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State of Israel

Ministry of the Environment


volume 30

Ministry of the Environment

Cover Photo: Electricity Dead Sea

Dror Nush and Air
Quality 12
2005 at a Glance
Environmental achievements in 2005. 3 Dear Reader:
The April 2006 Israel Environment
"Clean Coast" Project: Facts and Figures
Measuring the results of the "Clean Coast" project. 8 Bulletin presents some of the main
environmental issues of 2005. The
first section provides a bird’s eye

Regulating the Electricity Sector
view of key achievements, while
Draft regulations aim to prevent and abate air
pollution from power plants. subsequent pages present an in-
depth look at some major issues
Air Quality in Israel: 2005
A look at air quality trends shows some improvements
and highlights focal points for action.
16 - air quality trends, pollution
abatement in the electricity generation sector, risk
management in the industrial sector, the future of the
Risk Management – Confronting the Challenge
Twenty industrial plants are testing the applicability
of a manual on preventing accidental releases of
18 Dead Sea, exposure to non-ionizing radiation, "Green
Schools" and green army bases.

hazardous substances. Many of the achievements outlined in this bulletin are

attributed to the efforts of former Environment Minister
Confronting the Dead Sea Dilemma
A policy document confronts uncertainties in the
future of the Dead Sea in a scenario of continued
22 Shalom Simhon, who stepped down in November 2005,
due to political developments in Israel and the decision
to hold early general elections. During his service as
water decline.

Environment Minister, Simhon succeeded in substantially
Environmental Units: Serving the Local Population increasing the ministry’s budget which facilitated the
With ten new units, municipal environmental units now promotion of a wide range of environmental actions.
cover 90% of Israel’s land area. These include: open space preservation; national

Soundproofing Schools for a Sound Education cleanliness campaign; reduction of public exposure to
Acoustic treatment of schools and kindergartens in the radiation from cellular base stations; and allocation of
vicinity of Ben-Gurion Airport. additional funds to the Nature and Parks Authority, to
animal welfare projects, to environmental education
Base Station Antennas and the Precautionary Principle

and to a host of other environmental projects on the
Government approves recommendations of a
committee on the siting and licensing of cellular local level.
antennas. Hopefully, in the words of Mr. Shalom Simhon during his
farewell message, the Ministry of the Environment will
Green all Over: From Kindergarten to University

continue to play a major role in "shaping the image of the
The "Green School" project expands to community centers,
kindergartens and college campuses. State of Israel in subjects which are vital for its future."
In January 2006, the government appointed Minister of

Greening the Israel Defense Forces
Presentation of environmental awards to army units, soldiers Internal Security Gideon Ezra to serve as Minister of the
and commanders for environmental projects. Environment until a new government is formed.
To stay updated about environmental developments in

Environmental Legislation
A new law on non-ionizing radiation, amendments to existing Israel, please visit our English website –
laws and new regulations set out to improve the quality of the
environment in Israel on all fronts.
Shoshana Gabbay
Cover photo: Dror Nush, first prize, "IDF and Environment." Editor
Back cover photo: Meytal Nissim, third prize, "IDF and the Environment."
Photos: Ministry of the Environment, Israel Airports Authority, Israel Defense
Forces, Friends of the Earth Middle East, Alon Karmiel School, Haifa
Chemicals, Ronen Alkalay, Gidi Bettelheim, Galia Ben-Shoham, Michal
Ben-Shushan, Lior Elovitch, Alex Kaplan, Ilan Malester, Eli Raz, Chagai
Shyowitz, Roi Simcha, Alex Weinreb, Keren Mizrachi, Dalit Ehrlich, Medvey
Feldman, Judy Elispor

 Production: Publications and Information Unit

Ministry of the Environment
million Bottle Collection under the Deposit Law (millions of bottles)
What happened in 2005? The latest data on 400
the environment in Israel!
350 328 337

300 295


200 184




2001 2002 2003 2004 2005

tons Distribution of Hazardous Waste in Israel

Treating municipal, industrial and agricultural 350,000

waste 300,000

• Two sites for crushing and recycling construction 250,000

and demolition waste began to operate.
• Some 337 million bottles and cans (under 1.5
liters) were collected under the Deposit Law
for Beverage Containers - 10% more than in 100,000

2004. 50,000
• Schoolchildren collected more than one million 0
cans and bottles for recycling under the Deposit 1998 1999 2000
treatment outside Ramat Hovav
disposal to Ramat Hovav

• A used tire recycling bill passed its first reading
in the Knesset.
• The Environment Ministry allocated one million Hazardous Waste Treatment (2004)
shekels to industrial plants for minimizing use as fuel
hazardous waste and toxicity at source. 4%
Since initiation in 1999, 33 projects have been 23%

• Out of some 340,000 tons of hazardous waste
produced in 2004, nearly 103,000 tons were
disposed to the Ramat Hovav national treatment 69%

site – about 30%. A similar quantity reached

Ramat Hovav in 2005.
• The environmental problem solving approach
was used to advance projects on used oil Number of Cleanliness Reports
collection from garages and waste tire collection by Enforcement Bodies
and treatment. 1,235

• A reform package in the dairy sector led to

environmental improvements in 97% of Israel's 2,480

dairy farms. Green

• The number of volunteer cleanliness trustees Cleanliness
Israel Police Trustees
reached 157,497, with 3110 new trustees 9,066
appointed in 2005. They issued 61.4% of the
total number of cleanliness reports under the
Maintenance of Cleanliness Law.

Cormorants at Achziv. Photo: Gidi Bettelheim

Intensive Wastewater Treatment Plants (For Flows Exceeding 0.5 MCM/year) Preventing water pollution and restoring rivers
number of treatment plants MCM/year • A government decision called for the removal
40 400
of Eilat's fish cages from the Red Sea within
35 350

30 300
three years.
25 250
• A multi-annual project to keep Israel’s coastline
20 200 clean – "Going for a Clean Coast" - was
15 150 launched.
10 100 • Assessments of pollution in Israel’s major rivers
5 50
revealed a 50%-80% reduction in pollution load
1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
between the years 1994 and 2003.
Number of Wastewater Treatment Plants Million cubic meters/year
• Israel ratified the amendment to the
Barcelona Convention for the Protection of
Annual Pollution Load in Major Israeli Streams

the Mediterranean Sea Against Pollution.
• Water quality continued to improve in the
20000 Kishon River as major industrial plants complied
with stringent discharge permits.

• Discharge of wastewater from Nahariya
9056 into the sea stopped, eliminating one of the
6607 6531 two remaining sources of municipal sewage
4775 4295
2683 2284 discharge into the Mediterranean Sea.
• The government adopted the recommenda-
T. Organic Carbon Total Nitrogen Total Phosphorus
1994 2000 2001 2003 tions of the Inbar Committee on upgraded
effluent quality standards for unrestricted
Clean Coast Index 2005 - Acre irrigation and discharge to rivers.
• The Ashkelon Desalination Plant, the largest of
25 Extremely
its kind in the world, began initial production
in August 2005. It is expected to produce an
annual 100 million cubic meters of water.
15 Dirty



Very Clean
28/5/05 17/7/05 5/9/05 25/10/05 14/12/05

Jordan River. Photo: Friends of the Earth Middle East

NOx Annual Averages and Exceedances of the Half-Hour Standard
in the Klal Jerusalem Transportation Station

Annual Average (ppb) and no. of exceedances

Reducing air pollution from transportation 1000


and industrial sources


• A statistical analysis confirmed reductions in


sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and carbon 500

dioxide in the years 1999-2004. 300 261
• According to preliminary data, air quality 200 179
151 136
107 93
100 79

in several Israel cities improved in 2005 0

Annual Averages No. of Exceedances of the Half-Hour Standard

compared to 2004. 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

• Mayors of local authorities in the Tel Aviv

metropolitan area signed a covenant for
reducing air pollution. ppm Reduction in Sulfur Content in Diesel
• The Public Utility Authority (PUA) – Electricity 2500

began paying premiums to ten private 2000


electricity producers using renewable 1500

energy technologies based on the
estimated costs of pollution prevention

per ton of emissions. 500


• Updated personal decrees for air pollution 0

50 10
1994 1999 Sept. 2000 Jan. 2004 April 2006
reduction, based on TA-Luft 2002, were
prepared for major industrial plants in Haifa
• An air quality management system, based
on emission data from all pollution sources tons/year
Pollutant Emissions from the Eshkol Power Plant in Ashdod

in the country, neared completion. 35,000


• The Ashdod power plant operated on 30,000


natural gas, bringing about significant 25,000 12,696

20,000 9,286
reductions in pollution emissions. 5,039
• The highest court fine for air pollution in 10,000 18,824

Haifa Bay – 1.6 million shekels – was imposed

16,167 15,077 4,277
on the Oil Refineries Company, in January 0
2001 2002 2003 2004
2006. Sulfur Dioxide Emissions (tons) Nitrogen Oxides Emissions (tons) Particulate Emissions (tons)

Courtesy: Israel Electric Corporation

Photo: Chagai Shyowitz

Treating life-threatening hotspots

• Industrial plants in the Ramat Hovav industrial park began to establish in-house effluent
pretreatment facilities in accordance with a government decision.
• Agreements were reached to remediate two acidic tar ponds in the Ramat Hovav
hazardous waste site as a first step in the Ramat Hovav Hazardous Waste Treatment
Site Remediation Project.

Disposal of Asbestos Waste (tons/year) • The government decided to transfer 10 million


shekels to the Environmental Services Company
21,706 for constructing a stabilization/solidification
20000 facility for inorganic waste treatment in Ramat
• The Environment Ministry approved financial
grants in the sum of 5 million shekels for cleaning
up, treating and disposing of asbestos waste
from contaminated sites in the Western

2002 2003 2004

Catalyzing economic growth and national Preserving open spaces
interests through sustainable development
• The government decided to establish the Ayalon Metropolitan Park
• Government ministries and affiliated agencies in an area spanning 800 hectares around the shut-down Hiriya landfill
drafted strategic plans for sustainable and to set up a government company to manage all aspects of
development in line with a government the park.
decision. • Eight new Israeli sites were declared World Heritage Sites in two
• An action plan on energy conservation in all inscriptions: The biblical tels (prehistoric settlement mounds) of
sectors was drafted within the framework of Megiddo, Hazor and Beersheba and the Incense Route and Negev
Israel’s sustainable development strategy. Nabatean cities of Haluza, Mamshit, Avdat and Shivta.
• The process of Local Agenda 21 continued, with • The government unanimously approved the National Master
some 40 local authorities taking part. Plan for Planning, Building and Conservation (National Plan 35),
• A conference on "The Financial Sector and the which determines areas earmarked for construction and for open
Environment," targeted at increasing awareness space.
of environmental liability and risk management, • The Ministry of the Environment launched a comprehensive information
was convened. campaign to promote cleanliness in public areas, from beaches to
• The Securities Authority mandated fair disclosure parks, nature reserves and forests.
on environmental matters by publicly traded • Thresholds for urban open space were prepared for urban renewal
companies, including information on anticipated plans.
environmental costs and investments.
• The Ministry of the Environment implemented
What to Clean First? First Priority to Beaches
a procedure on the transfer of environmental
information on publicly traded companies in Beaches 22% 17%

order to improve environmental disclosure and Urban Parks 14% 20%

transparency. Community 22% 11%

• The Chief Scientist of the Environment Ministry Neighborhood/Street 10% 10%

issued a call for proposals for research studies Roadsides 8% 10%

on the impacts of climate change in Israel and Nature Reserves & Forests 7% 10%

means of adaptation. Nine research projects Open Spaces 5% 6%

were approved.
All to a Similar Degree 12%

0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45%

Priority 1 Priority 2

Improving environmental services, information and education

• An amendment to the Freedom of Information Law relating to environmental information was approved to make such information
more accessible to the public through its publication on websites.
• The cabinet approved the recommendations of a directors-general committee on a four-track system for licensing cellular
antennas in order to increase transparency and reduce exposure to non-ionic radiation.
• Environmental support was granted to more than 20 animal welfare organizations.
• "Green School" certification was granted to sixteen new schools, in addition to seven schools certified in 2004.
• Criteria were developed for certifying "Green Kindergartens," "Green
Surfers on Environment Ministry Websites
no. of surfers
Community Centers" and "Green Campuses."

