IDF bases' sewage connection still on hold

Cabinet decision on hooking up the remaining 150 IDF bases to the sewage system nixed due to payment schedule.

Beach pollution 311 (photo credit: .)
Beach pollution 311
(photo credit: .)
The decision to connect the last 150 IDF bases to sewage systems wasall set to come to the cabinet for approval on Sunday. The experts werelined up; the deal was seemingly done.
There was just one problem: The vote on the decision had been removedfrom the agenda at the last moment at the request of the DefenseMinistry.
The goal of the decision was not at issue; the ministry was quick to point out to The Jerusalem PostMonday that it was very much in favor of hooking up the bases, and infact had been doing that on its own for a while already. The problemwas who would pay for it.
The original decision, crafted in February, called for the DefenseMinistry to find the NIS 400 million needed to complete the job in itsown budget. However, the ministry vehemently objected and pushed foranother option.
In the intervening months, the Environmental Protection Ministry andthe Defense Ministry had seemingly hammered out a deal. The latterwould put up NIS 50m. a year, and the former would put up NIS 50m. peryear for five years – according to the Defense Ministry.
According to the text of the proposed decision, however, theEnvironmental Protection Ministry was to put up, in the form of a loan,NIS 30m. a year for five years. The Defense Ministry claimed theEnvironmental Protection Ministry had thereby reneged on its end of thedeal by not offering the full amount.
The Environmental Protection Ministry claimed the Defense Ministry hadgotten cold feet at the last minute and was just making excuses not tofund the project out of its own budget.
The Finance Ministry did not respond to a request for more details about the agreement by press time.
Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry contends that it will continue toconnect the IDF’s bases to sewage systems, even without the decision –albeit at a much slower pace.
Both the national infrastructures minister and the environmentalprotection minister blasted the Defense Ministry for its stance.
“I am sorry to see that the defense establishment has not yetinternalized that the citizens’ drinking water is no less importantthan buying one more tank or one more plane. What is demanded of localauthority heads and factory managers, the state must demand of itself –preventing sewage from contaminating the water sources,” EnvironmentalProtection Minister Gilad Erdan said in a statement.