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Israel: Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers

(Apr. 30, 2012) On March 19, 2012, the Knesset (Israel's parliament) passed the Environmental Protection (Pollutant and Transfers to the Environment – Duties of Reporting and Registration) Law 5772-2012. The stated objectives of the Law are to increase the transparency of environmental information in Israel; to encourage factories to decrease the release and transfer of contaminating materials to the environment; and to assist in the adoption of decisions, in the conduct of research, and in the formulation of a policy that is based on environmental justice.

A brief note on the Law posted on the Knesset website further states that the Law assumes that the publication of information on the release of pollutants will create an incentive to factories to minimize their polluting actions and enable better supervision of polluting activities.

The Law imposes an annual reporting duty regarding pollutant release on a list of factories. According to the brief note on the Law, these factories, based on global experience, are responsible for 90% of pollutant release and transfer.

The Law further establishes a register of pollutants and of the transfer of contaminating materials. The register will be accessible to the public by the Internet, free of charge. Additional information on pollutant release and transfer will be made publicly available via a geographic information system (GIS), accessible on the Internet site of the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

The Law adopts the principles established by the Kiev Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers. It also provides for penalties of imprisonment and fines for violation of its provisions. (Environmental Protection (Pollutant and Transfers to the Environment – Duties of Reporting and Registration) Law 5772-2012 & brief note on the Law [both in Hebrew], Knesset website [for the note, click on link to the left of the Law's title] (both last visited April 20, 2012); Kiev Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe website (last visited Apr. 20, 2012).)