3,048,469 • New features were added to the Interactive Map of the Environment
Ministry's Hebrew website including: information on heritage and
national sites, 750 archaeological sites, 1000 sites of the Jewish National

Fund, 500 touring sites and a Green Map of Jerusalem.
1,266,214 • The Environment Ministry's Hebrew and English website drew 2,141,186
surfers in 2005 – a 280% increase in comparison to 2004. Over 3 million
500000 307,064 surfers accessed all of the ministry’s websites in 2005
2002 2003 2004 2005

Hebrew & English Site Children's Site Licenses & Permits Site Arabic Site Interactive Map Site Air Quality Site

Improving the urban environment

Israel in an International Context:

Conferences, Workshops and Projects
in Israel

TA-LUFT Workshop: A German delegation presented the main emission control

requirements of TA Luft 2002 during a three-day workshop, organized by the
Manufacturers Association of Israel, the Israel Union for Environmental Defense
(an NGO) and the Ministry of the Environment.
• The Standards Institution of Israel
Joint Workshop on Hazardous Waste: Delegates from the German Federal
published standards on the energy rating
Ministry for the Environment met with representatives of the Ministry for the
of apartments in residential buildings and
Environment to discuss hazardous waste management, administration, recycling,
on buildings with reduced environmental
treatment and disposal within the framework of Israel’s preparations to draft
impact ("green buildings").
new hazardous waste regulations.
• Ten new environmental units were
established in local authorities, bringing Workshop on Environmental Policy Integration and SMAP III:
the total to 47 units, covering 90% of Representatives of European organizations and countries met with
Israel's land area. Israeli experts on mechanisms through which sustainable development
• The Knesset enacted the Non-Ionizing goals can be promoted and integrated in different policy areas.
Radiation Law to protect the public
and the environment from the adverse International Workshop on Promotion of Methyl Bromide Alternatives to
impacts of exposure to non-ionizing Comply with its Phase Out: Professionals and decision makers from developing
radiation from cellular and radio countries attended the workshop and shared Israel’s experience in finding
antennas and electricity installations. alternatives to methyl bromide. The workshop was organized by: the Center for
• An amendment to the Licensing of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MASHAV), the Center
Businesses Law was approved, requiring for International Agricultural Development Cooperation and the Agricultural
the installation of noise meters in Research Organization.
discotheques to protect public health.
LIFE- Third Countries Projects in Israel: Two projects – sustainable development
• An amendment to the Municipalities
of the Jordan River (by the Upper Galilee Regional Council) and creation of
Ordinance was approved, obligating
sustainable communities according to Local Agenda 21 principles (by the
the appointment of an environmental
Heschel Center for Environmental Learning and Leadership) – were approved
committee in each local authority.
for funding by the European Commission. To date, the EU has co-financed
• The Environment Ministry granted
millions of shekels to local authorities for

ten LIFE projects in Israel, contributing 3 million to the protection of the
environmental projects.
Climate Change Impact Research Coordination for a Larger Europe: Israel
is one of 17 European countries included in the CIRCLE project, which seeks
to contribute to research on means of adapting to the impacts of climate
BATs/BEPs Mediterranean Action Plan Project: Israel is one of five countries
selected to participate in a MAP Regional Activity Center for Cleaner Production
project to prepare methodological guidelines for implementing a pollution
control system based on Best Available Techniques (BATs) and Best Environmental
Practices (BEPs) in non-European Mediterranean countries.

Cellular masts. Photos: Alex Kaplan and

Alex Weinreb

Preventing marine and water pollution
and restoring rivers

Clean Coast Project:

Facts And Figures
marine and
water pollution
and restoring

Reducing air
pollution from
and industrial
Acre coast. Photo: Ilan Malester

industrial and
M Measuring the results of the "Clean Coast" project

Aim of the Project: Cleaning up Israel’s open,

undeclared beaches – with no lifeguards and
Participants: Ministry of the Environment, local
authorities, Nature and Parks Authority and
no swimming – and keeping them clean. the public. A special cadre of trained "Coast
Watch" volunteers takes part in enforcement
Catalyzing Length of Undeclared Coastline: About 125
economic and information activities.
kilometers along the Mediterranean and Red
growth and
Sea coasts. Cleanliness Indicators: Clean Coast Index,
interests based on the number of plastic pieces left on
Cost: Three million shekels a year for a three-year
the beach.
period, with joint financing by the Ministry of the
Environment (70%) and local authorities (30%). Results: Half of the beaches showed
Improving the improvements six months after the initiation of
Method: The environmental problem solving
the project, in comparison to the baseline index
and preseving approach to identify the problem, analyze it and
of June 2005.
open spaces find ways to "fix" it.
Publicity: Updated information on each beach
Components: Cleanups by local authorities,
is available in Hebrew on the website of the
information and publicity, enforcement and
Ministry of the Environment.
tools for
improving Clean Coast Index 2005 - Naharia & Kiryat Yam
clean coast index
Clean Coast Index 2005
service and 14

professionalism 16
12 Dirty

12 10

Naharia 8
Kiryat Yam
Moderate 6

4 4
Clean Clean
Very Clean 2
Very Clean





1/6/05 29/6/05 27/7/05 24/8/05 21/9/05 19/10/05 16/11/05 14/12/05

Clean Coast Index
Clean Coast Index
The Ministry of the Environment publishes "Clean Coast" Project
Very Clean
up-to-date information on the cleanliness Clean
Base Index: June 2005
level of undeclared beaches along the Moderate
Mediterranean and Red Sea coastlines. An Dirty

interactive map in Hebrew on the ministry’s Extremely Dirty

website presents bimonthly information on No Data

every undeclared beach using different Updated: January 23, 2006‫‏‬

Gulf of Eilat Gulf of Eilat
colored flags:
• White flag - very clean
• Blue flag - clean
• Orange flag - moderate cleanliness
• Red flag - dirty
• Black flag - extremely dirty
By clicking on a flag, the surfer also accesses
an ID card about the beach, including
photos and information on coastal length,
general description, ecological assets, Interactive Map
access and more. Data: Marine and Coastal
Environment Division

On The Clean Coast Project

Rani Amir
Director, Marine and do something about the litter left behind by the Within six
Coastal Environment public and about the litter that is washed ashore.
Division We concluded that we had to initiate a project months 54%
which, among other things, would ensure that we of Israel’s
clean up our coastlines in the same way that we undeclared
Why did the Ministry of the clean up our homes – all the time!
Environment decide to coastline
The Ministry of the Environment initiated
launch the Clean Coast
coastal cleanups before. How is this campaign
We came up with the idea for the project a few
different? "clean" to
years ago, in 2002, when we realized that no one
We were looking for a comprehensive solution to "very clean"
the problem. Therefore, we decided to implement
was taking responsibility for the litter problem
the environmental problem solving approach and 50% was
along the Mediterranean coastline. It’s as if we
were sucked into a vacuum where no one else
(EPS – based on guidelines developed by Prof. cleaner than
Malcolm Sparrow of Harvard University) to identify
was doing anything. While coastal cleanups are in June 2005
the problem, analyze it and tailor a measurable
the responsibility of municipalities and the Ministry
solution to it. We began by identifying the result
of the Interior, we could not stand idly by and
watch while litter continued to accumulate on
our coastline.
We also knew that litter on the coast originates
from two sides – the marine side and the land
side. We recognized that we could not control
the litter that is deposited on the coast from the
open sea – it is simply not feasible – but we could
Photos: Ronen Alkalay and Ilan Malester

Preventing marine and water pollution
and restoring rivers
We must
clean up our
coastlines in
that we wanted to achieve – clean the same way the project is largely implemented by
coasts – and then came up with a the educational centers of the Nature
method to measure this. In the past, our
we clean up and Parks Authority, which invest major
cleanup campaigns were sporadic. our homes resources in educating the younger
This time, we carefully analyzed what – all the time! generation about the importance of
needed to be done. We realized that coastal protection in all aspects.
Preventing the public is simply not interested in how many The third pillar is communication and information.
marine and
bags of garbage or how many tons of garbage We launched a public campaign – whose motto
water pollution
and restoring are collected during cleanup campaigns. What may be loosely translated as "Going for a Clean
rivers is important to the public is the bottom line: the Coast" (literally Walking on a Clean Coast). To
cleanliness of the beach – c’est tout! Around this assimilate the message, we funded public service
desired outcome, we crafted a solution. announcements on television and radio, paid
Reducing air for advertisements in the media, and hired a
The problem solving approach requires
pollution from media consultant. We also made sure that there
transportation measurable results. How do you measure the
was a major presence of Marine and Coastal
and industrial success of the project?
Environment Division and Nature and Parks
sources We developed an objective and measurable
Authority inspectors on the coasts during seven
formula, a clean coast index, to tell us whether
summer weekends in order to explain the goal of
the coast is clean or dirty. Since we knew that
the project to the public and to distribute garbage
the main component of waste on the coast is
Treating bags. Shirts and Frisbees were given to members
municipal, plastic, which constitutes at least 80% of all waste
of the public who displayed environmentally
industrial and on the shoreline, we used plastic as a cleanliness
agricultural responsible behavior.
indicator. We based our index on the number of
waste We also trained a special group of volunteers to
individual plastic pieces – from bottle cap size to
participate in our efforts. This group of 35 sea-
larger items – on a given stretch of undeclared
loving, environment-oriented volunteers, known as
Catalyzing beach. We then scored each beach based on
the "Coast Watch," has proved extremely effective:
economic the number of plastic pieces found. For example,
meeting with beach-goers, patiently explaining
growth and a score of less than 5 means a "very clean" beach;
national the importance of beach cleanliness, and taking
a score of 10-20 means a "dirty" beach.
interests part in cleanliness assessments. I believe they
We continuously follow up on the cleanliness
have a high potential to increase social and
level because beach conditions are dynamic
community involvement and awareness.
and litter is transported from beach to beach
Improving the
The fourth pillar is enforcement. Both the Ministry
and from sea to beach. The idea is to remain
environment of the Environment and the Nature and Parks
updated and to inform the public. Therefore, the
and preseving Authority take action against individuals who litter
open spaces clean coast index is published on our website. The
the beach and against local authorities which do
results are updated bimonthly and are open and
not clean their beaches.
transparent to all.
What are the results in the field?
What are the main components of the project?
To date, 21 local authorities, including Eilat,
Developing The first pillar of the project is local authority
are implementing the project. We initiated
tools for responsibility. Local authorities are legally bound
improving to clean up beaches in their jurisdiction and do
service and this for their declared beaches. However, since
we knew that financial difficulties hampered their
ability to continuously clean up and maintain their
undeclared beaches, we decided to participate
in the project.
The second pillar is long-term education. Our
goal is to educate the next generation – youth
groups, soldiers and schoolchildren. This part of
Cleaning Eilat’s beach. Photo: Keren Mizrachi

