06/07/2016

Ashkelon Power Plant. Photo: Ilan Malester

Ministry Recommending Criminal Probe Into Rutenberg Power Station
Ashkelon Power Plant 
Photo: Ilan Malester 
The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) is requesting that its Green Police begin a criminal investigation against the Israel Electric Corp’s Rutenberg Power Plant. This after officials discovered uncontrolled combustion of coal in a storage area at the power station, in the city of Ashkelon. The fire caused strong odors of burnt fuel, prompting complaints from nearby residents. The MoEP summoned the plant’s manager to a hearing in May 2016 in the wake of those complaints.


​Ministry officials are recommending an investigation into whether the Rutenberg plant’s managers violated the terms in their business license by burning coal in an uncontrolled manner. This would also be a violation of the Abatement of Environmental Nuisances Law, which prohibits anyone from causing unreasonable odors.

The maximum penalty for a violation of the Business Licensing Law is 18 months in prison or a fine of NIS 75,300, as well as a daily fine of NIS 1,400 for each day the violation continues after receipt of a written warning.

The maximum penalty for violating the Abatement of Environmental Nuisances Law is six months imprisonment or a fine of NIS 226,000 for a person, and double that for a corporation, as well as a daily fine of NIS 11,300 for each day the violation continues after receipt of a written warning.

The MoEP will take all measures at its disposal to prevent similar environmental hazards in the future.