Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Frutarom Fined for Odor Nuisances in Haifa Bay

In mid-February 2009, the Haifa Magistrates Court convicted Frutarom Industries Ltd. of causing severe odor nuisances, in violation of the Business Licensing Law and the Abatement of Nuisances Law. Frutarom is a private company situated in Haifa Bay which produces raw materials and flavor and fragrance extracts for the food industry.
Following a plea bargain agreement, Frutarom was fined a million and a half shekels and signed a financial obligation to refrain from a similar offense in the sum of 3 million shekels for three years. In addition, the plea bargain agreement calls on Frutarom to regulate all odor nuisances in its bounds and to plan and implement a program for the reduction of air pollution and odor nuisances, which will include, inter alia, compliance with best available technologies (BAT), implementation of leak detection and repair (LDAR), and monitoring and sampling. The company is expected to invest millions of shekels in the implementation of the program.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection brought an indictment against Frutarom in March 2008 following numerous complaints from residents of the area regarding odor nuisances from the plant. The ministry's investigations, including the dispatch of odor assessment teams to the plant, confirmed the findings. Odor assessment teams defined the odor originating in the plant as considerable and unreasonable, in contravention of section 3 of the Abatement of Nuisances Law, 1968. In addition, the plant did not comply with business licensing conditions which required it to install facilities for the prevention of odor nuisances.

Attorney Zohar Shekalim, the Ministry of Environmental Protection's legal adviser on air quality, expressed the hope that the conviction will bring to an end to the difficult odor nuisances from which residents of the area have suffered for years.

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