may announce the name of the relevant discharge facility and the details of the offense and disposition, as prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment.


Article 17 (Disposition of Penalty Surcharges)

(1) Where the Minister of Environment has to order suspension of use under Article 16 (1) to a discharge business operator and where such suspension of use of facilities is deemed likely to substantially hinder the national economy and other public interests, such as the livelihood of residents, external credibility, employment, commodity prices, etc., he/she may impose a penalty surcharge not exceeding 300 million won in place of an order of suspension of use.

(2) The criterion for penalty surcharges according to the kind, scale, etc. of discharge facilities and other necessary matters shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.

(3) Where a discharge business operator fails to pay the penalty surcharge under paragraph (1) within the deadline, the Minister of Environment shall collect it in the same manner as delinquent national taxes are collected: Provided, That the authority of the Minister of Environment to impose and collect a penalty surcharge has been delegated to a Mayor/Do Governor, it may be collected in the same manner as delinquent local taxes are collected.

(4) Penalty surcharges collected under paragraph (1) shall be the revenue of the special accounts for environmental improvement under the Framework Act on Environmental Policy.

(5) Where the Minister of Environment delegates his/her authority to impose and collect a penalty surcharge to a Mayor/Do Governor, he/she may appropriate part of the penalty surcharge collected as expenses of collection, as prescribed by Presidential Decree.


Article 18 (Investigations of Sources of Discharge and Quantity of Discharge)

(1) The Minister of Environment may investigate the discharge sources of persistent pollutants and the discharged quantity thereof nationwide in order to establish and implement the master plan rationally.

(2) The Minister of Environment may request the head of a related agency to submit necessary data or to provide assistance for the investigation of the discharge sources of persistent pollutants and the discharged quantity thereof under paragraph (1). In such cases, the head of the related agency in receipt of such request shall comply therewith except in extenuating circumstances.

(3) Matters concerning the methods and procedures for investigating the discharge sources of persistent pollutants and the discharged amount thereof, methods for calculating the quantity, etc. under paragraph (1) shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment.


Article 19 (Measurement of Persistent Pollutants, Impact Assessment on Surrounding Areas, etc.)

(1) Each discharge business operator shall directly measure persistent pollutants discharged from the relevant discharge facility according to the fair examination standards of environmental pollution under Article 6 (1) 10 of the Environmental Examination and Inspection Act, or request a measuring organization prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment to measure them, and record the result of measurement and preserve it during the period prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment. In such cases, the extent of persistent pollutants, methods for, and frequency of, measurement, and other necessary matters shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment.

(2) A discharge business operator who operates a discharge facility of at least a scale prescribed by Presidential Decree, which is likely to cause serious pollution to the environment of surrounding areas shall investigate the impacts of the operation of the discharge facility on the surrounding areas every three years, independently or jointly, or request a measuring organization prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment to investigate such impacts, and submit the result thereof to the Minister of Environment. In such cases, matters necessary for the method for and extent of investigations, report of the result of investigations, etc. shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment.

(3) Where any discharge business operator fails to perform the duty to measure under paragraph (1) or fails to investigate the impacts under paragraph (2), the Minister of Environment may order the measurement of persistent pollutants or impact assessments upon specifying a period, as prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment.

(4) The Minister of Environment may order discharge business operators who fail to comply with an order issued under paragraph (3) to suspend the use of such discharge facilities or to close them.

(5) The result of measurement under paragraph (1) may be kept and preserved in electronic form pursuant to subparagraph 1 of Article 2 of the Framework Act on Electronic Documents and Transactions.


Article 20 (Emergency Measures and Reporting in Time of Accident, Measures, etc. to Prevent Recurrence)

(1) Where persistent pollutants have been discharged into the air or public waters defined in subparagraph 9 of Article 2 of the Water Environment Conservation Act due to any breakdown or damage of a discharge facility or other accidents, the relevant discharge business operator shall, without delay, take necessary emergency measures according to the guidelines for handling accidents prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment, and remove or dispose of the discharged persistent pollutants promptly and safely.

(2) Where an accident referred to in paragraph (1) has occurred, the relevant discharge business operator shall report the status of the accident to the Minister of Environment without delay.

(3) The Minister of Environment may order the discharge business operator of the discharge facility in which an accident has occurred to take measures necessary to prevent the spread of the accident or recurrence thereof.



CHAPTER IV DISPOSAL OF WASTES CONTAINING PERSISTENT POLLUTANTS



Article 21 (Classification, Control, etc. of Wastes Containing Persistent Pollutants)

Wastes containing persistent pollutants shall be deemed controlled wastes as defined in subparagraph 4 of Article 2 of the Wastes Control Act.


Article 22 (Standards for Disposal, etc. of Wastes Containing Persistent Pollutants)

Those who intend to collect, transport, keep or dispose of wastes containing persistent pollutants shall comply with the standards and methods prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment.


Article 23 (Restriction on Recycling)

(1) Any person who intends to recycle wastes containing persistent pollutants shall recycle such wastes only for the kinds and uses prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment for eco-friendly recycling.

(2) Deleted.

(3) The Minister of Environment may order a person who recycles wastes containing persistent pollutants, for the kinds and uses, other than those prescribed in paragraph (1), to suspend the use thereof, or to close the relevant facility.



CHAPTER V CONTROL OF INSTRUMENTS, ETC. CONTAINING PERSISTENT POLLUTANTS



Article 24 (Making List of Contaminated Implements, etc.)

The Minister of Environment may make a list of instruments, facilities, and products containing persistent pollutants exceeding a level set out in the standards prescribed by Presidential Decree (hereinafter referred to as "contaminated implements, etc.") in order to prevent hazards to the human body.

[This Article Wholly Amended by Act No. 11263, Feb. 1, 2012]

Article 24-2 (Reporting, etc. on Implements, etc. Subject to Control)

The owner of an instrument, facility, or product prescribed by Presidential Decree, such as a transformer (hereinafter referred to as "implements, etc. subject to control"), shall report the matters prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment, such as the manufacturer, date of manufacture, and replacement of insulating oil, to the competent Mayor/Do Governor. The same shall also apply to any modification to important matters prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment among the reported matters, such as replacement of insulating oil.

[This Article Newly Inserted by Act No. 11263, Feb. 1, 2012]

Article 24-3 (Restriction on Importation and Exportation of Implements, etc. Subject to Control)

No person shall import or export any implements, etc. subject to control containing insulating oil, the concentration of persistent pollutants of which exceeds a level set out in the standards prescribed by Presidential Decree.

[This Article Newly Inserted by Act No. 11263, Feb. 1, 2012]


Article 25 (Safety Control of Contaminated Implements, etc.)

(1) The owner of contaminated implements, etc. shall take the following safety control measures:

1. Indication of cautions for safety;

2. Attaching an identification device to verify whether they are contaminated.

(2) Detailed matters necessary for the safety control measures under paragraph (1) shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment.

(3) Where the owner of contaminated implements, etc. fails to take the safety control measures under paragraphs (1) and (2), the competent Mayor/Do Governor may order such owner to take measures necessary for safety control by specifying a period, as prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment.


Article 26 (Deadline for Disposal of Contaminated Implements, etc.)

The owner of contaminated implements, etc. who has finished using such implements shall properly dispose of them in accordance with the standards and methods provided in Article 22 within the deadline prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment.




[Source: Korea Law Translation Center, https://elaw.klri.re.kr/kor_mobile/viewer.do?hseq=50758&type=sogan&key=16]