New Regulations Require Israeli Government to Disclose Environmental Information

5 February 2009

Jerusalem, Israel – On February 2, 2009, the Interior and Environmental Protection Committee of the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, approved new regulations that would compel Israeli public authorities to make environmental information available to the public.

Even though environmental information was specifically mentioned in Article 9 of Israels 1998 Freedom of Information Law, further implemented in general regulations in 1999, there had been little in the way of active disclosure, particularly on specific environmental concerns. One local nonprofit, Citizens for the Environment of Galilee, was instrumental in advocating the 2005 environmental information amendment, which had originated as a proposed bill drafted by the Environmental Justice Clinic at Tel Aviv University.

These new regulations specify the types of information to be disclosed to the public and how this information is to be made available. Environmental information specifically relates to information relevant to public health, including data on substances that are emitted, spilled, discharged, or released to the environment and the results of measurements of noise, odors, and radiation, not on private property. All public authorities, including government ministries, local authorities, and other bodies, will be subject to these regulations.

Links

Availability of Information on Environmental Quality for Public Review, 2009 (in Hebrew)

Israel Freedom of Information Law, 5758-1998 (in English)

Israel Freedom of Information Regulations, 5759-1999 (in English)

Amendment to the Freedom of Information Law on Environmental Information, 2005

Citizens for the Environment of Galilee

Environmental Justice Clinic, Tel Aviv University

Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection

 

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