Zohar Shkalim
On The Environmental Problem
Solving Approach
enforcement measures against those
municipalities that initially opted not to join Director, Enforcement Coordination Division
and not to clean. For example, Acre, which
was originally reluctant to join the project, The Enforcement Coordination Division is responsible,
made major progress when it was served with among other things, for integrating the environmental
a warning prior to a cleanup decree from problem solving approach into selected projects in the
the Ministry of the Environment. In almost no Ministry of the Environment. One of these – collecting used
time at all, its cleanliness index went up from oil filters from garages for recycling – has already met with
"extremely dirty" to "clean" or "very clean." major success. We managed to increase the number of
On the last week of January 2006, the index garages which collect used oil filters from a few dozen to 1,300 and the number
showed that 54% of our open, undeclared of oil filters which are annually collected from 14,000 to 1.5 million.
coastline measures "clean" to "very clean,"
Today, we are expanding the approach to other projects, including minimization of
and 50% of the coastline is cleaner than it
brine discharge into the environment from such sectors as hospitals and the food
was at the beginning of the project in June
industry and safe disposal and treatment of construction and demolition waste.
The brine project should help solve the problem of sewage salination in Israel where
What are your major conclusions and effluent recovery for agricultural purposes is so important, while the construction
expectations? waste project should facilitate a solution to one of the country’s most widespread
The clean coast index confirms the volatile solid waste problems - improper disposal of construction waste.
condition of our beaches, which can change
Yet, without doubt, our greatest success is the clean coast project. We chose to
overnight, as substantial quantities of litter
concentrate on the litter problem on our beaches for two interrelated reasons: First,
wash up from the sea. This reinforces the
we recognized that our coastline, which includes wide stretches of undeclared
need for continuous cleanups and visibly
beaches, is a public resource which must be accessible and attractive to all sectors
demonstrates the fact that the environment
of the population. Second, we realized that previous coastal cleanups simply did
knows no borders.
not make a long-term difference in the cleanliness level of our beaches.
If we are to guarantee a clean and open
coastline over time, we cannot afford to stop In examining the problem, we discovered that local authorities would not – or
cleaning and, at the same time, we need could not – take sole responsibility for cleaning up undeclared beaches within
to continue our educational work, public their jurisdiction. Rather than taking an antagonistic or an adversarial approach,
campaigns and enforcement. Since coastal we opted to "push" local authorities into accepting their responsibility by offering to
cleanups are not our direct responsibility, I fund 70% of the cleanup costs – but with a string attached: that beach cleanups
hope that within two to three years, the will be thorough, methodical and frequent.
cleanliness message will infiltrate, so that the
By working with the stakeholders rather than against them, we achieved very
momentum will continue. At that time we
encouraging results. Most of the coastal local authorities have joined the project
would like to see the Ministry of the Interior,
and, as demonstrated by the clean coast index, the cleanliness level has definitely
other relevant ministries and especially
improved in comparison to the baseline index. However, we did send warnings
local authorities take responsibility for the
to six municipalities and issued cleanup orders to two local authorities – Acre and
continuation of the project.
Kiryat Yam. The results were not long in coming. Acre, for example, took its beach
My vision is simple: if everyone just takes
cleanup so seriously that its index went up to "clean" and "very clean" in almost
care of their own litter and if municipalities
no time at all.
acknowledge their responsibility, the beach
litter problem will drastically lessen, or even Finally, we closed the circle with a massive information campaign in the media
disappear. I would also like to convey and information and education weekdays on the beaches, with the aid of marine
the message to the other parties to the inspectors and a volunteer "Coast Watch."
Barcelona Convention that the simultaneous Not only did these integrated activities make a real difference in the cleanliness
launching of this program or one similar to it level of our open beaches, but, even more importantly, local authorities began to
throughout the Mediterranean basin would recognize their responsibility for keeping their undeclared beaches clean, something
contribute most significantly to solving the which was far from self-evident at the beginning of the project. We hope to see
litter problem. the same level of cooperation in 2006 as we did in 2005.

Reducing air pollution from
transportation and industrial sources

Regulating The
Electricity Sector
Preventing Fuel combustion for electricity Yet negotiations between the
marine and How to prevent air
water pollution generation has long been stakeholders have been long and
targeted as a major polluter in
pollution from power hard. In 1999, some headway was
and restoring
rivers Israel. It is responsible for about plants? Regulations made when an agreement was
50% of the country’s air pollution, recently drafted by reached between the Ministry
with sulfur dioxide, nitrogen the Ministry of the of the Environment, Ministry of
Reducing air oxides and particulates the Environment are Infrastructures and Israel Electric
pollution from major culprits. That’s not to say expected to provide Corporation (known as the
transportation that the electricity sector has Goren-Brovender Agreement)
and industrial the ministry with
gone unsupervised. Pollutant on principles, conditions and
sources effective control
emissions from the country’s requirements for existing and
power plants are regulated
and enforcement planned power units which would
under a number of statutory mechanisms, on the one remain in effect until regulations
Treating instruments: hand, while providing are promulgated.
municipal, electricity producers
• Administrative orders (personal
industrial and The agreement related to
agricultural decrees) under the Abatement and decision makers fuel quality in power stations,
waste of Nuisances Law. with clear requirements reduction targets according to
• Conditions for the prevention on air pollution standards and timetables, and
of air pollution under the
Catalyzing abatement from pollution abatement measures.
Businesses Licensing Law.
economic electricity production In parallel, efforts continued
growth and • Nuisance prevention plans
national for coal-fired power plants units, on the other hand. to draft regulations based on
interests and gas turbines under the the proposal for an updated
Planning and Building Law. European Directive on the
limitation of emissions of certain
Today, following a decade
Improving the pollutants into the air from large
of work, yet another legal
environment combustion plants.
instrument is nearing fruition: the
and preseving
open spaces Ministry of the Environment has However, objections by the
completed to draft air pollution Ministries of Finance and of
abatement regulations which Hadera power plant. Photo: Ilan Malester Infrastructures and by the Israel
are specifically targeted at the electricity Electric Corporation, largely based on financial
sector. and reliability of supply considerations, hampered
Developing progress. When European Directive 2001/80/EC, a
tools for Moving from Negotiations to Agreements
improving much more comprehensive and stringent directive
The Ministry of the Environment is convinced that
service and than its 1988 predecessor, was finalized, it was
regulations on air pollution abatement from the
decided that Israel's new regulations should be
electricity sector will benefit all stakeholders. They
based on it.
will provide the Ministry of the Environment with
effective control and enforcement mechanisms, Milestones Toward Implementation
on the one hand, while providing electricity While the promulgation of the regulations is not yet
producers and decision makers with clear in sight, important progress has nevertheless been
requirements so as to reduce uncertainties and made. Two precedent-setting developments are
promote long-range planning, on the other hand. worthy of special mention.

The price A Look at the Proposed
Public hearing on the emission tag for fauna - are by no means low. Using
standards: For the first time ever, The draft Abatement of
compliance calculations made by the European
Nuisances Regulations (Pre-
a public hearing on proposed Union for the external costs of pollutant
regulations was held in September with the emissions (in terms of dollar per ton vention of Air Pollution
2005. During the hearing, the Ministry proposed of pollutant emitted) in different from Electricity Production)
of the Environment presented the new countries, an initial estimate of the are largely based on the
regulations is European Directive of 2001,
standards to all relevant stakeholders, external costs of pollutant emissions
including representatives of the Ministry estimated at from different power plants was with some modifications
of Infrastructure, Ministry of Finance, $1.4 billion made in Israel. While the calculation to suit conditions in Israel,
Electricity Authority, Israel Electric for each country differs based on especially with regard to
Corporation, Ministry of Health, Ministry of the economic indicators, Israel used the numbers existing power plants.
Interior, regional associations of towns for the adopted for Greece as initial indicators. The Objective: To prevent and
environment and municipal environmental units, result in terms of dollars per ton of pollutant minimize considerable or
Manufacturers Association of Israel and green emitted is: $9500 per ton of particulate emissions, unreasonable air pollution,
organizations including Life and Environment and $2400 for nitrogen oxides, $3190 for sulfur oxides defined as pollutant emiss-
the Israel Union for Environmental Defense. Based and $7 for carbon monoxide. Based on these ions exceeding permissible
on the comments, final adaptations were made figures, the external cost, in terms of cents per emission limit values accord-
in the regulations prior to their transfer to the kilowatt hour produced, was calculated for ing to type of electricity
Ministry of Justice. different power plants in Israel. production unit and type of
Cost estimates of pollution prevention: In Today, the Public Utilities Authority – Electricity fuel, from power generation
accordance with a Ministry of Infrastructure (Electricity Authority), an independent body units.
request, the Israel Electric Corporation prepared responsible for overseeing the electricity sector, Power generation units
an analysis of the economic costs of implementing along with the Ministry of the Environment, covered: Steam-powered
the regulations. The report reviews the potential is planning a cost/benefit analysis of the power plants, both coal-
impacts of implementing the regulations, under implementation of the draft regulations, in fired and fuel-oil fired, gas
different scenarios and timetables, on cost of order to check cost to the economy, cost of turbines, combined cycle
electricity, reliability of supply and environmental alternative measures, impact on electricity tariffs power units and diesel
performance. Calculations were based on three and external costs. This will be the first time that generators, whose rated
factors: estimates of investment, maintenance decision making on pollution reduction will be thermal input is not less
and operation of pollution reduction measures; made on the basis of cost/benefit analysis. than 50 MW and which
additional cost for each kilowatt hour of electricity are licensed for electricity
which is produced and sold; and estimated On the Way to Implementation
incremental cost of pollutant reduction per Today, all stakeholders are convinced that the
ton. proposed regulations are important and vital Required measures: Best
to determine clear environmental rules for the Available Techniques, energy
The Environment Ministry estimates that full efficiency and approved
long-term planning and operation of power
implementation of the proposed regulations will standard fuels.
plants in Israel. Yet, as evidenced by the IEC
lead to a 60% reduction in sulfur dioxide and
report, the price tag for implementation of the Monitoring requirements:
nitrogen oxides emissions and more than a 10%
European Directive is high and problems in the Continuous monitoring in
decrease in particulate emissions. The price tag
reliability of supply are anticipated in most of most cases.
for compliance with the proposed regulations is
the scenarios. Nevertheless, it is expected that
estimated at $1.4 billion. Requirements for existing
once the cost-benefit analysis is in, answers will
be more readily available. and new plants: Different
Putting a Dollar Sign on Pollutant Emissions
requirements for existing
While the Electric Corporation report places a There is no doubt that the emission levels set in (operational since 1998) and
high price tag on air pollution prevention, the the proposed regulations will come into effect. new plants. More stringent
marginal external costs of pollutant emissions - in The only questions left to answer are when and requirements may be set
terms of estimated costs of morbidity, mortality, at what price. Hopefully, these answers will be within the framework of
property damage and damage to flora and forthcoming in 2006. other legislation.

