14/01/2015
Factories in Haifa. Photo: Ilan Malester

Haifa Bay Residents: Understand More About Your Environment, Join MoEP at Conference Today
Factories in Haifa 
Photo: Ilan Malester 
​The Ministry of Environmental Protection is holding a first-of-its kind public conference today, January 14, 2015, aimed at helping Haifa area residents understand what environmental information they can learn about their surroundings. The conference begins at 16:00 at the International Convention Center in Haifa, and will last for three hours.

Public Conference

​The conference, to be held at the International Convention Center in Haifa, is focused on the publication of environmental information about Haifa Bay. Participants will hear the results of an online survey the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) conducted last month, which gave the public an opportunity to express what environmental information about Haifa Bay is important to them. In addition, ministry officials will review upcoming steps to ensure that information the public wants is available and acessible.

The conference is open to everyone and there is no charge to attend. Registration is required in order to attend. To register, send an e-mail to: sviva@haveyoursay.net

** The conference will be in HEBREW Only.

Background

​​In March 2014, a Knesset (Parliament) subcommittee began to examine environmental and planning issues in Haifa Bay. The panel was tasked with making recommendations for regulating the Haifa Bay area, in terms of air pollution, storage of hazardous material, and other environmental issues.

The main conclusions of the report were:

  1. Data on emissions of hazardous substances must be the basis for determining planning and environmental policy in the Haifa Bay area, with an eye toward the future, based on the precautionary principle.
  2. Active steps should be taken to reduce existing hazards in Haifa Bay. Among other steps, the regional councils plans should be examined together, as a whole, and not as separate unrelated plans. The goal of these councils’ plans should be a reduction of all hazards in general, and of air pollution in particular, so that the levels are no higher than prescribed under the 2008 Clean Air Act.
  3. In view of the high number of hazardous substance events in the Haifa Bay area, the committee welcomes the establishment of a team to look into the events. That team was established in June 2014 by Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz, who instructed the team to prepare a plan for the expansion of oversight and enforcement activities and to improve transparency.
  4. The committee calls upon the Transportation Ministry to promote legislation that was required under Israel’s ratification of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, or MARPOL.
  5. The committee is calling for additional standards to be adopted in order to allow for more oversight and enforcement by the MoEP.

 

In June 2014, then-Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz called for increased supervision and enforcement against violators of environmental laws in Haifa Bay, in the wake of a number of environmental incidents in the area. A team was established to prepare a plan for more supervision and enforcement, and increased transparency.

As part of that plan, the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) began a consultation process with the public. In December 2014, the ministry conducted an online survey, to gain a better understanding of what environmental information the public wanted available on our website. Today’s conference is the next step in this important process.

Conference Schedule

16:30-17:00 ​Arrival

​17:00-17:10

Welcome
David Leffler, MoEP Director General 17:10-17:20​ ​Presentation, "Vision for Haifa Bay"
Shlomo Katz, Director of MoEP Haifa District 17:20-18:00​

Environmental Activities and Data about Haifa Bay

Main Challenges in Haifa Bay: Nurit Strook, Deputy Director, MoEP Haifa District
The Status of Haifa: Zur Galin, Director, MoEP Air Quality and Climate Change Division &
Rani Amir, Director MoEP Marine and Coastal Environment Division
Activities of the Haifa Bay Towns Association: Ofer Dressler, Director General, Haifa Bay Towns Association
Publication of Environmental Information and the Freedom of Information Act: Sari Zimmerman, Director, MoEP Publications, Information & Internet Division and Michal Rivlin, Director Public Inquiries & Freedom of Information Division

18:00-19:00​

​What Environmental Information Should be Published, and How? Insights from Online Survey
Shuli Nezer, Deputy Director General, MoEP Industry and Licensing Department

Panel discussion, to be headed by MoEP Director General David Leffler. Participants:
Yonah Yahav, Haifa Mayor
Shuli Nezer, Deputy Director General, MoEP Industry and Licensing Department
Ahia Rabad, Haifa Area Reporter, YNET News
Leora Amitai, Public Health Coalition (PHC)
Shlomi Basson, VP for the Environment, Shlomi Basson
Dr. Yoni Dubnov, Representative, Ministry of Health

​19:00-19:10 ​Summary