Environmental department files suit

Erbil cracks down on tire burning for scrap metal

ERBIL — The Erbil environmental department has filed a lawsuit against an individual accused of burning tires to extract and sell scrap metal, in a practice deemed an environmental crime under the Kurdistan Region’s laws.

Burning tires releases toxic fumes and is prohibited under Environment Protection and Improvement Law No. 8 of 2008. The law prescribes penalties ranging from a minimum of one month imprisonment to fines ranging between 150,000 Iraqi dinars ($115) and 200 million dinars ($153,000) for violations. Repeat offenders face doubled penalties.

Dilshad Hussein Hirani, director of the environmental department, said the  agency took legal action after discovering a video on social media showing an individual burning a large number of tires.

“This individual not only burned the tires, but also encouraged others to engage in this illegal activity,” Hirani said.

Burning tires is a method that can be used to extract metal for sale to scrap dealers. On April 5, the Erbil environmental department warned scrap dealers against buying such metal, aiming to curb the practice, which causes significant environmental pollution.

Hirani said teams have visited scrap yards, particularly along the Makhmur-Mamzawa route, where tire-burning continues.

“We’ve informed the scrap dealers that under no circumstances should they purchase this metal from anyone, or they face severe penalties,” he said.

Violators who disregard the notice and purchase metal from burned tires could face fines of up to 8 million Iraqi dinars ($6,100) and potential legal action.

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