18/06/2017

Govt. OKs Haifa Bay Expansion Plan as Ministry Reports Reduction in VOC Emissions; Ministry Warns Other Pollutant Targets Won't be Met Without Natural Gas
 
 
In light of the significant progress made with regard to the national plan to reduce air pollution in Haifa’s industrial and transportation sectors, the Government has approved a Decision to expand the transportation portion of the plan to the Krayot, a cluster of five small cities in Haifa Bay. This will be in addition to the industry portion of the plan, which is already operational in all of Haifa Bay. Transportation accounts for much of the air pollution in Haifa Bay, and the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) has devoted much effort and significant budgets to reducing vehicular air pollution in that area.


Haifa Bay Transportation Plan to be Expanded

To date, transportation accounts for 56% of nitrous oxide emissions, 44% of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, and 25% of particle emissions in the Haifa Bay area. In addition, air quality levels from monitoring stations near major roads in Haifa Bay often exceed normal values.

In an effort to reduce this vehicular pollution and improve air quality in and around Haifa Bay, the Government Decision approved on Sunday, June 18th, will expand the transportation portion of the Haifa Bay Action Plan to the Krayot area.

Minister of Environmental Protection Zeev Elkin: "The MoEP is leading the government’s plan to reduce air pollution in Haifa. The Government Decision we passed today funds implementation of the first Low Emission Zone in Israel, which will begin operating in January [2018], and expands all government measures to the various authorities bordering Haifa Bay. We’ve doubled to 600,000 the number of residents who will benefit from the Decision! The MoEP is working to build a clean transportation infrastructure in Haifa Bay, to reduce emissions from industrial plants and gas stations, and to prevent environmental hazards from the ammonia tank. This is another significant step that the Ministry has led in order to improve the quality of life and health of hundreds of thousands of residents of Haifa and the Krayot."

Deputy Minister Yaron Mazuz: "As a resident of the Krayot and a representative of the Haifa district, I welcome the fact that the plan to create a Low Emission Zone will be expanded to an area that needs it no less: the Krayot area. The financial aid that was approved today will bring to fruition a number of different programs to reduce the severe air pollution that prevails in the region, and will allow their expansion to the entire Haifa Bay area. Among the ways the plan will come to fruition is with: the establishment of an area in Haifa in which the driving of polluting diesel vehicles is restricted, the expansion of the electric car ride-share program, the encouragement of the installation of particulate filters in vehicles, and the reduction of emissions from garbage trucks. These programs, among many other risk- and pollution-reduction programs spearheaded by the Ministry, are designed to improve the quality of life of citizens, whose health and quality of life are always at the top of our priorities."

MoEP Director General Yisrael Dancziger: "The revolution in Ministry activities over the past two years, with a focus on preventing and reducing pollution and risks, has become a reality, with revolutions in reducing air pollution and hazardous materials risks from transportation, energy generation, industry, and fires in open spaces. Haifa is at the forefront of activity, and the closure of the ammonia tank and the reduction in pollution constitute a transition from plans and budgets to results."

The transportation portion of the Haifa Bay Plan Action to Reduce Air Pollution and Environmental Risks that will be expanded to the Krayot includes:

  1. An NIS 11 million Low Emission Zone (LEZ) will be established in the Krayot by Jan. 2019. (A NIS 10 million LEZ is already being established in downtown Haifa, and is expected to be operational by Jan. 2018.)
  2. Subsidies to owners of polluting diesel vehicles will be expanded, such that 240 additional particulate filters can be installed in vehicles in the Haifa Bay region (budget: NIS 3 million).
  3. An electric car sharing project that was initiated in Haifa and in some of the Krayot will be expanded to the entire Haifa Bay area (budget: NIS 3 million). This expansion will enable the rental and return of electric vehicles throughout the metropolitan area in a manner that will increase the efficiency of the project.
  4. A plan to fuel garbage trucks in Haifa with natural gas will be extended to additional authorities in Haifa Bay that want to adopt the plan Gulf (budget: NIS 3 million).

 

These projects are expected to be carried out in Haifa within half a year, and in the Krayot area within a year. The total budget for the Government Decision is NIS 30 million for the years 2017 to 2018, including NIS 20 million from the MoEP’s budget base and NIS 10 million from the Ministry of Finance.

Implementation of these measures are expected to result in a 23% reduction in emissions from transportation in the area and a significant improvement in air quality.

Haifa Bay Action Plan: Implementation Report

​The government approved the Decision to expand the Haifa Bay plan after the MoEP released its most recent report on implementation of the Haifa Bay Action Plan to Reduce Air Pollution and Environmental Risks. 

The report shows:

  1. A 22% decrease in VOC emissions from industry, relative to 2014 (the base year in the plan). The plan sets a target of a 48% reduction by 2018.
  2. A 7% to 15% reduction of sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter, compared to 2014.

    The overall decrease indicates a continuation of the trend of significant reductions in industrial pollution emissions that began in 2009, amounting to 40% to 90% reductions in various pollutants. However, an analysis finds that ongoing delays in connecting the natural gas distribution network in Haifa Bay will make it impossible to meet the 2018 targets set for these pollutants.

  3. The MoEP has revised emissions permits and business licenses of 26 industrial factories in Haifa Bay, such that they are now required to adhere to European standards, with regard to pollution and use of best available technologies (BATs) to reduce pollution.
  4. Supervision and enforcement of laws and regulations has increased by a rate o 30% to 250%.
  5. Vapor recovery systems have been installed in all 97 gas stations in Haifa Bay.
  6. The scope of periodic sampling of air quality has been doubled and continuous monitoring of air quality has been improved.
  7. An aggregate risk survey being conducted by the MoEP, which includes risks from all industrial facilities in Haifa Bay, is expected to be completed by year’s end.

 

Publication of a report on the status of implementation of the Haifa Bay plan is one of the requirements of the plan itself, which was approved in Government Decision 529, in September 2015. The MoEP continues to act with transparency and report to the public on its actions to reduce air pollution and environmental risks in Haifa Bay.

Read the Haifa Bay Action Plan Implementation: Quarterly Report (Q4 2016) and 2016 Summary (HEBREW Only)

Read Air Quality in Haifa Bay, 2016 Summary and Q1 2017 (HEBREW Only)

Learn more about the Haifa Bay Action Plan