Law would fine providers for misplaced antennas

Bill would target phone companies that violate permit conditions while constructing their mobile phone antennas.

Telephone 311 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Telephone 311
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
A new law would allow the Environmental Protection Ministry to impose fines on mobile phone companies and other institutions for failing to situate their antennas properly.
The bill, launched by the ministry on Monday, would target companies that violate permit conditions while constructing their antennas, or that place the antennas without any permits at all. Fines would range between NIS 25,000 and NIS 200,000, according to the ministry, which distributed a memo about the bill to other ministers on Monday.
If passed, the new law would serve to amend the current Non-Ionizing Radiation Law, which was passed in 2006.
Rather than requiring the ministry to turn to the court and begin a long legislative process, the new law would allow a ministry supervisor to directly impose the fines. Such privileges already exist in the ministry in a number of other fields, such as sea contamination and publication of pollution levels for vehicles, according to the ministry.
Construction or operation of a radiation source without a permit would warrant a NIS 200,000 fine for a corporation and a NIS 100,000 fine for a single person, while construction or operation of a source violating the terms of a permit would constitute NIS 100,000 fines for corporations and NIS 50,000 fines for individuals, the ministry said. A radiation measurement service operating without a permit or in violation of one would mean a NIS 50,000 fine for a corporation and a NIS 25,000 fine for an individual, while a non-permitted amateur radio facility would cost the violator NIS 5,000.
“Profits for various companies do not have to come at the expense of public health,” said Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan. “Administrative fines enable us to act quickly and effectively against those who violate the provisions prescribed by the law and thereby create potential harm to residents, without being dragged into legal proceedings that take a long time.”