06/20/2011 02:43

Knesset panel rejects two other green bills; National Registry Act will require establishment of databases to detail which substances being discharged.

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday approved an environmental law that will require factories to publicize their hazardous chemical emissions.

But it also rejected two other green bills, a spokesman for MK Dov Henin (Hadash) announced on Sunday evening.

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The approved National Registry Act, formulated by the Israel Union for Environmental Defense (Adam Teva V’Din) and supported by Henin, as well as MKs Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz), Eitan Cabel (Labor) and Amnon Cohen (Shas), will require the establishment of databases that detail which substances are being discharged into the air and the exact locations of these chemical emissions.

Such a system is currently being used by 39 countries per OECD standards, according to a statement from the Israel Union for Environmental Defense. The registries will be updated annually according to rules set forth by the Environment Protection Ministry.

“Residents of the State of Israel are suffering from environmental hazards and health difficulties that are gushing from the release of dangerous chemicals into the air, in the water and on the land,” said the organization’s executive director, Amit Bracha.

“Registry of emissions and the removal of dangerous chemicals will help reduce pollution in Israel and will enable the advancement of sustainable policies, take into account developmental and environmental needs and protect public health.”

The two other proposed laws would have promoted the right of students to study in environments free of environmental hazards and would have amended the 1952 Petroleum Law to include more environmentally procedures. They were rejected in the same meeting, Henin’s spokesman said.

“Maintaining the anachronistic Petroleum Law reveals a serious error,” Henin said.

“We must guarantee that crises like the one in the Gulf of Mexico will not occur in the Mediterranean Sea,” he said.

“An oil spill in the Mediterranean would be a tremendous environmental catastrophe, and Israel does not have the tools or the knowledge to cope with a crisis like this. Unfortunately, Israel specializes in the establishment of investigative committees following disasters, but fails in terms of preventing them.”