Reducing air pollution from
transportation and industrial sources

Dr. Eugenia Bernshtein On Energy

Energy Sources Coordinator

Does Israel have unique conditions power plants, including a switch to natural
which affect air pollution? gas in generating stations and compliance
marine and Israel is one of the densest countries in with existing and new regulations. However,
water pollution the world in terms of both population we must introduce energy conservation as
and restoring and land area. If pollutant emissions per well. It is estimated that it is possible to save
rivers capita in Israel are considered high, they some 20% of energy consumption in different
are even higher when calculated in terms sectors.
of emissions per square kilometer.
Reducing air In addition, Israel is characterized by some features What has been done in the field of renewable
pollution from energy?
that are pertinent to developing countries and
transportation Israel was the first country worldwide to introduce
and industrial
others that are relevant to developed countries.
For example, the birth rate in Israel is much solar collectors in residential buildings for heating
higher than in developed countries, but the water, but we have since lagged behind. On the
standard of living is characteristic of developed positive side, there is a government decision from
countries. This is reflected, among other things, November 2002 which states that beginning in
Treating 2007, at least 2% of the electricity supplied to
by growing demands for electrical appliances
municipal, consumers should be from renewable energy
industrial and such as air conditioners. In addition, Israel’s energy
agricultural efficiency is lower than in developed countries. sources, with an additional one percent increase
waste This combination of factors translates into high every three years.
demands for electricity, inefficient energy use There are plans for a 50 MW wind farm in Ramat
and air pollution. Sirin and Ma’ale Gilboa in the north of Israel
Catalyzing and a 100 MW solar station in the south of the
economic In addition, it is important to remember that Israel,
growth and unlike European states for example, is an isolated country.
national island in terms of its electricity network. This requires In addition, an interministerial committee, in which
interests us to preserve a sufficient production capacity to the Ministry of the Environment participated, has
respond to peak demands in winter or summer. determined the external costs of pollution. On
the basis of these calculations, the Electricity
Why did Israel choose to base its emission
Improving the standards for power plants on European Authority decided in early 2004 to set tariffs for
environment Directives? the production of energy from renewable sources,
and preseving which will take account of the cost of pollution
open spaces
We chose the European Directive because it
presents "balanced" requirements which are emissions. Today, the Electricity Authority is giving
well researched and accepted in the European premiums to about ten producers of clean
Community. The guidelines set minimum energy, including wind, sun and water energy.
requirements for compliance in all states, while The Electricity Authority also provides bi-directional
Developing allowing countries the option of adopting more meters, which bring about electricity savings to
tools for stringent standards. These requirements are grid-connected renewable energy systems.
service and appropriate for Israel because they are based
What would you like to see in the future?
professionalism on pollution prevention technologies which
are available worldwide and are applicable to We have to move from economic and supply-side
Israel. considerations, such as the building and operation
of more power plants, to Integrated Resource
What else does the Ministry of the Environment Planning, which is based on demand-side options
advocate in order to achieve sustainable as well. Under IRP, measures to reduce demand
energy production? through energy efficiency and conservation
Israel has to promote and implement a combination would be considered on an equal economic
of actions in order to reduce air pollution from footing with new proposals for power plants.

Aharon Sahar
On The Electricity Sector
Environmental Policy and Master Plan Manager, Israel Electric Corporation

What is the position of Israel Electric to negligible levels. We plan to reach The introduction
Corporation on the proposed pollution about 50% natural gas use by the end of
abatement regulations for the electricity the decade. of natural gas
What are the plans of the Electric Corporation
to the electricity
The regulations will go a long way toward
for its other power plants? sector will
promoting long-term planning. It is very
important to ensure a degree of certainty
Plans are being implemented to establish have dramatic
combined cycle gas turbines and to convert
about future requirements as a basis for
some of our existing gas turbines to natural gas,
planning. The new regulations, which will compile
rather than diesel gas, by 2007. We have also on pollution
all of the requirements in one place, are the right
thing to do from everyone’s point of view.
launched a pollutant reduction program in our abatement from
coal-fired plants which will require temporary unit
How is the Electric Corporation now addressing shutdown in order to introduce new technologies, the electricity
the problems associated with pollutant emissions while maintaining electricity production. We are sector
from power plants? now preparing a tender for the implementation of
We have long cooperated with the Ministry of primary measures for nitrogen oxides reductions,
the Environment on efforts to reduce pollutant similar to Low NOx Burners (LNB). This, along with
emissions. The results are evident. Despite the installation of scrubbers, is required by the
major increases in electricity production, we proposed regulations.
are seeing a trend of pollution reduction. This is Electricity Generation System of the Electric Corporation
largely attributed to the introduction of cleaner
fuels and more advanced pollution abatement
technologies. In fact, all of our new production
units comply with the new standards included in
the proposed regulations.
What is the Electric Corporation doing to reduce
emissions from existing oil-powered plants?
We are implementing a pollution abatement
program to enable our existing large oil-fired power
plants in Ashdod, Haifa and Tel Aviv to switch to
natural gas. In addition, we have reduced nitrogen
oxides emissions significantly, and more reductions
are on the way. In our Ashdod power plant, where
natural gas was introduced in 2004, we are seeing
drastic reductions in emissions. Existing small and
old oil-fired plants will gradually be shut down by
the end of 2008.
The introduction of natural gas to the electricity
sector is an ambitious and unprecedented project
which is now underway. It will have dramatic
consequences on pollution abatement from the
electricity sector. This cannot be overemphasized.
It will lead to steep reductions in sulfur dioxide and
particulate emissions – reducing concentrations

Courtesy of Israel Electric Corporation

Reducing air pollution from
transportation and industrial sources

Air Quality In Israel: 2005

Data on air pollution in Israel in 2005, based on the Ministry of the Environment’s 24-station national
monitoring system, shows improvements in air quality in Jerusalem, Beersheba, Afula, Beit Shemesh,
Rehovot, Karmiel and Modi’in, in comparison to 2004. This is attributed to actions taken by the Ministry
Preventing of the Environment, in cooperation with other bodies, and to favorable pollution dispersion atmospheric
marine and
water pollution conditions. Environmental activities include improvements in fuel quality, increased enforcement
and restoring against polluting plants, economic incentives for environment-friendly cars, technological measures
rivers for reducing emissions in industry and diesel-powered vehicles, enforcement of vehicular emissions
standards and promotion of old vehicle scrapping.

Following is a look at some

Reducing air
pollution from
Air Quality Maps: 2004 of the data:
transportation • Tel Aviv: 65 high air
and industrial pollution days in the Tel
sources Aviv metropolitan area,
similar to 2004 (but with a
slight decrease in annual
Treating averages of nitrogen
municipal, oxides).
industrial and
agricultural • Jerusalem: 52 high air
waste pollution days compared
to 55 in 2004.

Catalyzing • Beersheba: 10 high

economic pollution days compared
growth and to 15 in 2004.
interests • Afula: 4 high pollution
days compared to 14 in
Improving the • Beit Shemesh: 8 high
and preseving pollution days compared
open spaces to 14 in 2004.
• Rehovot: 8 high pollution
days compared to 10 in
Developing • Karmiel: 7 high pollution
tools for
improving days compared to 16 in
service and 2004.
• Modi'in: 20 high pollution
days compared to 24
in 2004 (but with the
highest concentrations
of respirable particles
resulting from accelerated
building and quarrying).

The Ministry of the Environment publishes 1999 and 2004 was uniform. We also checked
monthly and annual summaries of air the correlation between pollution levels in
pollution in different regions of the country. the different stations.
Why is a statistical study of air pollution
trends necessary? What were the major conclusions of the
We are bombarded with large amounts of study?
data all the time and with lots of numbers. We found that there was a significant trend
What we need is a simple summary of of reduction in nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide,
these numbers and the ability to draw Dr. Chava Peretz, and carbon monoxide levels but an increase
sensible conclusions. Statistical analysis
an environmental
in ozone in relation to base year 1999. As for
health and air
allows us to do just this: to present large pollution bio- particulates, we did not find a clear trend of
amounts of data in a simpler form and statistician in Tel increase or decrease for PM10 but we did
to infer trends. Mathematical models are Aviv and Haifa find a slight increase for PM2.5, considered
used to neutralize different factors which Universities, to be the most hazardous of air pollutants
investigated air
may affect the results so that we can arrive pollution trends to human health.
at a more accurate picture of air quality from 1999-2004 In checking the relationship between NO,
trends. This allows us to ascertain whether on behalf of the NO2 and NOx, a high correlation was found
efforts to reduce air pollution are fruitful. Ministry of the between NO2 and NO and NOx, as expected.
Environment. The
A medium correlation was found between
Which statistical methods did you use to study, completed
in December 2005, PM10 and PM2.5. A weak correlation was
determine air pollution trends in recent
looks at air quality found between particulate levels and other
trends in the Tel pollutants. SO2 was weakly correlated with
The seven monitoring stations of the Aviv metropolitan CO and NOx. CO was highly correlated with
Ministry of the Environment in the Tel Aviv area for eight
major air pollutants NOx. There was no correlation between O3
region were our data sources. We then
and assesses trends and SO2, NOx and CO.
used two statistical methods: descriptive
on the basis of
statistics and inferential statistics. statistical models.
In the first, we described pollution As one concerned about the environment
trends, based on time series, by and as a resident, what do you think
means of summary measurements, should be done in light of the results?
means, medians and 95 percentiles. This study indicates that the most
We used box plots to check extreme problematic pollutants are PM2.5 and
values from a statistical point of PM10. Steps should be accelerated
view as well as annual trends and to bring about a decrease in these
prepared smoothed graphs to show pollutants. Once intervention is
the daily trends of each pollutant implemented, a statistical assessment
in a time series. Hadera power plant. Photo: Ilan Malester
should be undertaken once again.
The second method was inferential I should also mention that at about
statistics which is based on models of the same time that the study was
linear regression in which we checked the effect of the published, a seminar on air pollution in Tel Aviv took
year, adjusted for day, month, temperature and relative place. During the course of the seminar, on December
humidity. We wanted to find out whether there was a 19, 2005, the heads of local authorities in the Tel Aviv
difference between the years studied and whether metropolitan area signed a covenant on the reduction
there was a yearly linear effect, and if so, how it was of air pollution in their region. These and other initiatives
manifested and whether the rate of decrease between are certainly positive developments.

