04/04/2016
Testing for vapor at a Haifa Bay gas station Photo: Yuval Hendler

Haifa Bay Action Plan Quarterly Review Published
Testing for vapor at a Haifa Bay gas station
Photo: Yuval Hendler

The second quarterly report reviewing achievements to date within the framework of the National Plan to Reduce Air Pollution and Environmental Risks in Haifa Bay has been published. Over the past three months, among other achievements: the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) has increased supervision over factories, new laws have resulted in a 67% decrease in the number of heavy trucks on main roads during rush hour, and the MoEP has announced an NIS 11 million subsidy for the installation of particulate filters in polluting diesel vehicles.

The National Plan to Reduce Air Pollution and Environmental Risks in Haifa Bay, 2015-2020 is a NIS 330 million plan to improve the environment in and around Haifa Bay, one of Israel’s most polluted areas. In accordance with the plan, which was approved in Sept. 2015, the MoEP is obligated to publish a quarterly review of actions taken within the framework of the plan.

The past quarter was marked by a number of major achievements, including:

  1. Emissions requirements have made stricter and been set for major factories in Haifa Bay.
  2. Supervision over factories and smokestacks has been significantly increased.
  3. Enforcement proceedings have begun against five factories who have violated environmental laws.
  4. The number of heavy trucks on roads in downtown Haifa during rush hours has been reduced.
  5. 63 vehicles have been removed from the road during roadside emission spot tests.
  6. Environmental standards have been tightened for pollutants.
  7. The MoEP has published calls for proposals for further research and epidemiological and environmental surveys.
  8. A hazardous materials risks survey has begun.
  9. Another 20,000 m3 of contaminated soil have been removed from the bottom of the Kishon River and treated.

Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabbay: "2016 will be a watershed year in terms of reducing air pollution and improving the quality of life for Haifa Bay residents. We will make sure that the trend we started – turning Haifa into a "clear air zone" – will be intensified on all fronts, including industry and transportation. In order to realize the ambitious goals we have set for ourselves, we have a lot more work ahead of us. But we are determined to carry it out for the health of Haifa Bay residents."

MoEP Director General Yisrael Dancziger: "We are continuing to act decisively in order to maintain the health and quality of life for Haifa Bay residents. This is an important step toward a revolution that other cities will also experience, and toward other measures to reduce air pollution across the country. To this end, we are working to promote clean transportation and promote healthy and efficient housing. We will already see the benefits of this revolution this year."

Learn more about the Ministry of Environmental Protection’s achievements in Haifa Bay during the first quarter of 2016.

The first Haifa Bay Action Plan quarterly review was published in January 2015.