Gov't Wants Tougher Measures to Tackle Smog

By Hong Jun-ki | January 18, 2018 12:41

The government is pushing for more measures to combat toxic smog in Seoul.

The Environment Ministry on Wednesday said it will put all cars except commercial vehicles on a rotation of odd and even number plates in and around Seoul on alternate days when an air pollution alert is issued, and will fine violators up to W100,000 (US$1=W1,070).

The idea is to reduce emissions as toxic smog from China hits PM2.5 on the fine-dust concentration scale.

Pedestrians wear masks as haze blankets Seoul on Wednesday. /Yonhap

Some free-market lawmakers grumbled that the rotation is arbitrary and could hurt the economy.

More seriously, others called for improving the prediction of fine-dust concentrations before the measures kick in, given that accuracy currently only stands at 70 percent and the measures could be unnecessary.

Cars with even plate numbers (in red circles) are parked at the government complex in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province on Wednesday.

The rotation is already being implemented for government employees.

The current toxic haze is expected to linger until Friday, a ministry official said, and sandstorms blown over from Inner Mongolia could make things worse.

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