Majlis to Review Clean Air Bill After Summer Recess

Majlis to Review Clean Air Bill After Summer RecessMajlis to Review Clean Air Bill After Summer Recess

The Majlis will finally review the Clean Air Bill in August, after it was backlogged for more than a year in the previous parliament (2012-16).

Speaking to Tasnim News Agency, Jabbar Kouchakinejad, deputy chairman of the Majlis environment group, said the bill will be reviewed by the group once the parliament convenes after its summer recess (July 27–August 7). The next session of the parliament will be held on August 8.

“We’ll invite Department of Environment’s chief, Massoumeh Ebtekar, and the mayors of Iran’s eight metropolises to attend our sessions,” he said.

The Clean Air Bill has been stuck in the parliament for an unacceptably long period, especially in light of the rapid degradation of the environment.

According to the World Health Organization and Iran’s Health Ministry, air pollution in Iran’s mega cities is contributing to more than 80,000 premature deaths every year.

The bill aims to impose a tax on owners of polluting vehicles, distribute higher quality gasoline in more cities and overhaul the outdated fuel consumption policies of domestic carmakers.

According to the DOE, the air pollution bill has been gathering dust in the legislature for over a year.

The department has also proposed more frequent technical inspections of vehicles. While the current law stipulates technical inspection of vehicles once every five years, the DOE is pushing for biennial checkups.

This has also been linked to a phenomenon known as temperature inversion—when cold air underlies warmer air at higher altitudes, trapping pollutants within the confines of a city—which worsens air pollution in Tehran and other metropolises.

The bill is expected to help alleviate the problem, but a lot more needs to be done to effectively address the worsening problem. Fumes from more than 3 million cars that ply the streets of the Iranian capital contribute between 70% and 80% to Tehran’s air pollution, while decrepit motorcycles add to the city’s pollution woes.

The government has banned the production of highly-polluting, carburetor-equipped motorcycles from this September and is urging people to opt for eco-friendly electric motorbikes.

  LEZ From October

The highly-anticipated centralized vehicle inspection system, a major component of the Low Emission Zone plan, was prepared last month after the parties involved ironed out the details of the system’s access to people’s data.

The centralized system, which is generally referred to by its Persian acronym SIMFA, was the only remaining obstacle in the way of launching the LEZ plan, as discussions over what type of information can be accessed through the system had delayed its implementation, ISNA reported.

SIMFA enables access to the traffic police database at the Interior Ministry, but due to the importance of data security and protecting people’s personal information from falling into the wrong hands, special attention is being given to the topic.

The LEZ scheme, which was ratified in August 2015 by the High Council for Coordination of Urban Traffic, was supposed to be launched in January but was suspended due to the lack of a centralized system for the technical inspection of cars.

Set to launch in October in Tehran, the LEZ system will prevent vehicles with higher emissions from entering the zones. In some low emission areas, the more polluting vehicles will have to pay a fee if they want to enter the low emission zone.