Israel to Exempt Oil Pipeline from Environmental Regulations

(P&GJ) — The Israeli National Infrastructure Committee plans to exempt the Europe Asia Pipeline Company (EAPC) from considering an environmental impact survey for its installation in Ashkelon, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

EAPC, formerly the Eilar-Ashkelon Pipeline, operates three crude oil pipelines and one pipeline for oil products. This includes a 42, 254-km (158-mi) crude oil pipeline linking the Red Sea port of Eilat with the Mediterranean port of Ashkelon, a 16″/18″, 197-km (122-mi) crude oil pipeline connecting Ashkelon with the Haifa refinery, an 18”/16” 36-km (22-mi) crude oil pipeline connecting Ashkelon with the Ashdod refinery, and a 16”, 260-km (161-mi) oil products pipeline connecting Ashkelon with Eilat.

Activist groups are upset by the move to not regulate or require reporting of many of the pipelines functions, according to the Haaretz report. The Association of Cities for the Environment called on the committee to require an environmental survey, the article states.

“The head of the National Infrastructure Committee’s environmental team, Dr. Orit Nir, recommended that the oil pipeline company receive an exemption from the need to file an environmental impact statement three months ago,” the Haaretz article states. “The plan was unusual because it dealt mostly with an existing situation and no significant changes were made to the plans, Nir said.”

EAPC called the accusations of rising levels of environmental incidents “baseless claims.”

“There has been no change in the company’s activities, and it maintains its installations on a regular basis at a very high level,” Haaretz quoted EAPC as saying. “The allegations of natural deterioration and odor issues is part of the association’s defamation campaign … The company is committed to the safety and security of the region’s residents, in which it invests many resources and means.”

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