Israel Environment Bulletin Autumn 1997-5758, Vol. 20, No. 4


Water Regulations (Prevention of Water Pollution) (Evaporation and Storage Ponds), 1997

These regulations, promulgated within the framework of the Water Law and the Abatement of Nuisances Law, aim at preventing water pollution from evaporation and storage ponds, on the one hand, and at restricting their use, on the other hand. The lack of stringent standards for the construction, use, treatment and maintenance of evaporation and storage ponds in the past had resulted in environmental pollution. Improperly sealed evaporation ponds allowed for the leakage of industrial brines and effluents to soil and groundwater. A similar situation existed with regard to collection ponds serving for the storage of effluents, brines and other hazardous materials.

Following are the salient points of the regulations:

* The construction of an evaporation pond or storage pond is prohibited in all cases in which an economically viable and environmentally sound alternative is available for industrial effluent treatment. Moreover, the following information must be presented: geological data related to the proposed site including details on existing wells and groundwater levels at a three kilometer radius, description of the underlying rock formations including data on hydraulic conductivity, and description of surface and underground drainage conditions;

* The construction and operation of the pond may not cause water pollution, air pollution or odor pollution as defined in the Abatement of Nuisances Law;

* The construction or operation of a pond is contingent on the fulfillment of a long line of technical instructions relating to various aspects of establishment, operation and maintenance including dual layering by sealing material, monitoring equipment and procedures, cleanup and disposal of sediments, etc.;

* Specific measures must be taken in case of effluent leakage from the pond or in case the risk of such leakage existsincluding reporting requirements, treatment of the polluted site (e.g., immediate disposal of the polluted soil layer to an approved waste disposal site, biological treatment, or another method);

* Instructions for closure of the pond including cleanup of sediments, and general cleanup of the site and the soil in its vicinity.

The regulations, which will enter into force on February 8, 1998 relate to a specific source of pollution sourceevaporation and collection pondsat all stages, from planning and establishment to closure and cessation of operations. Hopefully, they will make a significant contribution to safeguarding the environment from water pollution

Water Regulations (Prevention of Water Pollution) (Gasoline Stations), 1997

These newly promulgated regulations, under the Water Law and the Licensing of Businesses Law, require specific conditions for the establishment and operation of gas stations. These include installation of fuel-water separators, use of impermeable construction materials, special measures and equipment to prevent leakage and oil pollution, measures for protection against corrosion, and monitoring equipment and procedures. A primary requirement is for tanks to be installed in sealed dikes or double wall containers in accordance with established specifications. Other provisions relate to periodic leakage tests, measures to be taken in case of fuel leakage including reporting obligations and treatment, and requirements for permanently shutting down facilities. Additional measures are required in areas that are especially sensitive to pollution of water sources.

The specifications and procedures for the establishment and operation of aboveground and underground petroleum storage tanks and fuel separators are set forth in the appendix to the regulations. The standards, specifications and procedures must be deposited for public review at the library of the Israel Standards Institute and at the district offices of the Ministry of the Environment.

The regulations, which provide for cradle to grave treatment of gas stations, entered into force on December 8, 1997.