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Explosion on contaminated land proves the worth of our work

The explosion at the Herzliya site of a former military industries plant underscores the need for remediation of contaminated sites prior to redevelopment.

There was an explosion on Thursday night at Taas Nof Yam (Herzliya) and thankfully no one was hurt. The site of the explosion was a former military industrial facility. It was also the site that had been allocated for construction of 4,000 housing units.

A crater made from the Nof Yam explosion
Crater from Taas Nof Yam explosion. Photo credit: Flash90

Back in 2015 Adam Teva V’Din argued in the High Court of Justice that it was unreasonable that the government had not yet cleaned the area of this former military industrial facility (which operated from 1950 to 1995) despite it being out of use for a decade. After many delays, the State committed to surveying the land by 2016 and a complete a clean-up of the area by 2019. A risk survey of the area would show they types of pollutants, their extent, location and spread, all of which would inform how best to treat and clean the area. However, not only did the State not fulfill their commitment; in 2016 they had approved the “Apollonia Plan” to build thousands of housing units on this exact site. (Taas Nof Yam is very close to Apollonia National Park.)

With no brownfield law in Israel – preventing construction on contaminated land – Adam Teva V’Din fought the Apollonia plan. After a second time of losing this case at the district court, we appealed to the Supreme Court against the decision. They accepted our premise that the Apollonia plan was indeed a serious issue, even called for an extended panel of justices to hear the case.

In 2019 the Supreme Court – in an unprecedented move – overturned the decision of the district court and also cancelled the development plan.

We are committed to keeping Israelis safe where they work, live and play. This commitment saves lives; the Taas Nof Yam explosion is proof of that.

Attorney Eli Ben Ari explains how the June ’23 explosion at Taas Nof Yam could have been avoided
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We are committed to keeping Israelis safe where they work, live and play. This commitment saves lives; the Taas Nof Yam explosion is proof of that.

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