The Environmental Protection Ministry received reports from Atlit area residents earlier this month of harsh chemical odors.

Due to a recent chemical leak and failure to report the incident, the Environmental Protection Ministry announced on Wednesday afternoon that the Carmel Resins plant would no longer be permitted to use hazardous materials.

Over the course of Wednesday, June 11, the Environmental Protection Ministry had received reports from Atlit area residents of harsh chemical odors and burning sensations in their eyes. When emergency team members descended upon the Carmel Resins factory – owned by Gil Dankner – they detected a spillage of benzyl chloride, which leaked into the ground. Plant workers, meanwhile, failed to report the incident and prevented emergency personnel from entering the site, according to the Environment Ministry.

Earlier this week, during a hearing held by the ministry with Dankner, ministry officials declared that “the chain of failures (at the plant) creates a real fear of recurrence of hazardous material incidents and indicates the plant’s inability to fittingly cope with such events.”

Following the hearing, Environmental Protection Ministry officials performed an unannounced inspection of the site, during which it became clear that the plant had not learned from the incident, the ministry said. Hazardous materials were stored in violation of fire codes, and workers were not instructed what to do in cases of emergency, the ministry added.

Ministry officials have therefore immediately decided to revoke the toxins permit of Carmel Resins, and has ordered Dankner to evacuate all such materials to the hazardous waste disposal site at Neot Hovav within one week, the ministry said.