Treating municipal, industrial and
agricultural waste

Risk Management
– Confronting The
marine and
water pollution

and restoring
How to identify industrial installations that may have a severe impact on the environment? How
to prevent accidental releases of hazardous substances from stationary sources that could be
Reducing air harmful to humans and the environment? How to reduce the adverse impacts of those releases
pollution from that do occur? A new guidebook on risk management from stationary sources in industry,
and industrial
which addresses hazardous substances accidents, sets out to answer these critical questions.
Risk assessments are not new on
Israel’s environmental scene. Accident in Acre plant. Photo: Medvey Feldman
They may be required within the
Treating framework of special conditions to
Poisons Permits under the Hazardous
industrial and
agricultural Substances Law. What’s more, Israel
waste has kept abreast of international
developments in this area. In fact,
Ms. Sigal Blumenfeld, a staffer at
Catalyzing the Ministry of the Environment’s
growth and northern region, took part in the
national drafting group for the OECD Guiding
interests Principles for Chemical Accidents,
Prevention, Preparedness and
Response, published in 2003. Yet,
Improving the up till now, Israel did not have a
environment uniform policy on how risk assessments should be hazardous substances and processes, to upgrade
and preseving conducted, there was no differentiation between industrial preparedness for preventing hazardous
open spaces high-risk installations and low-risk installations, substance accidents, to minimize their impacts
there were no uniform requirements for different should they occur, and to institute uniform
factories, and risk assessments did not focus on the requirements applying to all factories using
ultimate goal: risk prevention and reduction. regulated hazardous substances.
Developing To overcome these shortcomings, the Ministry
tools for A Guide for Action: On the Road Toward
improving of the Environment initiated a risk management Implementation
service and project in 2001 aimed at determining a uniform Today, four years later, an important milestone
professionalism policy on the scenarios, methodologies and has been reached: A Guide on Risk Management
plans which are intrinsic to risk management from Stationary Sources in Relation to Hazardous
schemes. The mega goal was to prevent risks from Substances Incidents was published in November
accidental releases of hazardous substances from 2005. The Hebrew guidebook, prepared by
industrial sources and to minimize their impacts a professional team within the Ministry of the
on the human and physical environment. More Environment in cooperation with a consulting
specifically, the idea was to focus on the most company (Hazmat Ltd.), is largely based on the

Primary Goals of the Risk Management
The main aims of the guide, which is
accessible on the Hebrew website of
the Ministry of the Environment, are to:
• An integrated risk prevention program;
• Formulate a risk management
• An emergency response program.
• Define hazardous substances and
The risk management plan also includes an
specify their threshold quantities.
executive summary which is to include the
• Set guidelines for risk management
following elements: policy for accident prevention
of existing (rather than planned)
and emergency response, description of the
stationary source and hazardous substances used,
• Develop methods for supervising and
description of worst case and alternative scenarios
assessing the implementation of risk
including control and mitigation measures,
general program for accident prevention and The risk
• Attain maximum clarity on risk
prevention measures for specific substances, five- management
year accident history, emergency procedure and
• Achieve transparency and public process should
survey of proposed changes to improve safety.
participation in risk management. facilitate
USEPA’s Risk Management Program (RNP) and the What’s Covered? efficient
California Accidental Release model (CalARP), Supervised industries: Any premise subject to a management
but with adaptations to legal conditions, tools
and materials in Israel.
Poisons Permit under the Hazardous Substances in three major
Law for a regulated substance, which appears in
The preparation process for the guide was fully the list of especially toxic or flammable substances areas: risk
transparent and was based, as far as possible, above a certain threshold level, is required to management
prepare a risk management plan.
on consensus building among the different policy,
stakeholders. Findings and recommendations
were presented to a risk assessment forum,
Regulated substances: Any material which implementation
appears in the list of especially toxic or flammable
which was especially created by the Ministry of substances. The guide specifies 182 regulated of risk
the Environment, and included representatives of substances. assessment
the Ministries of Labor and Welfare, Interior and
Infrastructure, Firefighting Service, Homeland Covered processes: Any activity which relates and measures
Security, Manufacturers Association of Israel, to the use, storage, production and treatment to reduce risks
of regulated substances above the defined
environmental units in local authorities and "Life
threshold level.
from industrial
and Environment" (an NGO).
Classification of covered processes: To ensure that
The risk management process sets out to
facilitate efficient management by government individual processes are subject to requirements
and industrial bodies in three major areas: risk that suit their size and potential risk level, the guide
management policy; implementation of risk classifies them into three programs – from 1 to
assessment and measures to reduce risks from 3, where 1 is based on minimum requirements
industrial sources. and 3 on maximum requirements. For example,
program 1 requirements would apply to processes
Major Elements in the Risk Management in which a hazardous substance accident has not
Process occurred over the past five years and for which
The proposed risk management plan includes, a worst-case scenario of hazardous substance
inter alia, the following elements: release is not expected to affect the public.
• An offsite consequence analysis that evaluates These processes are only required to prepare
specific potential release scenarios, including an emergency procedure which is coordinated
worst-case and alternative scenarios; with the relevant authorities. On the other hand,
• A five-year history of accidental releases program 3 requirements apply to processes
of regulated substances from the covered with a real potential for offsite consequences
processes; associated with the worst-case scenario and/or

Treating municipal, industrial and
agricultural waste

Risks Covered by the Guide

• Risks to the environment: Including risks
to the population, both residing and
temporarily occupying the vicinity of the
stationary sources (excluding employees
Preventing within the framework of their work) and Emergency response Hazmat Treatment Vehicle
marine and risks to natural resources, such as land and
water pollution
and restoring water sources onsite or offsite.
rivers • Risks from an accident: Defined as an seismic risk was uniformly taken into consideration
uncontrolled release, fire or explosion of due to its importance on the national agenda.
a substance which is hazardous to public
health and/or the environment. From Guide to Action
Reducing air
pollution from • Risks from stationary industrial sources According to Michal Bar-Tov, head of the
transportation involving hazardous substances: Including Hazardous Substances Division of the Environment
and industrial buildings, structures, equipment, installations Ministry, the idea is to transfer responsibility for risk
or any other stationary activity which management to the industrial sector itself, which
may result in the accidental release of a after all is the most knowledgeable about specific
regulated hazardous substance. processes in the factory and is therefore best
Treating suited to identify the most dangerous processes
municipal, and to reduce risks. "We want the industrial plant
industrial and with an accident history whose materials appear
agricultural to recognize the risks and prioritize them, and then
in the table of regulated substances and exceed
waste to allocate resources to the most serious risks or to
the threshold levels defined for program 3. These
the most problematic impacts", says Bar-Tov.
processes are required to address all of the
Catalyzing components of the risk management plan. Since the goal of the guide is also to prevent and
economic minimize future risks, guidelines for assimilating risk
growth and What Next? considerations in the planning process in Israel
national Publication of the guide is by no means an end, are also on the agenda. The idea is to formulate
but rather a beginning. The success of the project a better methodology at the planning level for
will be measured by its implementation in practice. approving residential development in the vicinity
In order to help answer the question of how best to of hazardous industrial plants, on the one hand,
Improving the implement the new risk management approach, and for approving such industrial plants in the
environment Haifa Chemicals, a major producer and marketer vicinity of population centers, on the other.
and preseving
open spaces of specialty fertilizers and chemicals for industry,
Once the results of the pilot projects, scheduled
undertook to test the CalARP process as early
for implementation over an 18-month period, are
as 2002.
in, the efficacy of the risk management process
The Ministry of the Environment has now initiated will be reevaluated and further adaptations will
Developing a wider pilot study to test the feasibility and be made. However, the benefits for both industry
tools for applicability of the guidebook and the need for and the Ministry of the Environment are already
improving further adaptations. To help launch the pilot project, evident: industry now has the tools to improve
service and staffers at the regional level of the Environment its risk management and the Ministry of the
Ministry identified some 20 industrial plants, a few Environment has the tools to improve its supervision
in each region of the country, for participation. and oversight. Perhaps most importantly, the
Criteria for selection were not uniform and differed project has helped the ministry consolidate a
from region to region according to the discretion comprehensive policy which takes account
of the individual director - whether proximity to a of all potential risks to the human and natural
populated area or presence of very hazardous environment, from health to economics, from
substances or results of risk assessments. Only transparency to inspection.

Amiad Alexandron On Risk Management
VP, North Site, Haifa Chemicals

When and why did Haifa Chemicals Haifa Chemicals is a leading main importers of ammonia into the
initiate the pilot study on risk developer, producer and country, we were well aware of the risks
management? associated with this material. In fact, in
marketer of specialty fertilizers
In December 2002, a major fire broke accordance with the requirements of
and chemicals for industry.
out in Haifa Chemicals, which resulted the Ministry of the Environment we had
Its main facility is in Haifa in
in property damage but thankfully already reduced some of the risks by
the north of the country. The
not in human injury. Nevertheless, we decreasing our ammonia inventory from
plant was the first in Israel to three storage tanks of 600 tons each – or
realized that there were gaps in our risk
management program. At the time,
initiate a risk management a total of 1800 tons – to a tenth of this sum,
the Ministry of the Environment initiated pilot project based on the or 180 tons in one storage tank. We then
the preparation of a risk management California Accidental Release switched to two smaller storage tanks of
program. When the ministry asked us model (CalARP). 55 tons each. The CalARP project led
to undertake a pilot project to test the Israel Environment Bulletin to a complete change in our ammonia
CalARP model, we complied. spoke to Mr. Amiad storage arrangements. Today, our
Alexandron in November 2005 ammonia reserves are stored in storage
What was the first step in implementing
about the pilot project. tanks which are fully protected (without
the project?
pressure) in the terminal.
With the services of a consultant, we
mapped the different processes and hazardous substances Were you pleased with the results of the pilot project?
in the plant according to the categories and list of regulated At the beginning of the project, we checked each and
substances of the CalARP. This helped us prioritize the risks in every element in our facility. This was no small matter
our facility. By following the logical process which was laid and cost a lot of money - $500,000, much more than
out in the CalARP, we were able to focus on the main risks, originally planned. However, we are not sorry. What we
whose impact may extend beyond the factory fence. spent in resources, we gained in safety. CalARP allowed
us to proceed logically and systematically while taking
Did Haifa Chemicals make any changes in light of the
everything into account – from seismic risks to natural
results of the process?
As soon as one operates according to a list of priorities
I need to emphasize that the CalARP process is not a
and tools, real problems begin to surface. As a result of
magic wand. It requires a lot of work, a lot of resources,
the mapping process, we discovered that one of the
but in return, it will help create an organizational culture
materials we were using was classified on the CalARP
– a culture which I consider to be extremely important.
list as a relatively high risk material. At the time, we did
Haifa Chemicals has definitely profited from instituting a
not know that this material was riskier than some of the
better method of work, which is safer, more systematic
other materials we were using. As soon as I was appointed
and more efficient.
manager of the site in October 2004, I implemented the
decision to take this material out of use and to introduce What are your initial conclusions as you near the completion
another process. of the pilot study?
For me, the environment has a value beyond
Can you point to any other results of the process?
manufacturing. It is a matter of culture. I have come
During the pilot project, we appointed many teams to
out of the process strengthened in my feeling that our
identify and classify different hazardous processes within
employees are now better protected. The value of human
our factory, one of which was ammonia storage. As the
life is inestimable. We can now be assured that anyone
who enters the factory will be able to leave without fear of
injury. This is our most important achievement. Moreover,
the safety measures we introduced relate not only to
the plant itself, but also to the people who work with us
and to the surrounding environment. I can definitely say
that despite the high investment, implementation of the
model turned out to be a "win-win" situation. I credit the
Ministry of the Environment with leading the way and
providing the necessary professional guidance throughout
Photo: Haifa Chemicals the process.

