Carmel Olefins Issued Administrative Order After Increase in Pollution Emissions
Petrochemicals company Carmel Olefins has been ordered to take multiple steps significantly reduce air pollution from its Haifa Bay factory. The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) sent an administrative order to the company, and to the CEO of Oil Refineries Ltd., which owns it. If Carmel Olefins does not cut emissions as ordered, the MoEP will be authorized to shut down plant facilities. The order comes after 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, after a reduction between the years 2009 and 2014. The MoEP summoned the CEO of Oil Refineries Ltd. to a hearing in late February, to discuss the emissions hike.

​The administrative order is aimed at a 50% decrease in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), as compared to 2014. Carmel Olefins is expected to take aggressive steps, and to conduct a comprehensive review of all components of the equipment that will verify its compliance with the goal.

The administrative order notes there are reasonable grounds to believe that the company’s conduct is responsible for the unreasonable increase in air pollution. Therefore, it was instructed to immediately act to prevent pollution emissions from its factory equipment.

MoEP Director General Yisrael Dancziger: "Today we are setting a new standard, of strict targets for industry in Haifa Bay. We will continue to monitor and to ensure that all companies in Haifa Bay are in compliance with these targets, in order to maintain the health of local residents."

The MoEP is requiring Carmel Olefins to create a plan to detect and repair VOC leaks at the company’s facilities, which must include the use of best available techniques for preventing and reducing emissions. This is expected to result in emissions of up to 150 tons per year, compared to an emissions rate of 250 tons in 2014 and 530 tons in 2015.

Carmel Olefins manufactures petrochemical products that are used as raw materials for the plastics industry. The MoEP’s move is part of its decision to increase supervision and enforcement of industry in Haifa Bay, as part of its Haifa Bay Action Plan to Reduce Pollution and Environmental Risks.