Dramatic Drop in Industrial Emissions in Haifa Bay

There has been a 58%-90% reduction in industrial emissions in Haifa Bay since 2009. That’s the finding in a 2015 report about air quality in Haifa Bay, published by the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP). For the first time, the ministry has also presented an outline of reductions at each factory in the area, as well as the steps it is demanding that each factory take in order to meet the emissions conditions stipulated in its emissions discharge permit. Together, these steps will ensure that volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions will go down 50% by 2018, the target set in Govt. Decision. No. 529, the Haifa Bay Action Plan to Reduce Pollution and Environmental Risks.

​The 2015 summary of the air quality in Haifa Bay, which also includes data about the first quarter of 2016, shows a drop in VOC emissions, compared to the previous year. This shows that the trend of decreasing emissions that began in 2009 is continuing. As of early 2016, pollution is down 58%-90% in the region, depending on the pollutant.

But not all targets are being met. For example, the Haifa Bay Action Plan to Reduce Pollution and Environmental Risks calls on plants that use fuel oil to convert to natural gas. However there is concern this will not happen, due to delays in the deployment of the natural gas network in Haifa Bay.

In 2015, there was no change in emissions from the transportation sector. The MoEP expects that a reduction will be achieved through implementation of a government decision to establish a Low-Emission Zone, in which polluting vehicles will be prohibited from entering.

Read the 2015 summary of air quality in Haifa Bay (HEBREW Only).

Haifa Bay is one of the most polluted areas in Israel, due to the high concentration of industrial plants within close proximity of population centers, heavy traffic, activities at the Port of Haifa, and other sources of emissions; in addition, the topography and climate of the area make it difficult for pollution to disperse.

The MoEP has long been working to reduce emissions, and in September 2015, it formulated a national action plan aimed at reducing pollution. The 2015 report on air quality in Haifa Bay Bay is an updated look at the situation in the region since an air quality report was published in July 2015.