Environmental Protection Ministry launches list of air, sea, sewerage polluting factories in Israel for public review, awareness

Alphi Shauli

For the first time, the Environmental Protection Ministry posted a list of polluting companies in Israel and their emissions on its official website Sunday morning. The list will also be integrated into informative GIS maps and will be accessible to Israeli citizens.

This move is part of Israel’s commitments after joining the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development). The ministry proudly stated that the publication is a true environmental revolution, yet emphasized they are not looking for enemies; on the contraire, not all factories on the list are breaking the law, most of them operate within lawful boundaries and are at stages of regulating their operations.

The ministry speaks of “industrial transparency”, with the end goal being providing the public with information that clarifies whether factories are polluting or operating lawfully. In addition, the publication is designed to encourage the factories to strive to be more environment-friendly.

In order to monitor and list polluting emissions, the polluters were divided into three groups: Air, sewage and sea. Potential polluters with the most severe health and environment effects were mapped out in each category.

The reports regarding the infectious emissions are submitted by the enterprises themselves, yet the Environmental Protection Ministry clarified that they sign legal declarations and are operating under strict regulation with severe penal sanctions against them in cases of false affidavits. In addition, the ministry regularly monitors and supervises the given data.

Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz said: “The struggle for cleaner air is not just a slogan. The impact on the market and disease reaches vast proportions, and according to my ministry’s estimates, the pollution damages cost NIS 14.2 billion ($4 billion) every year. Despite budget cuts and the Finance Ministry’s decision to cancel programs fighting pollution, we continue acting towards the right to breathe the cleanest air possible.

“However, if the Finance Ministry’s attitude towards such a critical and important subject will not change, the issue will only get worse. We have no intention to hide the information from the public and will continue to act transparently and make the information, which belongs to the public, accessible to everyone.”