Carmel Olefins Called to Hearing After Hike in Emissions
The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) has summoned the CEO of Oil Refineries Ltd. (ORL) Group to a hearing, following an increase in emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from one of its companies. Carmel Olefins submitted a report detailing some 200,000 non-point source pollution leaks from its Haifa plant in 2015. This marked a significant increase in pollution levels, after a reduction between the years 2009 and 2014. The hearing is the result of the MoEP’s decision to increase supervision and enforcement, as part of its Haifa Bay Action Plan to Reduce Pollution and Environmental Risks.

The MoEP sent the summons to the head of ORL on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. The summons will be held Sunday, the 28th. A hearing is a first step before a decision is made as to whether to issue an order to stop operation of all factory equipment until all the leaks are dealt with. (The MoEP gets the power to do this from Section 45 of the Clean Air Law.)

The MoEP requires the Carmel Olefins factory to have a program to detect and repair VOC leaks. This program must include use of best available techniques for prevention and reduction of emissions. As a result of the program, there was a continuous reduction in plant emissions from 2009 to 2014.

MoEP ​Director General Yisrael Dancziger: "The summons to the hearing is part of increased enforcement and supervision, and part of a process in Haifa Bay, in which [the MoEP] is checking every factory, and setting new conditions for them, in order to maintain the health of Haifa Bay residents."

Carmel Olefins manufactures petrochemical products that are used as raw materials for the plastics industry.