ISRAEL ENVIRONMENT BULLETIN Autumn 1994-5755
Vol. 17, No. 3
ISSN 0334-3804

Editor: Shoshana Gabbay

Contents

Inside the Ministry of the Environment
Israel Environment Week
The Greening of Industry
National Air Monitoring System
Contingency Plan for Hazardous Substances
Environmental Legislation
International Cooperation
News in Brief
A Decade’s Experience in Implementing a Land-Use Environmental Impact Assessment System in Israel

Israel Environment Bulletin is published quarterly by the Ministry of the Environment. Articles may be freely reprinted but it would be appreciated if reference is made to the source.

Inquiries should be addressed to:

Israel Environment Bulletin P.O.B. 6234
Jerusalem 91061, Israel

Dear Reader:

The Autumn 1994 issue of the Bulletin examines some of Israel’s most recent accomplishments in such areas as the greening of industry, air monitoring and hazardous substances and reviews the implementation of environmental impact assessment over the past ten years. Israel’s progress in the enactment of environmental legislation is also featured as is its increasing involvement in the international arena. Further details on the environment and peace will be presented in our upcoming Bulletin.

INSIDE THE MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT

New Parks at Lachish and Kishon Rivers

The Lachish River Park was inaugurated in October 1993 in the presence of Environment Minister Yossi Sarid and other dignitaries. Inauguration of the park is part of an ambitious plan to rehabilitate the river and to develop a park for recreation and tourism along its banks. The rehabilitation of the 3-kilometer river will serve as an aesthetic buffer separating Ashdod’s residential area from the heavy industrial zone of the city. The project was initiated by the Ashdod-Yavne Town Association for Environmental Quality in cooperation with the Ashdod Municipality, Israel Lands Authority, Jewish National Fund, Ministry of the Environment and the Israel Government Tourist Corporation.

On the banks of the Kishon River in the Kiryat Tivon area, a one-hectare recreational park was inaugurated in October 1994 in the presence of the Minister of the Environment, the chairman of the Jewish National Fund and the mayor of the town. Preparations for the park included cleanup and widening of the river bed and establishment of nature trails, grassy expanses and recreational facilities.

Winners Announced in Landfill Tenders

With the selection of the companies who will plan, construct, operate and maintain the Dudai’m and Talya landfills, the Ministry of the Environment has completed the first stage of one of its most ambitious environmental projects: closing down some 400 illegal garbage dumps and replacing them by five central landfills. In July, the M.M.M. United Landfill Industries group won the tender to plan, set up and operate a waste disposal site at Dudai’m near Beersheba. The site, scheduled to open in December 1995, will process about 1,500 tons of waste per day from the greater Tel Aviv area. In October, Sithal-Hagal Corporation won the tender to establish and operate the Talia landfill in the north near Lake Kinneret.

Air Monitoring Station in Central Bus Station

Tel Aviv’s new central bus station is home to a new air monitoring station measuring a series of pollutants including nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, carbon monoxide, ozone and particulates. The station will enable the Ministry of the Environment to identify, in real time, various pollutants. The station, costing some NIS 400,000, was funded by the owners of the bus station and the Dan and Egged bus cooperatives.

Cleaner Beaches for Southern Carmel

A breakthrough in the prevention of pollution from land-based sources occurred in June with an agreement to connect Israel Military Industries, a major polluter of the Carmel beaches, to the sewage system of the municipality of Tirat Hacarmel, following treatment of the plant’s wastewater to the requisite level. In recent years, several industrial plants in the area have stopped discharging their sewage to the Carmel coast as a result of stringent enforcement of marine pollution prevention regulations by Ministry of the Environment marine inspectors. The Ministry of the Environment was instrumental in bringing about the agreement whereby Israel Military Industries will pay a sewage fee to the municipality in return for its connection to the municipal system.

Cabinet Creates Crater Land

The Israel cabinet has decided to endorse the proposal of the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Tourism to establish a "Crater Land" in Israel’s Negev desert. The site will encompass the Negev’s unique crater area where a number of craters (Makhtesh Ramon, the Large and Small Crater and the two small Arif craters) present a magnificent panorama and a unique view into geomorphologic evolution. In recognition of the unique natural and geological assets of the area, the craters will be protected from arbitrary quarrying and mining and carefully developed to serve as a focus for desert tourism. In order to implement the decision and to review the economic, commercial, employment, tourism and environmental aspects of the plan, an interdisciplinary directors general committee has been set up.

New Incinerator for Ramat Hovav

One of Israel’s most pressing environmental problems growing quantities of organic waste in the Ramat Hovav hazardous waste site is finally nearing a solution. Following an agreement between the Ramat Hovav Environmental Services Company and Banir, an Israeli company, Ramat Hovav is scheduled to receive an American-made incinerator capable of burning 15,000 tons of organic waste a year. According to the agreement, the incinerator will begin operating by the end of 1995 and win gradually destroy the 35,000 tons of organic waste that have accumulated at the site. Banir was chosen out of nine companies specializing in the incineration of hazardous waste. The selection process was helped by Western European experts who examined the technical aspects of the offer and Israeli bodies which checked the economic aspects.