According to the PRTR (pollutant release and transfer register) for hazardous materials, every enterprise whose operations affect the environment will be required to publicly report the amount and types of pollutants it emits. The bill refers to air pollution, water (river and sea) pollution, as well as hazardous waste.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection believes that the new law will require reports from 500 enterprises around the country, including chemical plants, quarries, sewage treatment plants, and solid waste disposal sites. The public will be able to access the information about pollution levels disclosed by the enterprises on the Ministry of Environmental Protection website.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection said the new law is another step in promoting environmental transparency, and is a condition for membership in the OECD. "The new law is another significant step in closing the gap between Israel and other developed countries regarding environmental protection. This reporting mechanism will give us full transparency of the affect industrial enterprises have on the environment, and thereby encourage enterprises to minimize environmental harm caused by their operations," said Minister of Environmental Protection Gilad Erdan.
The Manufacturers Association of Israel has been concerned for quite some time about extensive environmental legislation that would force industries to adjust their operations to the provisions of the new law, and to stricter emissions standards. The Manufacturers Association warns that the costs involved in meeting the requirements set by the law could reach billions of shekels, an expense that some enterprises will not be able to withstand in this financially sensitive period.
The Manufacturers Association declined to comment.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 23, 2012
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