Green group’s inspection of 10 facilities in Western Galilee’s industrial zone finds record levels of pollution. Authorities says inspections performed according to law

Alphi Shauli
Published: 02.12.13, 07:25 / Israel Environment

A new report by the “Citizens for the Environment” green group has found abnormally hazardous levels of contamination in the air and soil surrounding the Tefen Industrial Zone, on the Western Galilee, Ynet has learned.

The report, titled “Industrial Silence 4” said it recognized “record-breaking pollution levels” in the area.

The review included 10 facilities and determined that various contaminants in the soil and water in levels exceeding legal limits by hundreds and sometimes thousands of percents; further concluding that the majority of the facilities were not monitoring air pollution or air quality as often as required.

The disconcerting findings include alarming figures, such as air pollution measuring at twice the legal limit, chlorine compounds at 650% above permitted levels, volatile organic materials exceeding legal limits by a staggering 12,860% and particle readings up to 720% higher that the legal limit.

A review of water and wastewater in the area derived sulfite residue 10,500% above the permitted levels, lead readings 135% over the legal limit, as well as heavy metals, oils, nitrogen and ammonia reading about legally accepted levels.

“There is a failure in addressing the issue of sewage in Tefen. The local council has been promising for years to correct this, yet the solution remains a long way off,”

According to Amitai, the Environmental Protection Ministry and the Interior Ministry are not performing oversight or taking any other significant actions despite the significant pollution in the area.

The group further accused the Environmental Protection Ministry of failing to publish its inspections’ findings for the area, as required by the law.

The Migdal Tefen industrial council issued the following statement: “The council promotes full transparency and acts with this in mind. As part of this activity, the council invests in many resources to ensure transparency and the presentation of data to everyone, in a manner accessible to the public.

“The claim that we are neglecting our oversight responsibilities is baseless. An accusation of this type does not even deserve a response.”

The Environmental Protection Ministry said that “Contrary to the accusations, the results of all inspections are automatically published on the ministry’s website.

“It is puzzling that the body complaining of lack of transparency chose to hide the report from the ministry and avoided presenting it to us in order to assist in fixing any deficiencies, if they truly exist.”,7340,L-4340687,00.html