Chemical firms manipulate fine dust emission data

Apr 18, 2019, 09:14 am

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By AsiaToday reporter Cho Sang-eun 

LG Chem, Hanwha Chemical and several other companies operating factories mostly in the Yeosu Industrial Complex have been caught illegally emitting air pollutants. 

The Ministry of Environment and the Youngsan River Basin Environmental Office revealed Wednesday that the companies colluded with firms offering services measuring air pollutants – such as sulfur oxides – to deceive the government.

The Youngsan River Basin Environmental Office has investigated 13 firms offering air pollutant measuring services in Gwangju and South Jeolla Province since March last year, confirming that many companies in the Yeosu Industrial Complex plotted with four measurement agencies in fabricating data on air pollutant emissions. 

The four measurement agencies are Jigu Environment Corporation, Joungwoo N-Tech, Dongbu Green Environment, and Aerix.

These agencies were found to have manipulated relevant data or made false records in accordance with requests by 235 chemical factories located in the Yeosu Industrial Complex over the past four years.

According to the Youngsan River Basin Environmental Office, the four issued a total of 8,843 reports without actually measuring any emissions.

In addition, they were found to have manipulated 4,253 measurement records to lower the level of air pollutants.

There were 1,667 cases of manipulating records on the emission of certain hazardous substances such as vinyl chloride.

Among them, there was a case where records on the emission of a specific atmospheric pollutant were manipulated so as to show no problem even though it was discharged at levels 173 times higher than the standard.

By manipulating the results of the tests, companies avoided fines on emissions of sulfur oxides.

Those in such a relationship with the four agencies include LG Chem, Hanwha Chemical, SNNC, Daehan Cement, and Namhae Environment. 

The environment ministry forwarded its conclusions on the four measurement agencies and six companies emitting air pollutants to the prosecution office in Gwangju on Monday, and requested administrative punishment to the local government.

“As manipulating measured values and making false records destroy the basis of air pollution reduction policy, we will deal with the matter in strict fairness,” a ministry official said.

With growing public concern about the health risks posed by fine dust air pollution, many people are shocked that industry leader LG Chem and its rival Hanwha Chemical illegally released air pollutants. 

#manipulate #fine dust emission #LG Chem #Hanwha Chemical #measurement 
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