A business specializing in environmental construction is a business that specializes in construction work related to the design and construction of air pollution prevention facilities, water quality pollution prevention facilities and noise/vibration prevention facilities. In order to engage in this business, a registration must be made at the city mayor or provincial governor's office. Foreigners or foreign corporations must also register its business specializing in environmental construction in order to conduct this business.
The Ministry of Environment has secured funds to nurture environmental companies and offers such companies funds in the form of long-term, low-interest loans, so that such funds can be invested for the promotion of green businesses, green facilities and green management in the field of green industries that contribute to solving environment and climate problems and create jobs.
– The criteria for classification of an industry as an environmental industry is based on the industries and items pursuant to the "Special Classification of the Environmental Industry." If a business is conducted based on various environment-related technologies, patents, or approvals and permits, foreign-invested companies can also receive loan assistance as a domestic environment-related business.
According to the Water Environment Conservation Act, wastewater treatment business refers to the system in which business sites with low wastewater discharge volume consign the treatment of wastewater that they generate to a specialized treatment business without building their own water pollution prevention facility.
– In Korea, small-scale businesses such as photograph processing facilities and plating facilities account for 91 percent of the total wastewater generating businesses, but such businesses only account for a small portion (7 percent) of the total discharged wastewater.
– In this regard, the wastewater treatment business system is operated to alleviate the burden of small-scale businesses’ waste treatment costs and to effectively manage wastewater.
◎ Wastewater treatment businesses can be classified into consigned wastewater treatment businesses equipped with wastewater treatment facilities that treat consigned wastewater by regeneration, reuse, etc., and wastewater reclamation businesses that regenerate or use consigned wastewater as raw materials and materials of products.
◎ "Strategic environmental impact assessment" means an assessment conducted to determine the feasibility of a plan, the appropriateness of a site location, etc. from an environmental perspective by verifying whether the plan conforms to the relevant environmental conservation plan and by developing and analyzing alternatives to promote sustainable development of national land when it is intended to formulate a plan that has an environmental impact.
◎ The plans subject to strategic environmental impact assessment are classified into 'government plan' and 'master development plan', and are prescribed under Article 9 of the Environmental Impact Assessment Act and Table 2 of the Enforcement Decree of the same Act.
– Government plan: A plan that generally indicates the basic directionsetting for, or guidelines for, the development and conservation of all or some national land (33 plans in 9 fields)
– Master development plan: A plan for the designation of a particular development zone or a plan that is required to be formulated by a specific statute or regulation before formulating an implementation plan to form the basis for a standard for an implementation plan (84 plans in 16 fields)
◎ The strategic environmental impact assessment procedure is as follows:
① Prepare a strategic environment impact assessment report and request consultation
– The head of the administrative agency who intends to formulate a government plan shall draw up a strategic environmental impact assessment report and request a consultation with the Minister of Environment. When requesting a consultation, he/she shall give preliminary administrative notice pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act.
– The head of the administrative agency who intends to formulate a master development plan shall draw up a draft and gather consensus from the head of the relevant administrative agency and residents of the assessed area and draw up a strategic environmental impact assessment report reflecting the consensus and request a consultation with the Minister of Environment.
◎ However, in the case of a master development plan formulated through a suggestion of a person other than an administrative agency, the person who made the suggestion shall draw up a draft and submit it to the head of the administrative agency formulating the master development plan.
– The head of the administrative agency formulating the government plan or master development plan that requires approval shall draw up a strategic environmental impact assessment report and submit it to the head of the approving authority, and the head of the approving authority shall request a consultation with the Minister of Environment before approving the plan.
② Notification and implementation of matters of consultation
– The Minister of Environment shall, within 30 days of receiving a request for consultation (40 days where the period is extended for unavoidable reasons), inform the details of the consultation that was conducted to the head of the relevant administrative agency.
③ Implementation of consultation matters that were notified
– The head of the relevant administrative agency shall take the necessary measures to reflect the consultation matters that were reported into the relevant business plan, and report the Minister of Environment of the results.
◎ In accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Act, environmental impact assessment means the provision of a plan to avoid, eliminate or reduce damaging environmental impact by making an advance investigation, prediction and evaluation of the impact a project or business can have on the environment. This is conducted when providing a permit, approval, license or decision “approval, etc.”) of execution plans that can have an impact on the environment.
◎ The projects subject to environmental impact assessment are classified into 81 subcategories in 17 categories such as urban development, and are prescribed in Article 22 of the Environmental Impact Assessment Act and attached Table 3 of the Enforcement Decree of the same Act.
