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Israel must join developed nations in reducing the global toxic legacy of PFAS substances

Adam Teva V’Din petitions the High Court of Justice to cease government foot-dragging on regulatory action of PFAS ‘forever chemicals’.

“As the national environmental watchdog we must do everything we can to catalyze comprehensive and responsible regulation of PFAS chemical substances,” says Amit Bracha, attorney and CEO of Adam Teva V’Din. “Israel is years behind the USA and Europe in classifying, regulating and phasing out of some 10,000 ‘forever chemicals’ even though PFAS are highly persistent, bio-accumulative, and carry substantial adverse impacts on human health and the environment.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection has the authority

The State of Israel is a signatory to the Stockholm Convention of 2001, the global protocol that frames countries’ responsibilities to limit chemicals in the environment. Yet 20 years later Israel has not ratified the Convention and not enacted a regulatory framework to safeguard people and the environment.

Meirav Abadi, Adam Teva V’Din’s head of Regulation, points out that, “Israel has not upheld its commitment even though the Ministry of Environmental Protection has authority under the Hazardous Substance Law to regulate and phase out PFAS and similar substances.” This is despite years of intensive research and regulation being generated in EU countries and the USA in order to reduce the volume and impact of PFAS contamination in the environment.

Moreover, the Health Ministry’s surveys reveal that PFAS contaminants are present in Israel’s water wells at high deviations of EU Standards on water. And there are over fifty factories in Israel that maintain high quantities of fire-fighting foams, one of the known sources of PFAS, many without permits and official oversight.

PFAS regulation is essential

Adam Teva V’Din turned to the High Court of Justice because the Ministry of Environmental Protection has not produced a binding schedule classifying and regulating PFAS use in Israel. Meirav Abadi comments that every time PFAS compounds are identified in a drinking water source, the well is closed because there is no system for classifying and responding to PFAS contaminants. “We have not found a singular regulatory action that prevents PFAS from spreading.”

At the hearing of our case, Justices Uzi Fogelman, Ofer Grosskopf and Noam Solberg declared that, “…We know that regulatory bodies work slowly…when it comes to public health, it should be different. We are issuing an order to the State to formulate a decision and detailed schedule without delay. We will not leave such an important issue hanging.”

In so saying, the court issued an order on the State to submit within 90 days a precise regulatory schedule designed to limit and eventually eradicate PFAS in Israel.

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The USA and European Union are way ahead of Israel in classifying, regulating and phasing-out PFAS ‘forever’ chemicals.

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חשוב, נכון?!

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רק בעזרת תמיכתך נצליח לשנות את המציאות ולקדם היערכות אמיתית לנזקים.

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