Israel: Thousands of hazardous materials containers found near residential area

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Some of the hazardous materials containers (Foto: Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection)

Jerusalem, Israel — The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) has begun focused enforcement activities in Or Yehuda, where thousands of hazardous materials containers were being stored without a permit. The enforcement actions began on July 6, 2017, after the containers were found in a compound near a residential neighborhood. Inspectors also found hazardous materials waste, as well as different businesses that were operating without a business license and were in violation of serious environmental offenses.

The State Prosecutor’s Office, the Israel Police, the National Planning and Building Unit, the Israel Tax Authority, the Israel Fire and Rescue Services, the Israel Land Authority, and others took also part in the enforcement actions.

Both full and empty containers were found on the 7 dunam compound in Or Yehuda. The hazardous materials in the containers included acetone, acetic acid and isopropanol. These materials, when improperly stored and treated and when held without a permit, are a danger to the public and to the environment.

Following MoEP demands, the owner of the area cleared the hazardous materials that constituted an immediate danger, and an authorized party took responsibility for them. The Ministry will work to ensure removal of the rest of the hazardous substances to an appropriate site.

The compound also included a garage, horse stables, and other businesses that were operating without a business license. In addition, numerous waste heaps were found, and severe soil contamination was identified. MoEP representatives took samples from the soil and the effluents, and actions will be taken in accordance with the findings.

The MoEP looks severely at this illegal conduct and actions and has begun enforcement proceedings against those responsible for violations of the Hazardous Substances Law, the Maintenance of Cleanliness Law, the Water Law, and the Business Licensing Law.

Source: Ministry of Environmental Protection, State of Israel