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The Israeli Arrangements Law of 2023-2024: Significant Harm to Environmental Quality

It appears the draft Arrangements Law for 2023-2024, recently published for public comments, includes several reforms with a direct negative impact on the government’s handling of environmental quality challenges. The draft bill, in its current form, significantly weakens the power of the Ministry of Environmental Protection in several ways. It reduces the regulations on pollutants, eliminates the monitoring of pollution from power plants (by virtue of the Clean Air Law), rescinds the standing of consultants on behalf of the Ministry of Environmental Protection in planning institutions, allows deviations from the noise values permitted in local authorities, changes environmental licensing processes, and more.


For example, the draft Arrangements Law is looking to reduce bureaucracy and simplify the licensing processes for businesses in Israel (by amending the Clean Air Law and promoting environmental licensing reforms). In practice, however, these licensing reforms will enhance the power of polluting companies, since, within the framework of the proposed reforms, polluting entities that disagree with the decisions of the professional echelon in the Ministry of Environmental Protection will be able to submit objections to the ministry’s director general (who is the minister’s political appointee). The director general will then have the authority to amend or even overturn the professional echelon’s decision.


This draft bill represents a regression in the environmental legislation that had begun to gain momentum in recent years, in that it changes priorities so that personal and financial considerations will outweigh environmental and health considerations. This is even more so, due to the fact the possibility of submitting objections to the professional determinations of the Ministry of Environmental Protection will solely be available to companies and not to local authorities and municipal associations.





The need for streamlining in government ministries is indisputable, but it is equally important to scrutinize the prices to public health and environmental quality the public will pay for such streamlining, as proposed in the draft Arrangements Law. It appears the emerging Arrangements Law will force all players to regroup in preparation for the environmental licensing reforms and to analyze the environmental considerations within the framework of their activities. At the same time, it appears that environmental interests may once again be marginalized in favor of political and bureaucratic considerations.




Barnea Jaffa Lande’s environmental law team is at your service to answer questions relating to the proposed reforms, and to advise on other environmental quality and ESG issues.


Izabel Pashayev is an associate in the firm’s Corporate Department.

Tags: Environmental Protection | ESG