An electronic sign board displays the image of high-polluting vehicles detected on a bridge in Seoul. (Photo: Yonhap News)
The government will launch a national winter season fine dust management program next month aimed at reducing the amount of pollutants released in the air.
The environment ministry announced Monday the program will run from December to March centered on the reduction of vehicle traffic in and around Seoul, cuts in industrial emissions and suspending power generation by coal plants.
This program was first adopted last year to lower domestic fine dust levels during the winter, when they are usually at the highest.
Environment Minister Cho Myung-rae said the seasonal fine dust management system "led to a considerable decrease in the intensity and frequency of occurrence of fine dust."
Under the program, grade 5 emission vehicles without low-emission functionalities will be banned from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. during non-holiday weekdays in Seoul, Gyeonggi Province and Incheon for four months.
Violators will be slapped with a fine of 100,000 won.
Parking fees will also be raised for public parking during the period.
A total of 324 businesses will also participate in the program by cutting emissions of fine dust.
According to the ministry, up to 16 coal plants are expected to halt operations through February, while others plan on maintaining output ceilings at 80 percent.
South Korea aims to cut down ultrafine dust emissions by some 6,729 tons through the first quarter of 2021.
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