An Act of Deterrence against a Polluting Plant
The Ministry of Environmental Protection imposed a financial sanction of NIS 634,000 on Gadiv Petrochemical Industries of the Bazan Group, following the company’s violation of the terms of an emission permit.
Under the emission permit granted by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Gadiv, which manufactures aromatic chemicals, was required to set up a facility for emissions treatment. The company failed to set up the facility within the time period determined to do so. Due to the delay in setting up the facility (which was finally established in 2018, about nine months after the deadline stated in the permit), surplus emissions from the company’s facilities continued for several months.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection stated that due to the company’s conduct and the severity of the violation, it had decided that in addition to imposing administrative enforcement steps to stop the violation, it was also imposing a financial sanction on the company. The financial sanction came as part of the administrative enforcement procedure conducted by the Ministry of Environmental Protection’s Haifa District.
Both the enforcement procedure taken and the sanction imposed are constituted in the Clean Air Law, under which the Israeli legislature has sought to regulate the resolution of air pollution problems in Israel, in a comprehensive, integrated, and effective manner.
Air pollution in Israel constitutes one of the worse environmental hazards affecting public health, public life quality, and environmental quality. It is a direct cause of excessive illness, and even premature death, in many regions in Israel.
The Clean Air Law states, inter alia, that operating an emission source requires an emission permit from the Ministry of Environmental Protection. Receipt of a permit depends on a company meeting certain conditions, either those specifically required to secure the permit or those needed during day-to-day operations of the facility.
In recent years, the Ministry of Environmental Protection has taken a more aggressive approach on supervision and enforcement, and thus also with administrative and criminal penalties. Presumably, the ministry will continue to take a similar stance in other cases of companies whose activity may cause pollution and harm to public health.
Adv. Sagi Gross is a partner in our Commercial Department. He advises the firm’s corporate clients on various aspects of commercial and corporate law. In addition, Sagi provides ongoing legal advice on environmental law and regulations.