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Wastewater From Petchem Zones Dumped in Persian Gulf

Wastewater From Petchem Zones Dumped in Persian GulfWastewater From Petchem Zones Dumped in Persian Gulf

Wastewater from special economic zones that are home to oil, gas and petrochemical industries mostly end up in the Persian Gulf, a large portion of which is untreated.

Speaking at a seminar on Tuesday to discuss threats to the marine environment, Ziaeddin Almasi, director of Marine Pollution Office at the Department of Environment, said the concentration of key industries in Kharg, Asalouyeh and Mahshahr, all of which have access to the Persian Gulf, is threatening the waterway’s ecosystem, ISNA reported.

“Marine pollution is one of the most pressing problems caused by the concentration of these industries in the three special economic zones,” he said. “Almost all of the wastewater produced in these regions end up in [the Persian Gulf] and not all of it is treated.”

The DOE official said environmental management regulations in these regions, particularly Asalouyeh, is not enforced consistently.

“This is exacerbated by a lack of infrastructure in the area, which has led to the piling up of waste that is chipping away the coral reefs,” he said.

The official said conditions in Mahshahr are not much different, noting that 22 petrochemical units in the zone dump “156,000 cubic meters of wastewater daily into the Persian Gulf”.

Almasi noted that the environmental fallout in Mahshahr is even worse due to the presence of estuaries, which are home to very sensitive species.

“Heavy metals and aromatic hydrocarbons [benzene-rich compounds] can and will enter the food chain and damage the ecosystem,” he said.

The situation is already bad in the Persian Gulf as studies on fish off the coast of Bushehr Province show “concentrations of mercury far above the global average”.

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