People, Environment

DOE: No Leniency for Polluting Industries

DOE: No Leniency for Polluting IndustriesDOE: No Leniency for Polluting Industries

The Department of Environment will show no leniency toward industrial units that exceed their pollution limits in winter, an official at the Department of Environment said.

“Factories and other industrial units found to be in violation of emissions rules will be  punished and should not expect leniency from the department … We’re not going to appease them,” Saeed Motessadi, a deputy head at DOE, told ISNA.

Tehran’s air quality plummeted to dangerous levels last month, prompting officials to launch what they refer to as an “emergency pollution monitoring” scheme, which involves “24/7 monitoring of industrial facilities”.

“We’ll continue this scheme until the end of winter,” he added.

The sudden drop in air quality, which usually occurs in December, is blamed on a phenomenon known as temperature inversion, during which cold air underpins warm air at higher altitude, leading to the entrapment of air pollutants in the city, which causes heavy smog.

“While this is a natural phenomenon, it is clear that human activities exacerbate the problem,” Motessadi said. “We must reduce our contribution to the problem.”

Home to 12 million people, Tehran is one of the most polluted cities in Iran whose problem mainly stems from the 3-5 million cars that ply its streets and contribute a whopping 70-80% of pollution to the city’s environmental woes. 

By some estimates, nearly 30% of the country’s industrial units are located in and around Tehran, which play a part in worsening the metropolis’ ongoing pollution crisis.

Motessadi, who regularly criticizes the 2009 regulation that allows municipalities to collect green tax from industries, renewed calls for a change in policy that would let the DOE collect the levy.

“The tax is meant to be spent on projects that help reduce air pollution, such as developing the public transport system, but municipalities use the money on other activities,” he said, without elaborating.

According to Article 38 of Value Added Tax Law, polluting industries are charged 1% of their annual revenue as environmental (or pollution) tax. 


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