Friday, October 5, 2012

Sanctions Hit Hard on the Environment

Tehran is a city of 8.5 million residents, with more than 14 million inhabitants residing in its greater metropolitan area. In the Tehran City Council we have endeavored to enhance environmental standards for the city by proper legislation, consensus building processes and regulation. We have visited the 22 districts in Tehran and  have seen recycling projects throughout the city.
On Thursday, the Environment Committee visited for the 5th time the Waste Management Organization of the Tehran Municipality. We visited the various projects and discussed time frames, budgetary issues and planning concepts.
The Council had adopted a comprehensive waste management plan in 2008 which is currently underway. Among the major projects involved is a large anerobic digester in Abe Ali in the eastern suburbs of Tehran. This complex will generate 2-4 megawatt/hr of electricity with 300 tons of waste every day. The power generator will go online in a few weeks.
We also visited the first fully standard and high tech incinerator which will also produce electricity when burning the waste. In all cases environmental standards for air pollution are implemented.
We saw the final stages of the large and complex sewerage purification system which will transform a BOD of over 60 thousand to just below 200.
We also visited the mega complexes for waste composting . After 4 years of tireless efforts now 6800 tons of waste are composted in Tehran and the complex will shortly harbor the capacity to accept waste from suburban metropolitan areas.

Capture of methane gas from 30 year brown-fields is also underway. 300 hectares of tree plantations are also created in the  in the 900 hectare waste management complex. This means we will have a small forest in the waste management center of Tehran.
The project directors were present and each reported on the status of the projects. I felt proud to see so many successful efforts underway in the Municipality of Tehran. Progress in each project has been satisfactory except for the adverse effect of sanctions in dealing with the projects related to international cooperation and dealings with abroad. Sanctions have hit hard on the environmental projects of the complex and they are now suffering setbacks and delays which are all detrimental for our fragile environment. Sanctions are hitting Iran's sustainable development and responsible actions for the protection of the global environment.

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