The Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee approved on Wednesday regulations allowing those who pollute the sea to request a fine reduction.
While seemingly an anti-environmental move, the Environmental Protection Ministry explained that without giving the option to request a lighter punishment, the punishments themselves could not be applied under the Polluter Pays Law.
Therefore, passing the regulations in fact enables the ministry to sanction sea polluters for the first time, the ministry said.
The Israel Union for Environmental Defense (IUED) vehemently protested the committee's approval. It argued that the ministry should first impose a levy upon those who dump sewage into the sea by permit before dealing with these regulations.