09/02/2010 08:00

International consultant to help Israeli team of specialists improve air quality.

As the implementation date for the Clean Air Act approaches, the Environmental Protection Ministry issued a tender this week seeking an economic consultant to create a national plan to reduce air pollution.

The Clean Air Act goes into effect on January 1, 2011, and the ministry has until January 1, 2012, to bring the national plan for approval to the government.

The ministry is seeking an Israeli consulting company to form a team of economists and air pollution specialists to create the plan. The Israeli team must partner with an international company, either from Western Europe or North America, which has experience in this specific area.

The first step of the plan is to survey other Western countries’ programs and methods for reducing air pollution – primarily from industry, transportation, energy production and private homes.

Once that is done, the consultant will use the information in conjunction with the findings of a committee of experts which have been mapping air pollution sources in Israel. The committee is expected to have completed its mapping by the time the consultant begins his task, according to the tender document.

The final date for application to the tender is October 14, 2010. The national plan must be ready for government approval by November 15, 2011, since an approved plan must be in place by January 1, 2012.

As part of the national plan, the consultant will run cost-benefit analyses regarding current methods of air pollution reduction as well as new proposed methods. The consultant’s work will be accompanied by an interministerial committee that will make suggestions as to how the plan can best be adapted to the various ministries.

The consultant will create a methodology for evaluating air pollution reduction strategies which will enable comparison between different options. The ministry reserved the right to demand modifications to the methodology in light of Western Europe or North American methodologies after the literature survey is submitted.

The ministry is also about to hire an international consultant to help strategize how to reduce pollution from transportation and the international consultant’s work will be made available to the crafter of the national plan, according to the tender document.

While the ministry has measurements for certain air pollutants, the consultant will have to arrange for additional measurements to cover all of the various pollutants. An additional part of the master plan is to give environmental values to certain pollutants whose values have not yet been classified and update some whose values are outdated. An environmental value is how long a contaminant has been in the air and in what concentrations.