Haifa Bay still polluted, surveys find

The water and air in the Haifa Bay are still polluted with toxic and carcinogenic chemicals, and the area is still not prepared for any earthquake or military attack, reports www.mynet.co.il. Air and water quality surveys carried out by the Ministry for Environmental Protection throughout 2008 showed high quantities of dangerous chemicals, while two-and-a-half years after the last Lebanon war, dangerous substances are still being stored in the area and are vulnerable to missile hits or natural disasters. According to the report, although there was an improvement in environmental quality in the area in 2007, the same could not be said for 2008. The ministry's regular samplings of the air and water quality in the area showed high concentrations of pollutants and toxins such as airborne dust, manganese, hydrochlorides, methylene chlorides, acetaldehydes and benzopyrenes, as well as of carcinogenic substances such as benzene and formaldehydes. The report also said that the area contained just as many dangerous substances as it had before the 2006 war, and that they were at risk during a missile attack or an earthquake. The report said that while "a bright spot" in recent years was the continuing rehabilitation of the Kishon River, in 2008 there had been two separate incidents that had caused widespread deaths of fish and other river life. In the first incident, sewage poured into the river for several days from the town of Tivon, and in the second incident pesticides from Kibbutz Yagur apparently spilled into the river.