The level of fine dust pollution Monday morning in Seoul, the surrounding Gyeonggi-do Province and Chungcheongnam-do Province was above 35 micrograms per cubic meter, a level considered "bad" on the government's official scale and in the opinion of residents.
"I can see the difference in air quality day by day. I thought yesterday's air quality was bad, but it's even worse today."
Starting Monday, vehicles owned by public institutions have been put on a a two-day rotation system. Cars with even-numbered license places can only be driven on odd-numbered days and vice versa.
Public institutions have also shortened their working hours, while construction sites are taking strict measures to avoid making more dust.
Air quality improved as the day went on, and an official from the environment ministry said this evening that the restrictions are not likely to be imposed tomorrow.
"Many experts say that China is the major cause of South Korea's fine dust pollution. But South Korea is also responsible for it, with the vast amount of car gas emissions."
There's growing recognition that to reduce pollution will require collective, voluntary efforts, and so people are willing to comply.
"Citizens' participation may not bring dramatic change. But if it can bring as much as one percent of improvement and contribute to making better environment for future generations, it is worth the efforts."
The government also launched a nationwide crackdown Monday on vehicle exhaust.
Until November 15th, provincial and city governments will be expanding their roadside inspections of diesel emissions.
Those who refuse the test will be fined about 1,7-hundred U.S. dollars, and those whose cars exceed the limits will be given 15 days to fix them.
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang news.