07/09/2015
Haifa Bay Photo: Ilan Malester

Govt. Approves Haifa Bay Action Plan
Haifa Bay
Photo: Ilan Malester
The government has unanimously approved the Action Plan to Reduce Pollution and Environmental Risks in Haifa Bay. Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabbay submitted the plan for approval, along with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, and Health Minister Ya’akov Litzman. The plan  is expected to reduce industrial air pollution in Haifa Bay 50% by 2018.

​The government approved the plan at a Cabinet meeting on Sept. 6, 2015. In the first five years, through 2020, NIS 115 .5 million will be invested in actions to reduce industrial and vehicular emissions. That’s in addition to the budget that was approved for the establishment of an ammonia production plant in the southern Negev region.

The plan includes, among other elements:

  1. increased supervision of industry and monitoring of pollutants
  2. incentives for factories to switch to natural gas
  3. more environmental sampling of air pollution
  4. the creation of Israel’s first ever low-emission zone (LEZ), an area that will be restricted to polluting diesel vehicles
  5. subsidies for the installation of particulate filters in heavy vehicles
  6. a move to natural gas-fueled trucks and buses.

 

Since 2009, emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have dropped by more than 60%, as a result of actions taken by the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP). The ministry expects industrial emissions to drop even further – some 50% by 2018 as a result of this action plan.

Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabbay: "The new year will begin with good news for hundreds of thousands of residents of the Haifa Bay area, who are at the center of our activity. The action plan is the first step toward a significant change in the quality of life in the region and we are continuing to work with the Ministries of Transportation, Health, and Finance, as well as local authorities for the right to breathe clean air throughout the country."

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon: "The pollution in Haifa Bay is a national issue and as such, it requires a national plan. We are determined to put the emergency plan into action as soon as possible. For this purpose we are providing resources and the necessary political backing."

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz noted that his ministry is promoting a plan to encourage the use of electric and natural gas-powered cars, in order to reduce vehicular air pollution.

Health Minister Ya’akov Litzman: "The action plan is a real message to the residents of Haifa. It was formulated thanks to the mobilization of professional teams from the Environmental Protection and Health Ministries, who worked together in order to reduce environmental pollution and prevent illness. Implementation of the national plan will bring a fundamental change in the quality of life of citizens and will prevent environmental pollution."

Learn more about the Haifa Bay Action Plan, 2015-2020