People, Environment

Need for Permanent Assessment Laws

Need for Permanent Assessment LawsNeed for Permanent Assessment Laws

The rejection of the environmental assessment bill by the ninth Majlis (2012-16) has created a legal gap, making it hard to provide a conclusive answer in legal cases.

The only related rules are included in the Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2011-2016), which are insufficient and ambiguous, according to a senior environment official.

The bill was meant to create a permanent law regarding the environmental effects of construction projects and put an end to temporary laws in development plans, ILNA reported.

“We are attempting to bring the bill before the sitting parliament again in a new framework,” said Hamidreza Jalalvandi, the head of Environmental Assessment Office at the Department of Environment.

He added that the revised environmental assessment rules set out in a more detailed manner in the next economic development plan will temporarily fill the legal vacuum, but “the lack of a permanent law will remain a problem”.   

Environmental assessment regulations provide a practical means of protecting the environment while ensuring the country achieves its sustainable development goals.

“The rejection of the bill by legislators may have stemmed from the department’s hardline (but necessary) stance against projects that failed to comply with environmental regulations,” he said.    

Even though the environmental rules outlined in the next development plan have considerably improved, Jalalvandi noted that the bill would have been much more effective if it included a whole chapter on punitive actions against violators.