First Ever Environmental Assessment Act Under Review

First Ever Environmental Assessment Act Under ReviewFirst Ever Environmental Assessment Act Under Review

For the first time in Iran, a bill establishing the legislative basis for the practice of environmental assessment has been prepared and is currently under review, an official announced.

“In line with the Department of Environment’s priorities in the new Iranian year, we have prepared a bill outlining measures that need to be taken to ensure the protection of the environment,” Hamid Jalalvandi, deputy head of the environmental assessment office of the Department of Environment (DoE), was reported as saying by ILNA.

Up to this date, only clauses in the second, third, and forth five-fear economic development plans addressed the issue of environmental assessment of projects, it lacked a strong legal basis to guarantee implementation. As a result, most project managers and investors did not feel obliged to go through proper evaluation of the projects’ environmental impacts, Jalalvandi said.

Should the bill be approved, it will enable the government to issue permits approving the projects’ environmental compliance.  “Moreover, those who violate the law will be penalized,” he added.

At the moment, 51 projects are awaiting their environmental assessment. Once compliance with environmental regulations is approved, construction permits will be granted.

Another DoE priority for the new year is the implementation of Green Management program in state organizations, noted Jalalvandi, adding that the program aims to optimize the allocation of finances by managing the use of water, power, paper, and waste production in organizations.

The issue has also been addressed in the budget bill for 1394 (started March 21). Pilot organizations which take part in the program are required to present annual reports.

The Green Management program is highly emphasized in the country’s Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2011 - 2016) and the implementation indices for it have been defined by the government. “We intend to further highlight the issue in the sixth plan,” stressed Jalalvandi.