Mercury Emission Control in Japan

  • Takiguchi, Hiroaki (Environmental Health and Safety Division, Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan (MOEJ)) ;
  • Tamura, Tomonori (Air Environment Division, Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan (MOEJ))
  • 투고 : 2017.09.02
  • 심사 : 2017.09.27
  • 발행 : 2018.03.31


The Minamata Convention on Mercury entered into force on August 16, 2017. It requires Parties to the Convention to control and, where feasible, reduce mercury emissions from the listed sources. To implement the Convention, Japan amended the Air Pollution Control Law and added clauses that force operators to control their mercury emissions below emission limit values (ELVs). The ELVs have been established separately for new and existing sources, targeting the source categories listed in the Convention: coal-fired boilers, smelting and roasting processes used in the production of non-ferrous metals (lead, zinc, copper and industrial gold), waste incineration facilities and cement clinker production facilities. The factors used to establish the ELVs include the present state of mercury emissions from the targeted categories as well as the mercury content in fuels and materials, best available techniques (BATs) and best environmental practices (BEPs) to control and reduce mercury emissions and ELVs or equivalent standards to control mercury emissions in other countries. In this regard, extensive data on mercury emissions from flue gas and the mercury content of fuels and materials were collected and analyzed. The established ELVs range from $8{\mu}g/Nm^3$ for new coal-fired boilers to $400{\mu}g/Nm^3$ for existing secondary smelting processes used in the production of copper, lead and zinc. This paper illustrates the ELVs for the targeted source categories, explaining the rationales and approaches used to set the values. The amended Law is to be enforced on April 1, 2018. From future perspectives, checks of the material flow of mercury, following up on the state of compliance, review of the ELVs and of the measurement and monitoring methods have been noted as important issues.



  1. Air Pollution Control Law (1967) (in Japanese).
  2. Central Environment Council (2016) the first report on implementation of mercury emission control based on the Minamata Convention on Mercury (in Japanese).
  3. European Commission (2013) Best Available Techniques (BAT) Reference Document for the Large Combustion Plants Draft 1 (Working Draft in Progress).
  4. Japan Mining Industry Association (2015) Response to hearing by the Ministry of the Environment.
  5. Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) (1981) JIS K0222 Methods for determination of mercury in stack gas (in Japanese).
  6. Minamata Convention on Mercury (2013).
  7. Ministry of the Environment, Japan (MOEJ) (2016) Bottom sediment measurement method (in Japanese).
  8. MOEJ (2017) Report on monitoring results of hazardous substances in the atmosphere (in Japanese).
  9. United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) (2015) the draft guidance on best available techniques and best environmental practices.
  10. United States of America Federal Register (2015) National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants From Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units and Standards of Performance for Fossil-Fuel-Fired Electric Utility, Industrial-Commercial-Institutional, and Small Industrial-Commercial-Institutional Steam Generating Units; Revisions; Proposed Rule.

피인용 문헌

  1. Mercury Partitioning in Coal-fired Power Plants in Japan vol.97, pp.11, 2018,