20/06/2017

Phase I of Asbestos Removal Project in Galilee - One of MoEP's Most Complicated Environmental Projects - Complete; Budget Approved for Phase II
 
 
Israel’s Knesset (Parliament) has marked the end of Stage I of a project to identify and remove asbestos waste from sites in the Western Galilee. The Internal Affairs and Environment Committee gathered for a discussion and exhibition on June 19, 2017, to celebrate the completion of the project. Environmental Protection Minister Zeev Elkin was there, as were other Knesset members, Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) Director General Yisrael Dancziger, and representatives of organizations and companies that took part in the project.


​The goal of the project, launched in March 2011, was to clean up soil throughout the region that had been contaminated by asbestos. The MoEP funded about half of the NIS 327 million project. The other half was paid for by former owners of the Eitanit asbestos cement plant, which, until it closed down in 1997, was responsible for most of the asbestos waste that had accumulated in the Western Galilee.

The first stage of the project, which lasted for six years, ensured that all known asbestos sites were cleaned. In all, 342 sites were cleaned and some 130,000 cubic meters of asbestos were removed. The total cost of this phase was NIS 325 million.

Phase II will treat both private sites and public sites owned by local authorities, according to criteria still to be determined. Among the sites expected to be included in phase II are:

  1. parts of Nahariya beach that have still not been cleaned;
  2. asbestos that was left underneath buildings that were cleaned during Phase I;
  3. asbestos that remains underneath built roads; and
  4. any contaminated sites that will be discovered in the future.

 

Learn more about the project to remove asbestos from the Western Galilee