(photo credit: REUTERS)
Sir, – The burst in a pipeline near Eilat on December 3 (“Oil spill near Eilat is ‘one of the worst environmental accidents in Israel’s history,’” December 4) caused the waste of a great deal of oil and the contamination of much land and damage to plant and animal life.
It would be reassuring to be told that the burst was not due to corrosion.
On the website of the Environmental Protection Ministry, we learn that it has an Industrial Wastewater, Fuels and Contaminated Soils division. The response to a request for information on this division is the display of a notice saying, “The requested operation is not supported, and therefore can not be displayed.”
We cannot know, therefore, whether the ministry monitors the existence and serviceability of cathodic protection (a method of protecting metal structures from corrosion) on pipelines in Israel.
If it does not, such monitoring should be instituted immediately. The cost would be insignificant, compared with that of just one oil pipeline burst.
To shut down the pipeline, it was necessary to close a main valve near Yotvata, a considerable distance from the point of the burst.
If emergency shut-down valves (which are operated automatically by the low pressure resulting from a burst) were installed on pipelines in Israel, it would minimize the damage caused by such bursts.
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Let us hope the ministry will introduce legislation, to make such valves mandatory.
GERRY MYERS Beit Zayit
Sir, – Wednesday is my Rami Levy day. Wednesday afternoon to be precise.
After I finished shopping I went to the nearby shopping mall, which is probably why I didn’t hear the screech of the sirens. I was too busy trying to choose a dress for my granddaughter, the pink dress or the cream one with the pink trimmings.
For half an hour I was doing errands, long enough for me to feel pretty good with my afternoon’s achievements.
That same half-hour, though was long enough for a sixteen-year-old terrorist to walk into Rami Levy, to the busy checkout and to stab two people waiting in line.
I made myself a strong coffee when I got home. I put the shopping away when my blood pressure got back to normal. And then I carried on.
What else is there to do? What else have we been doing since this summer? And since nearly all the 32 years that we have been here since we made aliyah in the middle of the first Lebanon War in 1982? You wake up each day and count your blessings.
We made it through the various wars, through the first and second intifadas, and through the constant ‘little’ attacks.
The odd stabbing here.
The odd shooting spree that felled families in one quick spurt of fire. The odd stone, cinder block or rock that shattered car windows and killed the drivers and their buckled- up children.
Two of our boys have already been released from reserve army duty because now they are too old to serve. But our oldest grandson will be bar mitzva this summer, so in another five years we’ll start that round again.
So what should we do? Breathe deeply, check we’ve got all our fingers and toes, and carry on building up this still wonderful and miraculous country.
SHULAMIT ORDMAN Maale Adumim
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