The Department of Environment is preparing a scheme that aims to classify various industrial sectors across Tehran Province under a three-colored scheme depending on the amount of pollutants they emit.
The proposal to classify industries under red, orange and green is part of ongoing efforts to curb the worsening air pollution, IRNA reported.
“A third of all factories in the country are concentrated in and around Tehran, most of which are over 50 years old” and in dire need of renovation, Mohammad Hadi Heydarzadeh, head of the Tehran DOE, was quoted as saying by the news agency.
The official did not explain what level of emissions the colors would represent.
Based on the scheme, industries classified as red are highly-polluting and must be moved out of the province, while a yellow color indicates that the plants must be renovated and use modern technology to reduce emissions. The green color signifies industries whose emissions are within acceptable limits.
“Industries classified as yellow will cease to operate until they implement the necessary changes,” Heydarzadeh said.
Officials and experts agree that the province’s industrial capacity maxed out long ago. The DOE has reportedly moved 20 factories out of the overcrowded metropolis in the past two years, and there are plans to shift another 100 factories, with cement plants at the top of the list.
The Financial Tribune’s request for comment regarding what factories have been moved out of Tehran was not immediately returned by the DOE.
Heydarzadeh said the plan, which is expected to take between five and 10 years to implement, will most likely be funded by the National Environment Fund, which resumed operation last September after a 10-year hiatus.
While exhaust fumes from five million cars make up 80% of Tehran’s pollution, factories are also blamed for exacerbating the problem. However, Afshar Fat’hollahi, deputy for industrial affairs at the Ministry of Mines, Industries and Trade said last December that industrial activity in and around the capital hardly contribute to 5% of the pollution crisis.
“The DOE inspects industrial facilities and they have not shut down any factory recently. They only sent warnings to cement factories in western Tehran, but the issues were resolved quickly,” he told ISNA without elaboration.
In 2013 the DOE enforced regulations that no industrial facility can be built in a 120-kilometer radius in Tehran, which was all but ignored during the tenure of the former administration, according to Esmael Kahrom, a senior advisor to DOE chief Massoumeh Ebtekar.