The country’s Land Contamination Bill has been approved by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation
and is now law.

The bill defines, for the first time, what contaminated land is and sets provisions for preventing land contamination, identifying contaminated land, cleaning up this land, establishing the necessary financial mechanisms and informing purchasers about their existence.

According to the bill ‘those responsible for contaminating the land will be responsible for remediating it’.

The bill, which was given the green light earlier this week, should the government claims to creates the laws needed to treat thousands of pollution spots around the middle eastern state.

According to Israeli ministers there are 3300 suspected contaminated sites in the country which in turn have a total of 23,000 potential pollution sources.

The sites cover some 390 hectares throughout the country, and about 75% are concentrated in industrial areas.

The estimated cost of surveying and remediating all of the country’s suspected contaminated sites is some 8.8 billion shekels (or just over £1.5 billion)

Environmental protection minister, Gilad Erdan, said: “Exposure to contaminated land endangers life.

“The new law will put an end to the treatment of state lands as cesspools for toxic material, and will stop the absurd situation in which persons contaminate the land while shirking their responsibility for its cleanup and remediation.

“Israel which spans a small land area and is dependent on limited water sources cannot afford not to remediate polluted lands.

“Land remediation will increase real estate values in polluted areas and will, in effect, generate more money than the cost of clean-up and remediation.”

Luke Walsh

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