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Atmospheric Environment

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

Five Environmental Bills Passed by the National Assembly, including the Special Act On The Improvement Of Air Quality In Air Control Zones
  • Date2023-03-17 13:48
  • TypePress Release
  • View142

▷ Environment Ministry established a legal basis to improve environmental quality for the people

□  (Special Act On The Improvement Of Air Quality In Air Control Zones) To postpone the ban on the use of diesel trucks for parcel delivery and diesel school buses within air control zones considering the time to release low-emission vehicles. 


□ (Act On The Promotion Of Saving And Recycling Of Resources) To add accommodation businesses (more than 50 rooms) to the types of business subject to the control of the use of disposable products, to mandate to mark the ratio of using recycled raw materials, to promote local governments' purchase of recycled products


□ (Malodor Prevention Act)  To mandate local governments to designate and manage malodor control zones recommended by the Minister of Environment, after investigating the actual state of occurrence of malodor to strengthen malodor management 


□ (Construction Waste Recycling Promotion Act) To enhance the effectiveness of penalty surcharges, the standard for imposing penalty surcharges instead of business suspensions will be within 5% of sales (up to KRW 200 million), etc. 


□ (Framework Act On Carbon Neutrality And Green Growth For Coping With Climate Crisis) In commissioning Carbon Neutral Green Growth Committee members, ensure that each social group's representativeness, including children, is reflected.


Sejong, March 3 - The Ministry of Environment (Minister Han Wha-jin) announced that five environmental bills were passed in the National Assembly's plenary session on February 27, 2023. These bills include the Act on the Promotion of Saving and Recycling of Resources (Resource Recycling Act), the Special Act on the Improvement of Air Quality in Air Control Zones (Air Quality Control Zone Act), Construction Waste Recycling Promotion Act (Construction Waste Act), Malodor Prevention Act, and the Framework Act on Carbon Neutrality and Green Growth for Coping with Climate Crisis (Framework Act on Carbon Neutrality). The bills will take effect immediately or up to two years after their promulgation, after cabinet resolutions. 


First, the Air Quality Control Zone Act postponed the restriction on using diesel vehicles for parcel delivery services and school buses within air quality control zones initially from April 3, 2023, to January 1, 2024, considering the situation of the semiconductor shortage for automobiles and the time to release emission-free vehicles. As the preparation period for parcel delivery services and automobile industries has been extended to replace diesel cars with low-emission vehicles by adjusting the starting period for restriction, it is expected that replacing with low-emission vehicles that emit fewer air pollutants will reduce ultrafine particles and improve the health of vulnerable groups, such as children. In order to alleviate the industries' concerns about potential crises of parcel delivery services due to the delayed release of low-emission vehicles (electric vehicles, etc.), the bill stipulates an obligation for automakers to cooperate with government requests, such as stopping the production of diesel vehicles for parcel delivery services and school buses or prioritizing the release of low-emission vehicles for parcel delivery services and school buses.


In the Resource Recycling Act, accommodation businesses with more than 50 rooms will be added to the types of business subject to the control of the use of disposable products to accelerate the transition to a plastic-free society. The bill also mandates marking the ratio of using recycled raw materials and promoting local governments' purchase of recycled products. Including the accommodation businesses mentioned above in the types of business subject to the control of the use of disposable products will help reduce disposable items, such as toothbrushes and toothpaste. According to the Resource Recycling Act, consumers can choose whether to use disposable items when they order food for pick-up or delivery using kiosks and delivery apps. Products and containers that use more than a certain percentage of recycled raw materials must indicate the percentage of materials used. The local governments must first consider purchasing these products and containers. According to the bill, the Ministry of Environment should establish and send notifications of guidelines, including information on products and containers using recycled raw materials, how to set purchase targets, and matters related to performance evaluations.


Under the Malodor Prevention Act, the Minister of Environment may recommend designating the malodor control zones in consideration of the results of investigating the actual state of occurrence of malodor to solve the problem that city and provincial governors have not designated those areas as malodor control zones. The local governments' heads must then designate these areas as malodor control zones within one year and manage them strictly unless otherwise there are particular grounds for not designating. The Act will be a legal basis for the central and local governments to provide the financial support necessary to reduce malodor. In the Act, a new regulation was created to strengthen odor management, such as expanding the scope of public environmental facilities subject to a technical diagnosis of malodor. 


The Construction Waste Act set a legal basis for the standard for imposing penalty surcharges instead of business suspensions will be within 5% of sales (up to KRW 200 million) to enhance the effectiveness of penalty surcharges. To expedite the processing of civil complaints, the Act also introduced an automatic report acceptance system in which, if the applicant is not notified of the acceptance of the report within a certain period, the report shall be deemed to have been accepted. 


Lastly, the Framework Act on Carbon Neutrality established a legal basis for reflecting each social group's representativeness, including children, when commissioning Carbon Neutral Green Growth Committee members.


The Ministry of Environment will revise sub-statutes and regulations later to promptly implement the five environmental bills passed by the National Assembly will be implemented in a timely manner.



[Source:Press Release (me.go.kr)]