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Gov't to regulate older diesel cars, thermal plants to tackle fine dust

All News 10:24 June 03, 2016

SEOUL, June 3 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean government said Friday it will toughen restrictions on old diesel vehicles and coal-fired thermal power plants to address public health concerns over fine dust.

Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn said the government plans to limit the entry of old diesel-powered vehicles into the Seoul metropolitan area and shut down coal-powered electric power generation plants that have been in operation for more than 40 years to improve air quality.

The remark came ahead of a meeting with top officials from state agencies, including the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, and the Ministry of Environment.

Fine dust refers to particles that are smaller than 10 micrometers and have been known to cause various respiratory problems while also affecting the body's immune system.

South Korea's ruling Saenuri Party earlier expressed concerns over speculation that the government is considering measures to regulate barbecue shops and increase the price of diesel fuel without getting feedback from the general public.

The latest decision falls shy of raising diesel prices and the levying of so-called environmental improving charges that have been advocated by some ministries.

It, however, rolls back benefits provided by the government to diesel cars, which could trigger public backlash.

colin@yna.co.kr
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