Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 2014, 2, 25-27
Published Online July 2014 in SciRes.
How to cite this paper: Lee, Y. S., Bae, J. S., & Kang, Y. J. (2014). Korean Atmospheric Environmental Impact Assessment for
Thermal Power Plant. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 2, 25-27.
Korean Atmospheric Environmental Impact
Assessment for Thermal Power Plant
Young Soo Lee*, Ji Su Bae, Yu Jin Kang
Korea Environment Institute, Seoul, South Korea
Email: *,
Received May 2014
Korea has adopted Environmental Impact Assessment (hereafter “EIA”) system for more than 3
decades. There are 74 big projects subject to EIA according to (Environmental Impact Assessment
Law (No. 10892). For thermal power plant of which output is more than 10 MW, EIA must be done
by proponents. To assess impact on atmospheric environment, proponents utilize air dispersion
models and to minimize the adverse impact on air quality, state-of-the-art add-on control tech-
nology is applied.
Thermal Power Plant, Korean Atmospheric EIA Methodology
1. Introduction
Recently, Korea set up many thermal power plant construction plans and those constructions are subjects of EIA
(Table 1).
During EIA negotiation procedures between Ministry of Environment and approval agency (ex. Ministry of
Trade, Industry and Energy of Korea), Korea Environment Institute (hereafter “KEI”) reviews EIA reports, and
gives opinions about power plant construction plans to Ministry of Environment in order to achieve sustainable
There are 6 review categories as follows:
1) Flora and fauna.
2) Atmospheric environment.
3) Water environment.
4) Land environment.
5) Life related environment.
6) Socio-economy environment.
Table 1. Thermal power plant construction plans in Korea.
Year 2010 2011 2012 Nov. 2013 Total
Case 7 15 13 13 48
Y. S. Lee et al.
In Atmospheric Environment, there are 4 review items such as meteorology, air quality, odor, and green
On the other hand, according to (Environmental Health Act (No. 12524)) human health impact due to power
plant must be reviewed in EIA. So, for coal fired power plant, the adverse impact caused by heavy metals like
Cr+6, Cd, Ni, Hg, As, Be on human health is examined.
In this paper, assessment methodology for air quality and human health of Korean EIA will be introduced.
2. Assessment Methodology
2.1. Air Quality
To assess adverse impact on air quality, concentrations of several air pollutants such as SO2, NO2, PM10, PM2.5,
Pb, O3, Benzene are calculated by air dispersion models. CALPUFF is widely used and for O3, CMAQ is used.
Before modeling, meteorological data and emission amount of each air pollutant can be obtained. For meteoro-
logical data, on-site measurement (at least 1 year) and CALPUFF, WRF are used. For emission calculation,
emission factor is used.
2.2. Human Health
To assess impact on human health, risk assessment is carried out. For carcinogenic materials, probability of
cancer occurrence is calculated. The criterion is 106 (1 occasion among million people). For non-carcinogenic
materials, exposure ratio (ER, concentration of each pollutant/standard concentration) is calculated. The crite-
rion is 1. It means that when ER of a material exceeds 1, the adverse impact on health due to that pollutant is an-
ticipated, so, the proponent must reduce the concentration of that pollutant.
By the way, human health impact is examined in Hygiene and Public Health item (not air quality) in whole
EIA review process.
2.3. Mitigation Measures
To reduce SO2, NO2, PM and Heavy metals, wet type FGD (flue gas desulfurization), SCR (Selective Catalytic
Reduction), ESP (Electro Static Precipitator) are commonly used, respectively.
Furthermore, the stack height is usually over 150 m for coal-fired power plant.
2.4. Effect of EIA
After negotiation between Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, maximum
emission concentrations of main pollutants are determined. Usually, those concentrations are more stringent than
those of (Air Environment Conservation Act) (Table 2).
Proponent must meet the concentrations.
3. Conclusion
In this paper, we introduced outline of EIA, methodology of atmospheric impact assessment and mitigation
Table 2. Negotiation concentrations for power plant.
Case SO2 NO2 PM Date
Conc 1* Conc 2** Conc 1 Conc 2 Conc 1 Conc2
Coal A 70 80 60 80 15 20 2005
B 50 35 15 2011
LNG C - - 10 50 - - 2011
D 8 2012
*Conc1 means maximum emission concentration as a result of negotiation. **Conc2 means emission standard regulated by (Air Environment Conser-
vation Act).
Y. S. Lee et al.
measures briefly. In Korea, Ministry of Environment has tried to achieve sustainable development through EIA
and proponents do their best to reduce adverse effect on environment and human health with the aid of state-
of-art add-on technologies for conservation of clean air.
This research is funded by Ministry of Environment of Korea and sponsored by Korea Electric Power Company