10/02/2016
First Nationwide Green Police Enforcement Operation
Inspection at a farm in Be'er Tuviah
 
As part of its efforts to prevent environment-related morbidity and mortality, the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) initiated a massive enforcement operation against violators of environmental laws. The operation, which took place Feb. 3, 2016, was aimed at finding illegal sources of air pollution, underground water contamination, and hazardous materials offenses. In all, some 245 sites across the country were inspected and 34 fines were handed out.

Objectives and Achievements of the Nationwide Operation

First Nationwide Green Police Enforcement Operation
Green Police cars ready for nationwide enforcement 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:

  1. preventing unreasonable odors
  2. keeping sources of surface water and groundwater safe
  3. preventing air pollution
  4. ensuring that open spaces are kept clean from litter.

 

The operation had and achieved three main objectives:

  1. Supervision and control of agricultural sources of environmental nuisances;
  2. Enforcement against farms that were proven to be guilty of environmental violations, and the use of penalties that were commensurate with the crime; and
  3. 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

First Nationwide Green Police Enforcement Operation
 
 
MoEP Director General Yisrael Dancziger addressed participants before the first-of-its-kind operation began: "Prevention of mortality and morbidity resulting from contamination of air or water, or from hazardous materials, or from any hazard to people and the environment, is the top priority for the MoEP. Increased supervision and enforcement in all areas that endanger public health is a key means of implementing this very important goal.

"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."