The Ministry of Environmental Protection is demanding that industries along the Kishon River build a long pipeline to send their waste far out to sea, saying it must be prevented from entering the river and the Haifa Bay area, reports Yediot Haifa. But the plan is meeting opposition from environmental groups, and mayor Yona Yahav says there must be a better way to dispose of the waste than to pollute the sea with it. According to the report, the ministry believes that the rehabilitation of the polluted river and the improvement of the waters in Haifa Bay depend on a pipeline that will take industrial waste entirely out of the area's ecosystem. The ministry is reportedly concerned because despite recent efforts being made to rehabilitate the river and reduce the amount of waste polluting it, its health is still regarded as "poor." The pipeline suggestion came about after investigations showed that an alternative suggestion - burying factory wastes underground - might pollute clean drinking water reserves. "There is a necessity to put a decisive stop to factory waste flowing into the river," a ministry spokesman said. "On the assumption that it is not possible and not correct to shut down the factories, the only possible way to improve the Kishon and Haifa Bay environment reliably for the long term is with a long sea pipeline." But the report said it was doubtful that such a project would get underway within the next year. Apart from opposition from various environmental groups, the city itself is "not hurrying to advance the project," possibly because of local elections looming next year. And Mayor Yona Yahav said that before beginning to pollute the sea with factory wastes, the ministry and the factories should consider every possible way to treat the waste instead. He added that such a pipeline could harm future plans for tourism and leisure in the waters off Haifa, and any plan had to be carried out in consultation with the city.