Ministry demands IDF clean up leaky basement

Letters claim container could present both a hazard to soldiers' health, and potentially contaminate nearby ground water.

July 5, 2009 21:27
1 minute read.
israel home front exercise

chemical warfare drill 248.88. (photo credit: AP)

There is a leaking container of hazardous materials in one of the basements of the air force building at military headquarters in Tel Aviv and the IDF has not submitted any plans to the Environmental Protection Ministry detailing how it plans to clean up the mess since it was discovered a year and a half ago. According to letters written by the ministry to the IDF, the leaking container could present both a hazard to the health of the soldiers working in the building as well as potentially contaminate nearby ground water. In January 2008, the IDF asked experts from the ministry to come look at a leak in a drum in one of the basements. At that time, the ministry experts discovered that the drum was leaking into the building. They took a sample and discovered that it consisted of at least 50 harmful substances. The day after, they demanded the IDF draw up a detailed action plan to deal with the environmental hazard. A-year-and-a-half later, the ministry wrote in its third follow-up letter, dated July 1, the IDF has failed to submit to the ministry any sort of timetable for dealing with the problem. The ministry demanded such a plan no later than August 1. Environment Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) has said that he intends to come down much harder on the IDF than his predecessors. The IDF Spokesman responded that they were looking into the matter.

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