Traces of cyanide were found at a factory in the north during the operation Photo: Eli Levy
Officials who took part in the operation include: MoEP professionals, inspectors, and Green Police officers, representatives from municipality environmental units, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, and the Israel Police. More than 100 of them carried out surprise inspections at companies that are required to obtain poison permits, due to their involvement with hazardous materials.
Inspectors found that 18 of the companies were either mishandling hazardous materials or otherwise failed to comply with the conditions of their toxin permits. This is a particular problem when the companies are within close proximity to residential areas or population centers.
MoEP Director General Yisrael Dancziger: "As part of increased monitoring and enforcement against polluters, the MoEP launched a surprise operation across the country, in order to identify risk areas and to initiate proceedings against those who are violating the law and endangering the population. We will continue to take firm action against anyone who endangers the citizens of Israel, and will not hesitate to initiate proceedings against them."
Among factories that were singled out by inspectors was a metal coating plant near a population center in the north in which traces of cyanide and other hazardous substances were found in plastic barrels in the courtyard. The factory did not have a valid poison permit. Administrative enforcement proceedings will begin; if the factory continues to violate the law, a criminal file will be opened.
At another factory near Haifa, a Green Police inspector found a suspicious material leaking from barrels that contained metal waste. The factory, which had previously been given a financial sanction due to violation of the Clean Air Law, was fined on the spot. The barrels were placed on a spill containment pallet.