◎ The environmental impact assessment procedure is as follows: ① Prepare a draft environment impact assessment report – The project implementer must prepare a draft of the environmental impact assessment report and collect the opinions of the residents.
② Prepare the environmental impact assessment report and request launch of consultation
– A project implementer that should receive an approval, etc. shall prepare an environmental impact assessment report and submit it to the head of the approving authority. The head of the approving authority must request consultation with the Minister of Environment.
– A project implementer that does not require approval shall prepare an environmental impact assessment report and submit it to the Ministry of Environment.
③ Notification and implementation of matters of consultation
– The Minister of Environment must notify the head of the approval authority or project implementer (“head of the approval authority, etc.") within 45 days from the date of receiving a request for consultation (for unavoidable cases, the period can be extended to 60 days) of the details of the consultation that was conducted.
④ Implementation and report of consultation matters that were notified
– The head of the approving authority, etc. shall take the necessary measures to reflect the consultation matters that were reported into the relevant business plan. When an approval or confirmation has been made for a business plan, the results shall be reported to the Minister of Environment.
In 2015, the international community adopted the Paris Agreement as a replacement and follow-up to the Kyoto Protocol. The Agreement laid the foundation for the launch of the new climate regime participated by all parties to the Convention by 2021.
◎ Consequently, the Korean government established national greenhouse gas reduction goals for 2030, and submitted the plan to the international community before the launch of the new climate regime. In order to achieve national greenhouse gas reduction goals stipulated by domestic law*, Korea is making its best efforts to contribute to the successful settlement of the new climate regime, such as establishing and implementing greenhouse gas reduction roadmaps through emissions trading, target management and other policy measures.
The classification of waste treatment business for the collection, transport, recycling or disposal of wastes is prescribed by Article 25(5) of the Wastes Control Act and the operational details by each category of business shall be as follows:
– Waste collection and transportation business: A business that either collects wastes and transports them to a recycling or treatment facility or collects and transports wastes to export them
– Interim waste disposal business: A business that specializes in interim disposal wastes, such as disposal by incineration, physical, chemical or biological disposal, or any other disposal in a manner acknowledged and publicly notified by the Minister of Environment as a safe way to intermediately dispose of wastes, with facilities for interim disposal of wastes
– Terminal waste disposal business: A business that specializes in final disposal of wastes, such as landfills (excluding discharging into the sea) with facilities for final disposal of wastes
– General waste disposal business: A business that performs both interim and final disposal of wastes with facilities for interim and final disposal of wastes
– Interim waste recycling business: A business that manufactures intermediately processed wastes with facilities for recycling of wastes
– Terminal waste recycling business: A business that performs the recycling of intermediately processed wastes in accordance with the principles of recycling wastes or matters to be observed under Article 13-2, with facilities for recycling of wastes
– General waste recycling business: A business that conducts both interim recycling business and terminal recycling business with facilities for recycling of wastes
In regard to the collection, transport and recycling of waste that is exported or imported, the Wastes Control Act or the Act on the Promotion of Saving and Recycling of Resources is applied.
◎ Therefore, when intending to collect, transfer and export wastes, a permission for waste collection and transfer pursuant to Article 25 of the Wastes Control Act should be obtained. Where interim waste treatment is required, a permission for interim waste treatment business should be acquired.
◎ In addition, where a permission to import wastes is obtained, the imported wastes should be treated by the importer or commissioned to a legitimate treatment entity in accordance with Article 18-3 of the Act on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes.
The guarantee of treatment of abandoned waste is a system to prevent the abandonment of waste by waste treatment business entities specializing in industrial wastes and persons who have filed a report on waste treatment pursuant to Article 40 of the Wastes Control Act. Under the system, waste treatment business entities, etc. form a mutual aid association for waste treatment business and choose either of the following measures: pay a certain amount of contribution to the mutual aid association so that the association can treat the abandoned wastes of its members; or purchase an insurance policy covering the cost of waste treatment. The purpose of this system is to guarantee the treatment of abandoned waste that may be generated from the default or business closure of waste treatment business entities.
"Household chemical products that require safety check" are household chemical products that are recognized as having risk as a result of risk evaluation and designated and publicly announced as such by the Minister of Environment. As of the end of June 2020, 39 items including cleaners and laundry detergents have been designated and announced. Also, to manufacture or import such products of which the safety standards have been publicly announced, a confirmation of conformity by a testing or inspection agency is required.
◎ When a household chemical product that requires safety check received confirmation of conformity with safety standards, a report should be filed to the President of the Korea Environmental Industry & Technology Institute (KEITI). To manufacture or import household chemical products for which safety standards have not been publicly announced, an approval of the President of the National Institute of Environmental Research should be obtained.