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A Study for Developing an Integrated Air Quality(Ozone and PM2.5) Management Framework in Seoul

WoonSoo KimㆍSangyoung ShinㆍJeong-Ah Kim

Based on air quality monitoring statistics from the air quality network in Seoul until 2017, one of the dominant air pollutant episodes affecting citizens’ health condition is closely related to both ozone (O3) at ground level and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentration. In Seoul, O3 and PM2.5 pollution, as major air pollutants that exert significant effects on human health, would not be easily reduced, despite great implementation of policy options for emission reduction. Analysis shows that the city of Seoul now encounters quadruple difficulty in dealing with increasing pattern of average O3 concentrations, occurrence of spatially hot spot episodes, high relative risk of human health, and additive impacts of urban climate change. In addition, as the concentrations of fine PM increase, visibility deceases, making the control of fine PM a crucial component of haze reduction programs in Seoul.

The objective of this study was to provide Seoul’s overall process for developing an integrated air quality (Ozone and PM2.5) management framework. Developing strategies of air quality management in Seoul however would be a difficult task because formation of air pollutants is interdependent and air quality at different locations may have different responses to emissions from common sources. Hence, to prepare an integrated strategy for air quality management, empirical analysis is conducted to determine the formation of O3 and PM2.5 mechanism in Seoul thorough air quality monitoring data. Moreover, to suggest policy options, integrated management system is proposed based on conceptual model.

To address the issue of integrated air quality management, empirical analysis is implemented to test a strategy of integrated management of O3 and PM2.5 pollution simultaneously. Reduction of VOCs and NOx pollutants from various emission sources separately is also examined, which mean there may be a decrease in average concentration of ozone level. Considering the interaction of PM2.5 and O3 air compound pollution over air shed, it is important to consider quantification of the enhanced effectiveness of NOx control from simultaneous reduction of VOCs pollutants from the air in Seoul.

Finally, with a view to alleviating harmful health impact from O3 and PM2.5 pollution, the following multi-pollutant planning directions to O3 and PM2.5 episodes would be required. 1) Preparation of a document guiding Seoul on developing an integrated air quality (O3 and PM2.5) management. 2) Modification of integrated system for air quality management: Installment & operation of O3 and PM2.5 monitoring stations to observe the formation of pollution concentration and survey & establishment of micro-level emission inventory. 3) Provision for O3 and PM2.5 episodes alert/warning system, following multi-pollutant planning strategies. 4) Establishment of governance system to promoting actual status related to Ozone and PM2.5 implementation. Consideration should be given to how to consult key stakeholders so that their input and interests are included in the current state assessment, thereby engaging stakeholders in creating a solution to a problem and the process of developing O3 and PM2.5 management plan.