Emergency fine dust reduction measures imposed in Seoul for fourth time this year

Spring in Korea means perfect weather for
outings with picturesque scenery provided by blooming flowers. That’s the way it should be, but reality is
far from that. With fine dust levels peaking, the government
imposed its anti-dust emergency measures for the fourth time in 2018. Kim Mok-yeon zooms in on the situation. As the average fine dust level in Seoul peaked
at a record high of 99 micrograms per cubic meter on Sunday, the capital city, along with
Incheon and Gyeonggi-do province,… announced that it is implementing emergency fine-dust
reduction measures for fourth time this year on Monday, and those measures will be extended
until Tuesday. The measures include holding an alternating
no-driving day, closing nearly 500 public parking lots and operating air cleaning trucks
during the day to clean the dust from the streets. “But this time around, the city had to cancel
its public transport fee waiver during rush hours, as concerns have been raised over its
cost-effectiveness since it was last implemented in January.” The environment ministry also announced that
beginning Tuesday, it would lower the current threshold for ultra fine dust levels to be
classified as “bad”… from the current 50, to 35 micrograms per cubic meter per day,…
which is on par with that of the U.S. and Japan. But despite such efforts, many citizens say
they are suffering as a result of the pollution. “I didn’t wear a mask yesterday and my throat
was very soar, so I had to buy one today” “It’s really bothersome that I have to wear
masks these days because of the fine dust. I hope the government can come up with an
effective solution.” An environment expert pointed out that the
current government measures need to be further developed to obtain visible results. “As of now, we don’t have any coercive measures
backed up by the law, just some partial countermeasures that ask for public participation, so I think
the current measures are not very effective.” He said that in order to deal with the problem,
mandatory regulations should first be created, which can then be boosted through active participation
from the public. Kim Mok-yeon, Arirang News.

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