Catalyzing economic growth
and national
Onwads interests
towards cleaner coasts

Confronting The
marine and
Dead Sea Dilemma
water pollution

and restoring Water levels in the Dead Sea have
rivers dropped to 418 meters below sea
level and continue to drop. What to
expect? What to do? A new document
Reducing air provides initial answers
pollution from
and industrial
sources The Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, is option - the scenario that predicts what is likely to
shrinking. Water levels in this saltiest of the earth’s occur in the Dead Sea and its surroundings if no
lakes, have declined dramatically and hazardous steps are taken to stop water level declines.
Treating sinkholes have begun to appear along its basin. To
municipal, address these issues, a government decision was The report points out that hundreds of sinkholes
industrial and taken in January 2003 to prepare an integrated have been exposed as a result of the Dead
agricultural plan on the future of the Dead Sea and its Sea’s retreating water line from the approximate
drainage basin. –400 meter topographic contour downward.
This phenomenon is a safety risk as well as an
Catalyzing The mandate was to focus on the environmental, economic problem, since it has halted future
economic economic, legal and social impacts of declining development and has put some existing
growth and Dead Sea levels, recommend measures to stabilize development at risk. Furthermore, since these
interests processes and propose steps to facilitate the conditions will be relevant for the foreseeable
harnessing of the region’s potential. Three future planning horizon, new development strategies
scenarios were to be assessed: a business as usual should be pursued. At the same time, trend-turning
or default option in which the negative recharge steps should be examined in order to formulate
Improving the rate in the basin would continue, a scenario of a long-term integrated and sustainable national
and preseving restoration of freshwater flow to the Dead Sea policy for the Dead Sea.
open spaces from the Jordan River system and a scenario that
would see the construction of a seawater conduit Confronting the Uncertainty
from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea. In order to minimize the uncertainties and provide
for the further safe development of the region, the
The Default Option editors of the report identified and mapped areas
tools for The first phase of the document on the "Dead where substrate failure is anticipated at various
improving Sea and its Drainage Basin: Assessment of Status levels of certainty as well as areas of stable and
service and and Policy Guidelines under Continued Negative safe substrate where development can proceed
Water Balance of the Lake" sets out to confront without restrictions. This does much to dispel the
the uncertainties arising from dropping lake uncertainty which has accompanied the decline
levels and emerging sinkholes. Prepared by the of lake water.
Ministry of the Environment in cooperation with
the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies and the On the basis of these in-depth studies, the policy
Geological Survey of Israel, it relates to the future document presents a multidisciplinary perspective
of the Dead Sea and its basin under the default and a well-grounded forecast of the future of

The policy
document presents
the Dead Sea and its shores, which "constitutes about 200 years at a level of about
a multidisciplinary
a basis for formulating a policy of management 550 meters below mean sea level. perspective and
and development that meets the changing • Dropping lake levels will lead to a well-grounded
conditions, and can enable ongoing activity changes in the location of the
and development of the region’s potential." The future shoreline and the physical
forecast of the future
of the Dead Sea and
its shores

Dead Sea sinkholes

and views. Photos:
Eli Raz

report also includes a list of recommendations for conditions along the coasts. These
implementation by specific bodies. For example: changes will impact on the stability
planning agencies should use sinkhole and of infrastructures and may impact on
subsidence maps as a basis for issuing planning structures, roads, bridges, agricultural
and building permits; the Geological Survey of areas, engineering works, and
Israel should continue to monitor changes in the more. Pinpointing the Risks: What Do
physical infrastructure and to routinely update • Dropping lake levels will be the Maps Show?
the maps; and a new regional master plan should accompanied by shoreline retreat • Location of the likely future
be prepared for the western shores of the Dead and increasing distances between shorelines in space and in
Sea which will adopt a new planning approach, the lake and tourism sites and access time.
based on anticipated dynamic changes. roads. This issue should be addressed • Subsidence and sinkhole
in order to allow visitors to continue prone areas: active sinkhole
Main Conclusions to enjoy safe access to the sea. sites, areas in which there
• The default option will be relevant to the • Dropping lake levels may lead to a is a potential for sinkholes,
foreseeable planning horizon (at least 20-40 reduction in biodiversity, changes in areas in which the possibility
years), but, at the same time, trend-turning steps migration patterns and damage to of sinkholes cannot be ruled
should be examined, in order to formulate a unique local ecosystems. out, and areas in which
long-term integrated and sustainable national sinkholes are not expected
policy. Will the Document Make a to develop.
• The negative water balance of the Dead Sea Difference?
• Exposure of mud flats, steep
will not improve in the foreseeable future. Water It is widely agreed that the Dead Sea is slopes and regions prone to
levels will continue to drop at a rate of one one of Israel’s most important resources landslides and mudslides.
meter per year or more - dropping to about – a foremost industrial base and a • Accelerated undercutting
440 m below sea level in 2025 and -465 m by top-priority tourist site, both nationally and deepening of the creeks,
2050. and internationally. Publication of the which threaten to damage
• Even after implementation of a remedial first phase of the policy document roads, bridges and other
program (e.g., building a sea conduit or restoring has helped eliminate some of the infrastructure.
the natural inflow), raising the lake from 435-440 uncertainty concerning the future of • Potential damage to the
meters below sea level to any target level will the Dead Sea and its environs while stability of natural water
be a lengthy process. opening up new possibilities for creative pools, such as Einot-Zukim,
• The Dead Sea will not disappear even if no solutions and innovative measures Kaneh and Samar.
measures are taken to change the negative water which would allow the area to meet • Potential loss of underground
balance. It is likely to reach a stable situation in its promise and potential. water storage capacity.

Catalyzing economic growth
and national interests

Galit Cohen On The Dead Sea

Head, Unit for Environmental Policy
marine and
water pollution What catalyzed the initiative to Ministry of Infrastructure, especially with
and restoring prepare a policy document on the
rivers regard to the appearance of sinkholes.
future of the Dead Sea?
On the other side, the Jerusalem Institute
This goes back about five years. At the for Israel Studies, through its Israeli
time, two opposing initiatives were on Environmental Policy Center, contributed
Reducing air the table: First, an initiative, promoted
pollution from its expertise in policy making. With joint funding,
transportation by Friends of the Earth Middle East, to register the we were able to come out with a multidisciplinary
and industrial entire Dead Sea Basin as a Biosphere Reserve. policy document.
sources Second, plans for accelerated development,
especially thousands of new hotel rooms in the What is unique about the project?
Ein Gedi area. This was the first time that everything related to
Treating the future development of the Dead Sea area
municipal, Yet, at this very time, we were seeing extreme was considered – physical phenomena, ecology,
industrial and physical changes in the area: the appearance economic significance, cost/benefit, legal and
agricultural of sinkholes, extreme reactions of river flow and
waste planning impacts. This multidisciplinary approach
undercutting with damage to infrastructure. We was made possible through the cooperation of
realized that these physical processes had to be five teams, each with expertise in a different
Catalyzing taken into account in the planning process for aspect.
economic the future development of the Dead Sea area.
growth and We also realized that the geological processes What was the conclusion of the first document
national on what will happen to the lake under a
that were taking place were complex and that
interests scenario of no change in the deficient water
a major study would have to be taken in order
to come up with an integrated and sustainable
The main conclusion is that nothing will change
policy for the area.
Improving the in the next 20 to 40 years. We now know that
environment What did the Ministry of the Environment do? whatever the government decides, it will take at
and preseving least ten years until the first drop of water begins
open spaces We recognized that we must link physical
to flow into the Dead Sea and another ten years
processes with plans, science with decision-
until the water level stabilizes. By then, the water
making. We therefore sought the cooperation
level will have dropped by at least another 20
of experts in the field, especially from the Ministry
meters. And this is the optimistic forecast!
of Infrastructure which has the necessary research
institutions, including the Geological Survey. We
tools for We have to be realistic. Over the next 20 to 40
improving also organized seminars to find out what was
years, more sinkholes will be exposed, infrastructure
service and happening and what to anticipate. Thus, the
professionalism national policy for the Dead Sea area was based
on two approaches. On the one side, the basis
for the paper was the scientific research – both
geological and geophysical studies – done by the

Dead Sea sinkholes and views. Photos: Eli Raz

Dead Sea
and views.
Photos: Eli

will be damaged, water levels will continue to drop master plan for the Dead Sea which will relate
and the ecosystem will continue to be affected. to the new conditions.
On the other hand, we also know that the Dead
We must ensure that the policy document won’t
Sea will not disappear, but will rather decrease
remain on the shelf but will be implemented. The
to two-thirds of its current size and stabilize there.
document includes specific recommendations
Therefore, we need to reexamine the existing
about what each ministry should do – for example
infrastructure in its entirety, from roads to hotels,
for the Ministry of the Interior to prepare a master
and to formulate and implement a new master
plan or for the Nature and Parks Authority to
plan which will take account of the drastic
assess impacts on biodiversity.
changes in the area.
We would like to see a government decision on
We now know which areas are safe for further
the subject which would set up an interministerial
development and which appear destined for As a country,
committee, responsible for Israel’s preparedness
future damage. We must act accordingly. Thus,
for example, a major plan for tourism in the Ein
to confront the changes in the Dead Sea for a we have to
minimum of 20 years.
Gedi area, which was once on the agenda, is take decisions
no longer relevant. What is the situation of the existing hotels today to
along the Dead Sea?
At the same time, we must begin to carefully The document mostly relates to the northern
examine the two options which have been basin of the Dead Sea. The southern basin, where damage
proposed to stem the continuing decline in the
Dead Sea – construction of a canal from the Red
the hotels are concentrated, is made up of the tomorrow
industrial pools of the Dead Sea where processes
Sea to the Dead Sea or restoration of freshwater are totally different. In fact, we are seeing an
flow from the Jordan River into the Dead Sea. increase in water level of 20 cm each year as a
result of the evaporation process and the sinking
Is the policy document being taken into
account? of the salt.

We have to recognize the reality, no matter how

As the bottom rises, so does the water level,
difficult or sad. We have to look squarely in the
which in turn requires the hotels to raise the
mirror and deal with what we see. This means that
height of the dikes which protect the pools
as a country, we have to take decisions today to
every few years.
prevent damage tomorrow.
The time has come for a long-range solution
We need a new planning approach based on to the problem and this should be done under
the realization that we cannot build and develop the leadership of the Ministry of Tourism. Several
in the sinkhole area. Linear planning along the solutions, all very expensive, are being assessed,
Dead Sea shore is no longer appropriate. The including the building of a wall inside the ponds so
National Planning and Building Board accepted as to create a large lagoon in front of the hotels
the recommendation of the team for a new where the water level could be controlled.

