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Home > Outline of Japan's Industrial Pollution Abatement > Approaches to Air pollution Control (Case Study-1) Yokkaichi City, Mie prefecture > (4) Introduction of the Areawide Total Pollutant Emission Regulation System ( 1972)

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Update:April 1, 2010

(4) Introduction of the Areawide Total Pollutant Emission Regulation System ( 1972)

2.The Advance of Environmental Pollution Control Policy

Since around 1968, when the Air Pollution Control Law was enacted, the use of tall chimney-stacks had been promoted by staged tightening of ground concentration control. However, in Yokkaichi, where stacks with enormous flue-gas emission are densely built up, interaction of these stacks prevented S02 concentration from declining in specific areas. To overcome this situation completely, Mie Prefecture introduced a more effective system - the Areawide Total Pollutant Emission Regulation System - that was to suppress the total amount of S02 emission in a specified area within the permissible limit. In the execution of the system, the maximum allowable level of S02 concentration to protect human health (0.017ppm) was initially established, then the volume of S02 to be emitted from each designated stack was estimated through computer simulation. On the basis of the above, a permissible limit of total emission was decided for each stationary source. Mie Prefecture, preceding other places in Japan, introduced the system in 1972 through amendment of the Mie Prefecture Pollution Control Ordinance.
Conventional control of SO2 emission had been imposed under the national law, applying uniform standards toward every region regardless of its local characteristics and did not sufficiently function in highly-polluted areas such as Kurashiki City and Kawasaki City as well as in Yokkaichi, The Areawide Total Pollutant Emission Regulation System, characterized by two innovative features, i.e., direct execution of the control by the local government and the strong and far-reaching effect in solving pollution problems, has attracted great attention of local communities suffering from persistent air pollution.
The Areawide Total Pollutant Emission Regulation System was later incorporated into the national regulation. In the Air Pollution Control Law, for example, the system has been applied to the control of SOx and NOx emissions, Because of this system which guided private enterprises to take various control efforts such as the introduction of high-quality fuels containing less sulfur and flue-gas desulfurization process, air pollution gradually declined.