This article is brought to you by the Korea Times regarding the transportation of hazardous chemicals over 1 ton.
Manufacturers and importers of more than 1 ton of chemicals deemed to pose risks to people and the environment will be obliged to report them to the government every two years, the Ministry of Environment said Tuesday.
In addition, those involved in the production, sale and circulation of unregistered chemicals will face a jail term of up to five years and a fine of up to 100 million won.
These measures were included in a bill on the registration and monitoring of chemicals the ministry submitted to the National Assembly.
The move came amid growing public anger over the government’s alleged mishandling of a chemical leak from a factory in Gumi, North Gyeongsang Province, which has damaged the ecosystem of nearby villages. Thousands of residents and factory workers are suffering from rashes, headaches and respiratory diseases following the Sept. 27 leak of hydrofluoric acid following an explosion. The government designated affected areas as a special disaster zone on Monday.
Production and circulation of chemicals are governed by the Law on Management of Harmful Chemical Substance, which was enacted in July 2011. Under the law, chemical firms don’t necessarily have to report risks of existing chemicals to authorities. Only chemicals that have been registered since then are currently monitored by authorities.
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