As part of a series of measures to reduce regulation, the government approved a green licensing program jointly proposed by the Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

With a goal of enforcing regulatory efficiency and promoting growth, the new program will allow business owners to receive operation permits for longer periods of time – seven years rather than the one- or three-year terms of today.

Rather than being required to acquire a number of environmental permits from different authorities, business owners will also be able to receive one green license that includes most of these permits, the Environment Ministry said.

Meanwhile, for its part, the ministry will intensify its supervision of large production plants.

“Reducing and simplifying regulation is a strategic goal for the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said. “Minister Peretz and the Prime Minister’s Office worked together to simplify, reduce and alleviate regulatory issues.”

Today, business owners are still required to apply for emissions permits, toxins permits, hazardous waste disposal certificates, discharge permits and others – all valid for different periods of time and requiring approvals of different bodies.

Streamlining the regulatory process will reduce the costs of factories and will bring Israel up to the competitive standards of advanced European markets, the Environment Ministry said.

The principles behind the green licensing system have been discussed for more than a year among representatives from the Environment Ministry, the Economy Ministry, the Manufacturers Association and environmental organizations, according to the Environment Ministry.

Now that the government has approved the program, the Environment Ministry will need to lead a series of legislative amendments to advance the new plans.

“The new license is an environmental leap to the level of the European directive and will enable green growth, effective regulation and strict protection of the environment,” Peretz said. “We will not compromise in environmental requirements. We are proceeding on one hand to increase supervision and monitoring at factories and on the other hand reduce the bureaucracy in obtaining permits.”

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