Improving the urban environment and
preseving open spaces

Alex Kaplan On Local

Asbestos Use in Israel: 1950s-1990s

Environmental Units
marine and What were Head of Project and the supervision of a national
water pollution the major Environmental Units Division   coordinator in Jerusalem. How-
and restoring environmental
ever, their budgetary allocations
rivers achievements Local environmental
of 2005 on the are divided between the ministry
units play a critical role in
local front? and local authorities. The rate of
advancing environmental
In 2005, former support is determined according
Reducing air issues on the municipal
Minister of the Environment to objective criteria and varies
pollution from level and serve as the
transportation Shalom Simhon spearheaded a between 50% for new and small
local arm of the Ministry
and industrial major change in priorities which units to 10% in older, established
of the Environment. The
sources saw a dramatic growth in the units.
Environment Ministry is
ministry’s budgetary allocation professionally responsible What do environmental units
to local environmental units. for the operation of 47 deal with?
Treating At the beginning of 2005, local environmental units,
The units are responsible for
municipal, environmental units covered regional environmental
industrial and environmental activities and
50% of Israel’s geographic area units and associations
agricultural services, including, among others,
and 70% of the population. Today of towns for the
industrial inspection and business
environmental units cover 90% environment, eight of
licensing, environmental planning,
of the land area and provide which serve the Arab
treatment of noise nuisances,
Catalyzing environmental services to 85% of sector.
economic recycling, environmental educat-
the population.
growth and ion, pest control and agro-
national ecology. Some are also responsible for air pollution
How many new units were established in 2005?
interests monitoring systems or wastewater treatment
We issued a call for proposals which invited
systems. Over the years, authority for additional
local authorities to join an existing local unit
subjects has gradually been transferred to local
or to establish a new unit made up of several
Improving the units, including incorporating environmental
neighboring local authorities with our funding. As
environment conditions in business licenses of C-level businesses
a result, 10 new units were set up in 2005. They
and preseving (classified as lower pollution risk level plants) and
open spaces include six new units in the north of the country,
granting Poisons Permits to premises dealing with
a new unit in the Shoham area in the central
hazardous substances. Recently, responsibility
region, a new unit in the Givataim area in the
for the Reading Power Plant in Tel Aviv was also
Tel Aviv region and two new units in the south
transferred to the relevant local unit.
including one in the vicinity of Beersheba which
Developing We are convinced that local authorities are
tools for serves the Bedouin sector. We also provided these
better equipped to respond to local problems
improving new units with a one-time grant for the purchase
service and since they are closer to them, more familiar with
of dedicated equipment for soil sampling, noise
professionalism them, and as a result, more concerned about
and radiation monitoring and more.
them. By providing financial assistance to local
How does the Ministry of the Environment units, everyone wins - the Environment Ministry, the
support these units? local authority and the residents themselves.
All of the environmental units, old and new, are
professionally guided by the directors of the For more about the local environment, see
Environment Ministry's regional offices under p. 31.

Soundproofing Schools From Att. Haim

For A Sound Education

Chairman, Public
Committee on Acoustic
Protection of Schools,
Ben-Gurion Airport
Holon, Rishon LeZion, Beit Dagan, Or Yehuda and the decided to determine priorities for The acoustic protection project in
villages of Emek Lod differ in their socio-economic acoustic treatment on the basis schools around Ben-Gurion Airport
status, but youngsters in these communities of speech intelligibility criteria, an was exceedingly successful. It helped
surrounding Ben-Gurion Airport have one thing in objective index that takes account foster a special harmony among all
common: They have all benefited from a unique of the number of students in the class stakeholders, including the schools and
project to soundproof schools and kindergartens in and the number of minutes in which the communities. Over the past four
order to provide the children of these communities speech intelligibility is impaired due years, we managed to treat just about
with a sound learning environment. to aircraft noise. all of the schools and kindergartens and
even a few others which did not appear
Initiation of the Project Implementation in the Field
on the original map of noise-impacted
The statutory master plan for Ben-Gurion Airport, The IAA along with the relevant areas.
Israel’s major airport, calls on the Israel Airport local authorities funded the project,
Authority (IAA) to provide acoustic protection taking into consideration the socio- In addition to its financial support for
to residents and to assist local authorities in the economic status of each locality. acoustic protection and the general
noise-impacted area. Accordingly, a special Thus, while the norm for funding was refurbishment of classrooms and
public committee was set up to implement the set as 70% by the IAA and 30% by playgrounds, the Airports Authority is also
environmental provisions of the master plan and local authorities, in reality, the IAA implementing an educational program
to determine eligibility for acoustic protection in covered 85% of the cost of the in schools around the airport which
residential buildings. In addition, the IAA initiated, project in Beit Dagan, 90% in Or focuses on such subjects as aviation,
with the assistance of the Ministry of the Environment, Yehuda and 95% in the Emek Lod environmental quality and sustainable
a plan to provide acoustic treatment to educational communities. development.
institutions in the noise-impacted area.

Criteria for Eligibility

To determine eligibility, a public committee was set
up, headed by Att. Haim Corfu, who served as the
Minister of Transport at the time, and including the Educational project on aviation and
directors general of the Ministry of Transport, Ministry environment. Photo: Israel Airports
of the Environment and the IAA. The committee Authority.

Population Exposed to Noise from Ben-Gurion Airport

Facts and Figures percent

• Acoustic protection of educational institutions in the noise-impacted area 3%

of Ben Gurion Airport encompassed 23 schools and 77 kindergartens. 3%

• The Israel Airports Authority allocated 28.3 million shekels for acoustic 2%

protection to educational institutes and another 1.5 million for upgrading 2%

schoolyards and playgrounds (about $6.5 million). 1%

• The project included installation of new windows, acoustic ceilings and 1%

air conditioners.
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
>60 dBA >65 dBA >70 dBA

Developing tools for improving
service and professionalism

Base Station Antennas And

The Precautionary Principle
marine and In the summer of 2005, in response masts in urban areas and
water pollution to growing public concern about Some 6.9 Israelis have about 7 encouraging the construction
and restoring the construction of base stations million cell phones - one of the of small and relatively more
in the vicinity of residential areas highest rates of cell phones densely distributed cellular
and public institutions, Israel’s per capita in the world. At base stations, which emit lower
Minister of the Interior submitted the same time, the duration radiation levels.
Reducing air a proposal to the government on of cell phone conversations
pollution from • To encourage local authorities
an amendment to the national in Israel is also the longest to act, as much as possible,
and industrial master plan on small broad- in the world. Yet, although according to the model
sources casting facilities (known as Plan Israelis are totally dependent proposed by the municipality
36/A). The amendment called on their cell phones for instant of Modi’in for integrating a
for broadening the discretion communications – anytime, larger number of small cellular
of local planning committees in anywhere – they adamantly base stations in the existing
municipal, the planning process for cellular oppose the establishment urban infrastructure, in order
industrial and base stations, increasing public of cellular antennas. What to reduce exposure levels.
agricultural notification and participation to do? A directors-general
waste • To establish a four-track licensing
and requiring cellular companies committee makes some
method to replace the current
to compensate local authorities recommendations.
licensing system which is uniform
Catalyzing for accepted indemnity claims
for all base stations. The four-
economic for reduced property values
track system – red, orange,
growth and due to base stations. The
national yellow and green - would be
government, in turn, decided to
interests based on base station type, size,
postpone a final decision on the
radiation level and impact on
amendment until the results of
environment and landscape.
a specially appointed directors-
Improving the general committee will be in. The • To establish procedures for
environment mandate of the committee: to notifying the public about
and preseving the proposed construction
open spaces find ways to provide countrywide
coverage while taking into of cellular base stations and
account radiation safety, to enable its participation in
minimization of landscape planning processes.
blight and efficient licensing. In • To broaden the discretion
December 2005, the government of the local authority in the
tools for
approved the recommendations Cellular masts and antennas. Photos: planning process for cellular
Alex Kaplan and Lior Elovitch
service and of the committee, which were base stations, especially for
professionalism based on the implementation of the precautionary base stations with high radiation emissions which
principle. also have a significant impact on landscape and
Recommendations: Implementation of the the environment.
Precautionary Principle • To establish an indemnification mechanism for
• To adopt the principles underlying the amendment reduced property value based on the involvement
to the master plan, aimed at reducing the and discretion of the local authority in the planning
number of ground-based and roof-based tall process.

Cellular antenna in Modi'in
Photo: Alex Weinreb

Four Licensing Tracks for

Base Station Antennas

Red Track – For ground-based masts

or roof-based masts which are taller
than 3.5 meters in urban building

Orange Track – For roof-based

masts less than 3.5 meters and
ground-based masts and roof-
based masts taller than 3.5 meters
in open spaces, industrial areas and
interurban roads.

On Cellular Antennas In Modi’in

Yellow Track – For mast plans which
are prepared in cooperation with
the local authority and integrated
Alex Weinreb in the urban infrastructure (also
known as "the Modi’in model").
How and why did Modi’in get involved in the base
station antenna issue? Green Track – For specifically
Modi’in was first populated in 1996 and was declared a defined small antennas.
municipality in 2001. Its skyline is beautiful and a municipal
bylaw prohibits television antennas on rooftops or Guidelines on distribution, local
aboveground electric poles. Yet, there are 15 giant cellular authority discretion, indemnification
antennas around the town, 13 of them illegal since they mechanism and public notification
Deputy Mayor of were not granted a building permit. When the new city procedure are included in each
Modi’in, in charge administration was voted in two years ago, we set out to track, with licensing procedures
of environment for large base stations stricter than
put the environment high on our list of priorities and to find
solutions to the general confusion which characterized the those for small stations.
Mr. Alex Weinreb antenna issue.
initiated the
cellular antenna The report of the directors-general committee on siting
plan, also known base station antennas relates to the Modi’in model. Can
as the Modi’in you describe this model? The Modi’in
model, in The model is meant to provide maximum reception with model is
conjunction with minimum radiation. It calls for eliminating the existing large meant to
the engineering antennas, except for those at the city outskirts, and for
installing antennas in specially-designed lampposts, similar
division and the maximum
to those used today. The masts will only be 16 meters high
legal counsel of
Modi’in and with
(not 36 or 46 meters as is the case today) and people will reception
know exactly where they are located since they will be
the backing of clearly delineated on an interactive map available on the
with minimum
the mayor. municipality’s website. This is a "win-win" situation. radiation

Green All Over:
From Kindergarten To University
The Success Of The "Green School" Project, Initiated In 2002
Continues To Elicit Major Interest Throughout Israel
The idea of a "Green School" was first introduced joined the process, of which 23 have already been
to Israel some four years ago during the country’s certified. Interest levels have grown significantly
preparations for the Johannesburg World Summit as evidenced by the number of applications to
on Sustainable Development. The rationale was join the process in 2005: 170 applications were
to promote sustainable development, inculcate received by the Ministry of the Environment, of
environmental values and foster environmental which 101 were approved!
activism – all by means of the personal example
of the school itself. Green all Over
In light of the immense success of the project,
The Green School Process: Three Steps plans are currently being advanced to "green"
Toward Certification other areas. Steering committees have therefore
In order to help schools progress toward set criteria for Green Kindergartens, Green
sustainability, the steering committee for the Green Community Centers and Green Campuses.
School process, composed of representatives Green Community Center: A pilot project on
of the Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Green Community Centers was initiated in 2005
Education and Society for the Protection of and seven Green Community Centers were
Nature in Israel, drew up guidelines and criteria recently certified.
for certification. Schools are only approved for the
process if they meet the following three criteria: Green Campus: The Green Campus project
Day-to-day was initiated by a steering committee including
1. Integration of environmental subjects in the
activity can curriculum representatives of the Ministry of the Environment,
make a real 2. Rational use of resources the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology,
3. Contribution to the community Haifa University, Tel Hai College and the Council
difference in the for Higher Education in Israel.
The three-pronged process is designed to
quality of the encourage schools, with the cooperation of
environment in administration, students, parents and community,
which we live not just to teach environmental subjects but to act
in a sustainable manner. Only those schools which
fulfill the goals listed in each of the three categories
are eligible for Green School certification.
Although the incorporation of sustainable practices
within the school carries its own rewards, schools
that are accredited are awarded with special
certificates and a monetary prize of between NIS
5,000-10,000 per school.

