Court Cracks Down on Atlit Toxic Polluter

Carmel Resins ordered to remove all toxic materials by midnight Thursday.

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The Magistrate Court in Haifa instructed the Carmel Resins company to remove all toxic materials from its site in Atlit by midnight last night, based on an order issued by the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

The plant will not be allowed to use any new hazardous materials since its license for doing so was revoked. The management of the plant, owned by businessman Gil Dankner, will appeal this decision.

The ministry’s order for removing the materials and revoking the license to store hazardous materials stemmed from defective handling discovered three weeks ago following a leak of such substances. The plant appealed the order to remove them, claiming the defects have been repaired.

However, yesterday its legal representatives agreed to the removal of these substances. The Hof HaCarmel Regional Council, in which the plant is located, has in the meantime decided to revoke its business license as well. Its managers intend to appeal this decision as well.

Before the court proceedings began, dozens of local residents demonstrated outside the courtroom, demanding the shutting down not only of this particular plant but of the whole industrial zone involving similar chemicals, which includes other plants that are still licensed to handle hazardous materials.

Following the court’s decision, residents expressed the hope that this was but a first step in protecting the health of Atlit residents.