17/04/2016
Minister Avi Gabbay (second from right) with EPA delegation Photo: MoEP

Minister Meets Reps from U.S. EPA, in Israel to Consult on Environmental Issues
Minister Avi Gabbay (second from right) with EPA delegation
Photo: MoEP
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) visited Israel April 11-14 as guests of the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP), for consultations on Israeli government plans and measures for reducing air pollution in the Haifa Bay area. The professional visit included multi-stakeholder discussions (including NGOs and industry) and site visits to ambient air quality monitoring stations and sampling points and facilities in the petrochemical compound in Haifa. The EPA team reviewed Israel’s action plan for reducing air emissions.

EPA delegation on site visit to Oil Refineries Ltd. in Haifa Photo: Shlomi Yosef

Minister Meets Reps from U.S. EPA, in Israel to Consult on Environmental Issues
EPA delegation on site visit to Oil Refineries Ltd. in Haifa
Photo: Shlomi Yosef

​The EPA’s main impressions from the visit:

Air Quality Monitoring and Sampling: The location of ambient air quality monitoring stations in Israel address meteorological, geographical, industrial, traffic factors as well as population exposure. The quantity and density of monitoring stations is greater than in the US. Monitoring data are properly collected and examined for compliance. In addition, the pollutant parameters are appropriate for an industrial petrochemical zone; NOx, particulates, ozone, BTX, VOCs, formaldehyde, PAHs, and metals.

Industry: Following a visit to Oil Refineries Ltd., the EPA team noted that the facility is more complex than a typical refinery in the US. Most of the requirements put in place by the MoEP are comparable to the requirements in the US. One of the gaps identified by the delegation is the need to implement further abatement measures of emissions from storage tanks containing volatile distillates in order to further decrease emissions to air.

The MoEP will continue cooperation with the EPA through a discussion of differences in policy and a review of information on rules and regulations to examine where there is room for further improvement.