To date, about 130 primary and intermediate

schools – spanning different geographical
locations and population sectors in Israel - have

Alon Karmiel Green School

Green Projects.
Photo: Roi Simcha

From representatives of the Environment Ministry in Encouraging Local Authorities

the Green School steering committee: to Go Green
Ms. Zivit Linder, Deputy Director of the Education and Information Tens of millions of shekels were allocated to local
Division: This is a wonderful project. It brings much more than formal authorities and to municipal units in 2005 to help
environmental education to the classroom. Through the project, the promote environmental projects in the following
environment becomes something concrete. Youngsters begin to areas:
understand the impacts of throwing a plastic bag, letting a faucet • Enhancing capacity to deal with hazardous
drip, keeping lights on in unoccupied rooms. They are provided substances accidents.
with the necessary tools to collect environmental data, to decide • Establishing infrastructure for construction and
how to improve the environment, to take concrete action, and demolition waste.
to measure progress. It is of utmost importance to let children see, • Promoting bicycle paths.
physically, how their actions affect the life cycle so that they realize • Cleaning up and disposing of asbestos waste
that they can make a difference in the quality of their environment from contaminated sites in the Western
as participating citizens in the democratic process. The goal of Galilee.
environmental education is to ensure that today’s youth will be • Planning, establishing and operating urban
exposed to environmental issues so that by the time they reach recycling centers and collecting beverage
adulthood each and every one of their decisions and actions will containers of 1.5 liters and more for recycling.
take the environment into account. • Preventing and treating pest nuisances to assure
public health.
Dr. Dorit Baum, Educational Coordinator of the Haifa District: The • Establishing or renovating municipal animal
Green School project has been a huge success. The idea is to shelters
have the school serve as a personal example of sustainability. • Promoting sustainable development activities
Through the project, environmental subjects are included in the within schools, with emphasis on biodiversity,
curriculum, environmental actions become daily actions at the environmental planning and industry and the
level of both school and community and environmental values are environment.
instilled in the students. The success of the project encouraged us • Promoting educational programs on the Deposit
to expand it to other areas, including Green Community Center, Law and on recycling.
Green Kindergarten and Green Campus. This way we will be able to
increase the circle of people who are affected by the project and In addition, over the past few years, some 40 local
we will be able to encourage activism on behalf of the environment authorities, including 16 regional councils in the
at all levels. north and south of the country, have initiated
Local Agenda 21 processes. A three-year LIFE
Dr. Motti Sela, Director of the Industry and Business Licensing Division: Third countries project on capacity building for
We are in the midst of a new revolution in green thinking. We have creating sustainable communities, based on
broadened the "green" concept from products to services so that it training, planning, legislation and administrative
will encompass the entire educational system and the community. networking, was initiated by the Heschel Center
The idea is infectious; it has a snowball effect. It is very exciting to for Environmental Learning and Leadership in
see the projects come to fruition, to witness the commitment of 2006.
the participants and to celebrate with the winning schools. All of
the new projects which are now being planned have a common
denominator and are based on education, community involvement
and rational use of resources, but with modifications for different
age groups. As far as I am concerned, this is our future. This is how
we can leave our stamp.
Park in Shoham. Photo: Judy Elispor

Greening The Israel
Defense Forces

"I have no doubt that

an army that thinks
On February 26, 2006, at an army base in central Israel, environmental awards were granted
"green" is a more to army units, soldiers and commanders of the Israel Defense Forces. Although this was the
efficient army, a wiser third annual ceremony, it was accompanied for the first time by an exhibition of 20 winning
photographs on the subject of "The IDF and the Environment."
army, a healthier
The 2005 IDF environmental competition brought to the fore a world of innovative technologies,
army and one that activities and ideas in areas as diverse as waste recycling, energy, fuel and water savings, and
best fulfills its mission - enhanced appearance of army bases. In reviewing the projects, the selection committee,
made up of representatives of the Ministry of the Environment and the IDF, noted the clear
protecting the country
link between environmental investments, nuisance prevention and added benefits such
and its residents and as resource conservation, improved organizational culture and efficiency, unit pride and
protecting natural creativity and even financial savings.

resources and the Winners were divided into four categories: Environment Minister’s Awards, Certificates of
Commendations and Certificates of Appreciation to excelling army units and Personal
landscape. Imparting Awards to individuals for promoting environmental projects. Following are the first place
values that take winners:

into account the Environment Minister’s Award – First Place

Ammunition Center: The center developed and constructed an industrial installation
environment in which which allows for the environmentally friendly disposal of ammunition which is designated
we live will assure, for scrapping through its dismantling into metal components and recycling.
at the end of the IDF Fuel Supply Center: This center submitted three projects: collection of used oil filters
day, a better and from army units, conversion of water heating systems from diesel oil to liquefied petroleum
gas (LPG) and development of a mobile surface for gas stations that allows fueling in the
healthier society and field without risk of leakage.
a better quality of the
Haifa Naval Base: The base established a special unit for preventing marine pollution by
environment for us and oil or fuel, with dedicated equipment for combating oil pollution. The unit undertakes
for future generations." joint exercises with the Marine and Coastal Environment Division of the Ministry of the
Photos: Environmental projects by the Israel Defense Forces
Minister of the Environment

Gideon Ezra at the third

annual Israel Defense Forces

environmental awards


IDF Photography Competition
More than 130 photographs by IDF soldiers were submitted to the first photographic
competition on "The IDF and the Environment." The aim of the competition was to
increase environmental awareness among soldiers, even during their army service,
with the aid of the camera lens. The winning 20 photos were displayed for all to see
during the IDF award ceremony.

The Winners:
• First Prize: Dror Nush of the
Israel Air Force Artillery
School - "Balance of Terror"

• Second Prize: Yossef Saadon

of the Parachutes Unit - "My
Intimate Room"

• Third Prize: Meytal Nissim of

the Ofek Unit - "Nature and

1 > Dror Nush

3 > Maytal Nissim 2 > Yossef Saadon

Non-Ionizing Radiation Law, to flow into the sea waste or sewage from a land-
2006 based source, either directly or indirectly, save
Publication of the Non-Ionizing Radiation under a permit and according to its conditions;
Law in the official government gazette provided that a permit shall not be granted to types
(Reshumot) on January 1, 2006 marked of waste or sewage forbidden by regulations…"
an important breakthrough in the The purpose of the amendment is to facilitate
regulation of radiation sources in Israel. effective enforcement against all polluters of the
The "framework law" aims to protect the sea, without regard to intent or purpose, including
public and the environment from the those that unintentionally discharge wastewater
harmful impacts of exposure to non- to the sea, due to negligence or indifference.
ionizing radiation, including radiation
from cellular base stations (antennas) and Additional changes to the existing legislation
electricity network installations. It regulates include: substantially higher fine levels; additional
the establishment and operation of non- fines which reflect the benefit which accrued to
ionizing radiation sources and the provision the polluter from non-compliance with the law;
of radiation measurement services, inter decrees to prevent, minimize or stop the pollution,
alia, by determining prohibitions and obligations in clean up the area and restore previous conditions;
accordance with the precautionary principle. and potential fees for marine pollution prevention
to be imposed on permit holders and paid to the
More specifically, the law prohibits the construction Prevention of Sea Pollution Fund.
and operation of a radiation source or the provision
of a radiation service without the relevant permit Amendment to the Freedom of
from the Ministry of the Environment: construction
Information Law (Environmental
permit, operation permit or service provision
Information), 2005
permit. It then stipulates conditions for granting The 2005 amendment to the Freedom of
each of these permits, including measures to Information Law specifically relates to the
limit human and environmental exposure to publication of environmental information with
the anticipated radiation and measurements, "relevance to public health, including data on
both prior to and after the operation of the substances that are emitted, spilled, discharged
radiation source, by professionally trained and or released to the environment and the results
licensed service providers. In addition, the law of measurements of noise, odors and radiation,
sets prohibitions, requirements and instructions on not on private property." The objective is to
inspection, enforcement, penalties and fees. make environmental information which exists in
Eilat’s beach.
Photo: Dalit government agencies more accessible, through
Ehrlich its publication on websites and by other means,
Prevention of Sea Pollution and to do away with the need for applications
from Land-Based Sources Law, and fees.
(Amendment no. 2), 2005
An amendment to Israel’s Land-Based Declaration on National Parks,
Sources Law, enacted in June 2005, aims
Nature Reserves, National Sites and
to strengthen the law and bring it into line
Memorial Sites (Protected Natural
with the amended Land-Based Protocol of
Assets), 2005
the Barcelona Convention. The amended The new declaration updates the initial list of
law reads: "No person shall dump or cause protected natural assets which was published in

1979. Scientists in the Nature and Parks Authority environment and to sustainable
in cooperation with academic experts prepared development, setting municipal
the updated list on the basis of many years of environmental and sustainable
scientific surveys and research, including the development policy and
information compiled for Israel’s Red Data Book supervising the implementation of approved
on Vertebrates and its Red List of wild plants. The plans.
entire Red List of endangered plants in Israel
– some 400 plants – has been added to the new Water Regulations (Prevention of
declaration. The list is based on five major criteria: Water Pollution) (Fuel Pipelines), 2006
rarity, extinction rate and habitat vulnerability, The Minister of the Environment, in consultation
attractivity, endemism and peripherality. Some with the Minister of Health and the Water Council
plants, which were originally included in the list, and with the approval of the Knesset Economic
were excluded from the new declaration when it Committee, promulgated regulations on the
was discovered that they exist in sites throughout prevention of water pollution from fuel pipelines
the country. in February 2006. The purpose of the regulations
is to reduce potential risks from fuel transport
Amendment to the Licensing of pipelines, thereby preventing environmental
Businesses Law (Restricting Noise degradation and pollution of water sources.
Levels from Entertainment Halls and The regulations set provisions for constructing,
Gardens and Discotheques), 2005 operating, maintaining, inspecting and testing
An amendment to the Licensing of Businesses fuel pipelines, impose reporting obligations in
Law, approved in December 2005, adds case of leaks, and call for measures to stop and
discotheques to a 2002 amendment on limiting repair the damage caused to the environment
noise from entertainment halls and gardens in as a result of such leaks.
order to protect public health. According to
the amendment, licenses or temporary permits The regulations require the following, inter alia:
will not be granted to entertainment halls and • Informing the official appointed by the
gardens and to discotheques if a noise monitor Environment Minister and the Water
is not installed. Noise monitors measure the noise Commissioner about the submission of pipeline
intensity, give a warning when noise levels exceed installation plans to planning agencies, including
permitted levels and cut the electricity supply their exact location.
to amplifiers if the warning is not heeded after a • Ensuring that the process of installing and
defined time period. Maximum noise levels and operating fuel pipelines does not cause water
duration of the alert are to be determined by the or soil pollution.
Minister of the Environment in regulations. • Adhering to procedures and standards for the
construction and operation of fuel pipelines,
Amendment to the Municipalities which include safety factors such as depth of
Ordinance (Environmental cover and minimum distances from water lines,
Committee), 2005 cathodic protection, and leak control systems
An amendment to the Municipalities Ordinance, (Computational Pipeline Monitoring).
promulgated in February 2005, requires municipal • Undertaking piping leak tests, continuous
councils to appoint a statutory environmental measurements and record keeping.
committee with the following responsibilities: • In case of leaks, taking measures to stop the
initiating and planning actions related to the leak and report the event.

Meytal Nissim, Third Prize Winner of IDF
Environmental Photography Competition.