Israel: Action plan to reduce hazardous materials and other environmental risks

Source: ​Ministry of Environmental Protection, Israel

Jerusalem, Israel – The Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) has introduced its proposal for an action plan to reduce air pollution and environmental risks in Haifa Bay. The main goal of the 5-year, NIS 330 million plan is to significantly improve the quality of life of Haifa Bay residents and to protect their health. This will be achieved by reducing emissions from all sectors in the area. In addition, a first-ever in Israel: A low-emission zone will be created, which will be restricted to diesel vehicles. And – among others – the ministry will organize measures to reduce risks from hazardous materials.

This includes:

  1. Conducting an integrated risk assessment to understand the risks to the population in the event of an emergency incident in a factory, war or an earthquake, or during the transfer of hazardous materials. The MoEP is responsible for publishing survey results within six months.
  2. Removing hazardous material facilities from Haifa Bay by providing suitable alternatives for their locations.
    • An ammonia factory is set to be established in the southern Negev region by 2019, which will allow for removal of the ammonia storage tank in Haifa Bay.
    • The Finance Ministry is reviewing the feasibility of establishing a new gas farm, which would allow for the removal of fuel barrel from Kiryat Haim and Hof Shemen.
    • The Elcon Recycling Center is expected to move to Naot Hovav by the end of 2015.
    • Frutarom is expected to move from Haifa Bay by 2016.
  3. To date, there is no plan for the storage and treatment of the large amount of condensate in the Leviathan natural gas field in the Mediterranean. Condensate is a volatile ultralight oil that is mostly a gas underground, but condenses into a liquid when pumped to the surface. In accordance with MoEP policies as detailed in this action plan, the ministry opposes establishment of a facility in Haifa Bay to store, treat, and refine condensate, if it should be determined that such a facility would increase VOC emissions beyond maximum permitted values detailed in this plan.
  4. A project is underway to establish a new recreational park on the banks of the Kishon River, and to clean up the seven most downstream kilometers of the river, which have long been plagued by pollution originating from both industrial effluents and municipal wastewater. The MoEP is working with the Ministries of Finance, Transportation, Defense, and Interior, as well as local authorities, to plan and establish this park.

Source: Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection