From the early 1980s, a simple fee for non-compliance with pollution non-compliance has been in operation in Korea. Before 1986, the Ministry of Environment could levy the charge only if the pollutor continued to violate standards after the issuing of an improvement order. Since 1986, if the permitted emission levels are exceeded the levy is automatic (O'Connor, 1998). Since the charge was introduced by an administrative act, it could be implemented with minimum delay.
Ten air pollutants and 15 water pollutants are subject to a charge based on the level of pollution concentration. Since 1995 the charge formula was modified to include total load as well (O'Connor, 1998). Moreover, polluters are now charged once pollution loads exceed 30% of the threshold level. The amount of the charge varies with the location of the facility, the duration of excess discharges and the number of previous violations (O'Connor, 1998: 96).
O'Connor, D., 1998, "Applying economic Instruments in Developing Countries: from theory to implementation", Environmental and Development Economics, 4, 91-112, Cambridge University Press.