The Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee approved regulations on Wednesday allowing those who pollute the sea to request a reduction in the fine.
While seemingly an anti-environmental move, the Environmental Protection Ministry explained that without giving the option of requesting reduced sanctions, the sanctions themselves could not be applied under the Polluter Pays Law. Therefore, the ministry said, the regulations in fact enable the ministry to sanction polluters of the sea for the first time.
The Israel Union for Environmental Defense (Adam, Teva, V’din) 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.