People, Environment

TM Refuses to Close Asphalt Factory

TM Refuses to Close Asphalt FactoryTM Refuses to Close Asphalt Factory

A senior member of the Tehran City Council says the municipality has failed to shut an asphalt plant that has been emitting pollutants far above the acceptable limits.

“Despite a warrant for the plant’s closure, the factory is still up and running,” Rahmatollah Hafezi, head of the council’s health committee, was quoted by Mehr News Agency as saying.

The asphalt plant, located in Tehran’s District 18 (in the southwest), is said to “belong to the Tehran Municipality.”

A verbal warning was given to the district mayor last year, but “he said he could not help because the plant is owned by the TM, so we went through the legal channels to get a warrant, but nothing’s happened.”

Hafezi said the municipality has yet to enforce the warrant and demanded the mayor, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, take action because the factory “is of high environmental concern.”

The councilor said the TM has both the means and legal power to monitor polluting industries and shut down those found to be in violation of environmental laws, “but don’t seem keen to carry out their duties when it comes to their own property.”

Recalling industrial activity in District 15 (in the southeast), Hafezi said a recent ban on the activities of two privately-owned stone factories, accused of adding to noise and air pollution, were overturned by the Court of Administrative Justice.

“These excessively polluting plants work from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. and are dangerous to the health of the local residents,” he said and urged the Judiciary to reconsider its controversial verdict.

Last month, the air pollution committee at the Department of Environment imposed a week-long ban on asphalt plants and cement factories in and around Tehran which helped prevent air quality from deteriorating further.