Division of Ministerial Responsibilities
The provisions concerning hazardous substances and solid waste in Israel are contained in numerous statutes and regulations, implemented by a range of government agencies. This section contains a sampling of some of the more important laws regulating these areas. In addition to the authorities of the Ministry of the Environment delineated in this legislation, the following is a list of government ministries’ involvement in the area of hazardous substances:
Ministry of Health:
Extensive authority through the Licensing of Businesses Law and the Public Health Ordinance to regulate hazardous substances in food products, in particular pesticide residues, as well as medical and pharmaceutical products, and cosmetics.
Ministry of Agriculture:
Complete jurisdiction regarding registration and application of pesticides as well as authority to enforce water pollution standards through Israel’s Water Commissioner.
Ministry of Interior:
Direct responsibility for services involving potential emergencies from accidents involving hazardous substances through oversight of firefighting units and indirect oversight of local authorities and municipalities.
Ministry of Labor and Welfare:
Overall responsibility for regulating occupational exposures to hazardous substances through the Safety in Work Ordinance, 1970, and a series of additional labor laws.
Ministry of Transportation:
Regulation of transport of hazardous substances and wastes in the air, the sea, and on land according to the relevant legislation.
Ministry of Defense:
Control of the extensive use of hazardous substances in military installations and industries as well as overall responsibility for emergency disaster response through the Civil Defense Law, 1951.
Ministry of Industry and Commerce:
Indirect involvement through its overall regulation of industry and direct responsibility regarding import and export of materials and as administrators of the Israel Bureau of Standards.
Prime Minister’s Office:
As the responsible agency for nuclear development, their role focuses on regulation of nuclear facilities and wastes.
Ministry of Energy:
Regulator in its capacity as overseeing Ministry for Israel’s petrochemical industry as well as electric and fuel utilities.
Ministry of the Environment:
Beyond its media-specific authorities to reduce toxic air, water, and marine pollution, as the following laws indicate, the Ministry of the Environment plays a central role in specifying conditions for handling and treatment of hazardous materials and wastes.