There has been a significant drop in pollution by industrial factories and waste treatment plants, according to data released by the Environmental Protection Ministry on Sunday.
Still, Israel still produces triple the rate of pollutants of European Union countries, primarily because of its power plants. Likewise, natural gas facilities are producing considerable pollution that requires treatment.
The ministry’s annual report, the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register, receives its data from factories legally obligated to report their pollutant levels. The latest one covers 2016, indicating reductions over the last four years of 17 to 48 percent, depending on the pollutant. The two main causes of the reduction are the adoption of permits limiting each factory’s emissions and the switch to natural gas.
Despite the progress, per capita emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides in Israel remains three times as high compared as those of EU countries. Exposure to these pollutants increases illnesses and mortality, mainly by affecting the lungs, blood vessels and heart. The main source of air pollutants is the coal-fired power stations in Hadera and Ashkelon, in which some units still operate without pollutant-reducing facilities.
There was a five percent rise over 2015 in non-methane volatile pollutants, partly because of exceptionally excessive emissions from the Negev’s Rotem Amfert factory in the course of upgrading its facility to reduce emissions. The ministry will hold a hearing on the incident.
For the full article, please click here