Environmental legislation enacted in recent years, together with greater public awareness, has resulted in increased environmental enforcement in Israel. The law can be divided into two groups: general laws whose provisions reflect environmental considerations, and specific environmental regulations. General laws predated the modern environmental era but their broad and stringent language has been used by environmental agencies to promote environmental regulation and planning.
The Ministry of Environment encourages local authorities to search for solutions to all types of environmental concerns. Opportunities exist for foreign exports of environmental technologies in areas related to Israel's particular concerns. The leading environmental matters include: the decrease in levels of water available for irrigation purposes; the increasing amount of municipal solid waste; the growing demand for re-useable wastewater; and the increasing quantities of hazardous waste.
Israel is also interested in new environmental technologies. The first international tender for a waste-to-energy plant was issued in January 1998, and construction of a model desalination "chimney" is underway. Israel's development of regional sanitary landfills, a national air pollution monitoring system and state-of-the-art municipal wastewater treatment plants, even in remote regions, are characteristic of a growing awareness for environmental issues.
General Statutes Concerning Environmental Issues
The Planning and Building Law of 1965 regulates all building and land use management in Israel and establishes both institutional and substantive framework for environmental planning.
The Licensing of Business Law of 1968 creates a bureaucratic framework for licensing businesses by including the concept of "environment quality." This refers to the license qualifications that require, inter alia, the existence of appropriate sanitary conditions, the effective prevention of hazards and nuisances and compliance with planning and building laws.
The Public Health Ordinance of 1940 regulates a variety of aspects of public health, including environmental issues such as sanitation and water quality. The Ordinance also includes provisions on environmental hazards and a list of nuisances. Private and public nuisances are treated also by the Penal Law of 1977 and the Civil Wrongs Ordinance (New Version) of 1968.
Environment Protection LegislationThere are various specific pollution laws: The Prevention of Nuisances Law of 1961, which primarily deals with air and noise pollution; The Water Law of 1959, which regulates water usage in general and water quality specifically; The Hazardous Substances Law of 1993, which regulates the disposal of solid and hazardous waste; the Prevention of Sea Water Pollution by Oil Ordinance (New Version) of 1980 and the Prevention of Sea Pollution (Dumping of Waste) Law of 1993, which deal with the prohibition on the discharge of oily substances and pollutants into the sea.
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