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Revealed: Most Polluting Factories in Israel

Environmental Protection Ministry names names of top polluters. Electric Company terms report ‘inaccurate.’
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 12/1/2013, 2:20 PM

Haifa industrial area (file).
Haifa industrial area (file).
Flash 90

The Ministry of Environmental Protection has unveiled a new project that names the top polluters in Israel.

The data was released as part of Israel’s commitments as a member of the OECD.

The new project consists of a database with details regarding emission of greenhouse gases, hazardous waste, and carcinogenic material by more than 400 factories.

The Electric Company, Nesher Ramle, the Dead Sea Works and Rotem Amfert Negev were listed as the four factories that released the most carcinogenic materials.

Other leading polluters included: Machteshim, Emek Zvulun, GES, Lehavim Technologies and Lipodan. In total, Israeli factories released more than 57 million tons of greenhouse gases in 2012, according to data released by the ministry.

The Electric Company, which was listed as the top polluter, released a statement Sunday which argued that the data released was misleading.

The data tracked pollution in 2012. During that time, Electric Company spokespeople noted, Israel’s supply of natural gas from Egypt was cut off, forcing the company to use diesel fuel and mazut, a low-quality fuel oil. Both forms of fuel are expensive and polluting.

“Beginning in March 2013, with the arrival of gas from the Tamar field, the Electric Company has been producing 50% of electricity using natural gas, which led to a significant reduction in emissions,” they said.

“Unfortunately, the ranking and the quantities do not give an accurate indication of public exposure to pollution,” they continued. Many factors influence the extent to which pollution impacts the public, they said, including the factory’s location and the height and temperature at which emissions occur.

Only a small percent of Electric Factory emissions reach the public, they said.