The Haifa Bay region has experienced an 11-percent drop in air pollution levels resulting from the industrial sector over the past year, the Environmental Protection Ministry announced on Tuesday.
Ministry officials gathered in the northern coastal city to present the first quarterly report of the National Action Plan for the Haifa Bay Area – a comprehensive program approved by the government in September.
The five-year plan, which received a budget of NIS 330 million, aims to improve the region’s air quality, mitigate environmental risks, promote research, increase accessibility to data and bolster supervision, enforcement and monitoring.
“Today is an historical day,” said Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav.
“For the first time in the history of Israel, a government representative has assumed not only the authority, but also the responsibility, of the state to correct the distortions and even the crimes committed in the Haifa Bay.”
Among the achievements documented in the industrial sector thus far has been the 11% reduction in volatile organic compound emissions from 2014 to 2015, or a 65% drop since 2009. Meanwhile, 77% of the largest Haifa Bay factories are now required to comply with much stricter emissions reductions obligations, the ministry report said.