Haifa oil refineries given one week to present pollution-prevention plan
Leaking pipes that contaminated Gedura stream ordered closed, but feud prevents clean-up effort.
By EHUD ZION WALDOKS
Environmental Protection Ministry Haifa District head Robert Reuven ordered the immediate closure of two gas pipelines this week because they had been leaking into the Gedura stream and onto its banks.
In addition, he gave Bazan Oil Refineries Ltd. and Petroleum & Energy Infrastructures Ltd. (PEI) one week to come up with a concrete plan to check and seal all their pipes and rehabilitate part of the stream.
The leak was discovered last month, and a hearing for the two companies was held on Sunday night.
At the spot in question, there are seven pipelines for various types of oil and gas. Two were found to have been leaking. This was not the first time they had leaked, and the environmental damage has built up, according to Reuven.
However, Bazan and PEI dispute who owns one of the pipelines, and this has complicated matters. Without definite ownership, neither is willing to undertake the necessary sealing and cleaning of the stream.
During the hearing, Bazan representatives denied there was any problem at all. PEI representatives asked for some time to reach an agreement with Bazan regarding the immediate problem, while the problem of ownership would take longer.
Reuven warned the two companies that if a plan were not presented within one week, he would issue orders for cleanup and removal of poison. Reuven also directed the green police to begin an investigation and ordered an inspection of all the pipelines by an outside expert.
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