The expected benefit to the economy from the Clean Air Law is estimated at NIS 115 billion, NIS 100 billion of which results from reduction of pollutant emissions at coal-fired Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) (TASE: ELEC.B22) power stations, the Ministry of Environmental Protection stated today, marking a decade since the law was passed.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection buttresses its estimate with research it carried out together with the DHVMED - Engineering and Environmental Consulting. In this study, pollutant emissions from 175 factories and power stations all over Israel were tested. The ministry said that NIS 38 billion had been invested in reducing pollutant emissions.
A joint announcement by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Manufacturers Association of Israel, the Knesset social-environmental lobby, and the Adam Teva V'Din environmental organization stated, "The law's contribution to the public, the quality of people's lives and the Israeli economy is immeasurably greater than the investment required to implement it."
The law set stringent standards for maximum concentrations of air pollution, including sulfur and nitrous oxides and volatile organic compounds, such as gasoline and particles. The Ministry of Environmental Protection said, "The study conducted on the issue shows that for every shekel invested in implementing the Clean Air Law, the public and the state save three shekels."
"The investment in reducing air pollution through the Clean Air Law has been worthwhile in every respect," Minister of Environmental Protection Zeev Elkin said today. "Israel took a big step forward in environment protection by adopting the principles of environmental policy accepted in the European Union, allocating resources and personnel, ensuring transparency, and informing the public. This was reflected in a substantial reduction in air pollution emissions in urban areas and reduction of emissions from coal-fired power stations."
Ministry of Environmental Protection director general Yisrael Dancziger said, "This is only the beginning. From here, we will expand the use of the law to reduce air pollution from transportation and reduce pollution from energy production and fires."
Some in the Manufacturers Association, however, continued to object to the law. "The substantial reduction in emissions is a result of huge investment of resources by industry. These are significant excess investments due to the requirements, which are more stringent than in the developed world," said Manufacturers Association Chemical, Pharmaceutical, and Environmental Society director Nir Kantor. He added, "Amendments are needed in the law and how it is applied in order to avoid continued damage to industry and its image."
Manufacturers Association Chemical, Pharmaceutical, and Environmental Society board member Gabi Biton complained, "The Clean Air Law has significant defects. It is extreme and more stringent than in other countries in the world and in many cases is impossible to implement."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 12, 2018
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