Objectives and Achievements of the Nationwide Operation
More than 150 inspectors from the MoEP’s Green Police, Israel Police officers, and workers from the MoEP and environmental units throughout Israel took part in the operation, which was led by the Green Police. They raided farms, agricultural waste sites, and compost sites, to assess their compliance with environmental requirements such as:
- preventing unreasonable odors
- keeping sources of surface water and groundwater safe
- preventing air pollution
- ensuring that open spaces are kept clean from litter.
The operation had and achieved three main objectives:
- Supervision and control of agricultural sources of environmental nuisances;
- Enforcement against farms that were proven to be guilty of environmental violations, and the use of penalties that were commensurate with the crime; and
- Expanding the circle of MoEP participants in enforcement operations, which raises awareness amongst farmers, business owners, manufacturers, and MoEP workers, thus serving as a deterrence and inspiring responsible behavior.
Sites found to be in violation of the law will be reinspected within the next two months. If the problems aren’t dealt with, either a criminal investigation will be launched, or those responsible will receive an official warning (the step before a criminal investigation begins.)
The MoEP intends to carry out similar operations throughout the year.
Safeguarding Public Health, Respecting Business Owners
"We are responsible for the lives and environmental security of Israeli citizens, and therefore, we will significantly increase the workforce that is dedicated to oversight and enforcement; we will increase by hundreds of percent our activities in the field, and we will conduct dozens of surprise inspections on a regional and a national level."
Mr. Dancziger also emphasized the need to be respectful to the owners of the sites and businesses being inspected: "The MoEP provides many incentives for those who are working to reduce pollution and environmental hazards, while going after those who create hazards and endanger public health. Our goal is to keep watch over the health of Israeli residents while at the same time supporting a thriving agricultural industry trade and a strong economy.
"Our activities must be carried out with sensitivity and respect for business owners. We have no intention of harming their livelihood. We only want to ensure that they continue to live in dignity, while safeguarding public health and the environment."