Ministry fines Tnuva NIS 15m. for waste-dumping

During food production in years 2009-2010, Tnuva's Be’er Tuvia plant discharged brine in amounts that violate terms of its permit.

tnuva cottage cheese_311 (photo credit: Reuters)
tnuva cottage cheese_311
(photo credit: Reuters)
The Environmental Protection Ministry has imposed what it calls an “unprecedented” NIS 15 million fine on the Tnuva cooperative for dumping waste into the sea, the office announced on Thursday.
During food production in the years 2009 and 2010, the cooperative’s Be’er Tuvia plant was discharging brine in amounts that violated the terms of its permit – leading to the NIS 15,219,300 fine, according to the ministry.
Food manufacturing at Tnuva results in large amounts of brine by-products, which the cooperative then pumps into enormous containers and transfers to the Shafdan sewage treatment zone. However, contrary to the orders of an inter-ministerial committee, the cooperative failed to erect a treatment facility that would serve to filter the remaining brine before dumping a less polluted version into the sea, a ministry report stated.
“Israel’s beaches are a unique natural resource and we will not allow for their pollution in order for factory owners to increase their profits,” Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) said in a statement released by his office.
“We will continue to require an investment in the best technology to reduce pollution, no less than what companies are investing in aggressively marketing their products.”
All in all, the fine imposed on Tnuva accounts for its refusal to establish a treatment facility for the brine, for the absence of any report for constructing such a plant and for dumping illegal amounts of waste into the sea, according to the Environment Ministry.
As per the “Prevention of Sea Pollution from Land-Based Sources” law, the amount of money charged to a violating company is determined by its annual sales turnover, the ministry said. For example, a company with a turnover of NIS 500m. would be required by the law to pay NIS 2.4m. for any breach of its permits. The money fined to Tnuva will be transferred to the Marine Pollution Prevention fund, the ministry said