The Environmental Protection Ministry ordered the Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Co. (EAPC) Thursday to cease their work in the Nahal Zin and surrounding nature reserve following last week's devastating jet-fuel oil spill after the ministry found that the company was not effectively carrying out the cleanup but rather exacerbating the environmental damage.
EAPC responded to the ministry's order, saying that fault lies with the
digging contractor, which had failed to follow instructions from
environmental authorities and had ruptured the pipeline in the course
of its work, Israel Radio reported. RELATED:Tractor causes 1.5-million-liter jet fuel spill in Negev
The company said it began emergency work according to environmental guidlines immediately following the pipe rupture, called Israel's worst ever environmental disaster, which occurred when a
tractor struck a portion of the Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline during pipe
rehabilitation work, causing over 1.5 million
liters of jet fuel oil to leak into Nahal Zin and the surrounding Negev
While emergency crews were able to plug the outburst of oil after four or
five hours, experts had said the complete cleanup of the area could take
EAPC was shuttled in to pump the remaining fuel puddles from the ground.
Now, workers will have to transfer polluted soil to a nearby treatment
The fear, experts say, would be if the issue persists into the
winter, when rains could carry pollution from the biggest environmental
contamination to possibly hit the country's soil. Sharon Udasin contributed to this report.