The Clean Air Act will be enforced as soon as the regulations are prepared and approved by the Cabinet, the head of the Department of Environment declared.
Speaking in a conference on the implementation of the act held at Tehran’s DOE headquarters on Tuesday, Isa Kalantari added that the department will implement the Clean Air law “at any cost”, ISNA reported.
The law is highly likely to arouse the opposition of groups that will possibly incur losses as a result of restrictions, but Kalantari stressed that his department will stand firm in its implementation.
“Even if it raises an outcry from any automaker, syndicate, guild or factory, we will enforce it,” he said.
Environmental protection laws may hamper production, impede self-sufficiency targets and even lead to job losses.
Kalantari noted that although DEO is responsible for supporting sustainable development and improving the state of employment in the country, it is also tasked with ensuring clean air for everyone as a civil right.
“Based on data from the Health Ministry, some 29,000 people lose their lives every year, thanks to air pollution,” he said, adding that upholding this law is a national duty although challenges may arise.
Kalantari called on the DOE personnel to prepare for a “major confrontation” in the process of enforcing the law.
“Once the law becomes operational, you will be under intense pressure,” he warned.
According to Kalantari, the first group to resist the law will definitely be governor generals followed by lawmakers and governors.
“Provincial DOE directors must hold their ground against these groups. They must not fear or give political and financial enticements to anyone,” he said.
The DOE chief had earlier delegated full authority to the heads of provincial offices to reduce cumbersome bureaucracy and accelerate the procedures of environmental protection.
He noted that provincial directors will not need the approval of DOE headquarters and should waste no time in doing what the law mandates.
Kalantari, who doubles as vice president, emphasized that these laws may not be sufficient to curb environmental problems unless their implementation is guaranteed.
“The enforcement of law is more important than its mere existence,” he said pointing to the law on fair distribution of water passed in 1982 that has not been fully enforced until this day.
“The illegal withdrawal of surface and groundwater resources is only an example of the law being ignored,” Kalantari said.