Environment

  • In the last few decades, Israel has witnessed significant progression in its environmental laws and regulatory mechanisms, that seek to regularise the environmental aspects of companies, industrial plants and large organisations, whose activities impact upon Israel's natural resources. As a consequence, all regulated bodies are today required to operate under a complex regulatory environment and to deal with civil, administrative and criminal legislative and enforcement mechanisms. Moreover, these bodies are obliged to include environmental considerations in their business-decision processes as an integral part of the ongoing business and planning activities.

    The environmental legal team at S. Horowitz & Co. specialises in a broad range of environmental fields, including: non-ionizing radiation, radioactive radiation, sea and water pollution, air pollution, ground pollution, noise and smell hazards, hazardous materials, waste disposal, business licensing, protection of nature reserves and landscape restoration of abandoned quarries, desalination facilities, wastewater treatment facilities, energy and fuels.

     

    We have extensive experience in advising our clients on all environmental-related matters that stem from the operation, management and development of their businesses and provide a comprehensive service to our clients in those matters.

     

    We represent our clients in a wide array of legal proceedings, including: civil claims, administrative petitions, proceedings before the High Court of Justice, class actions as well as criminal and administrative enforcement proceedings.

     

    Throughout the years we have acted on many of the high profile, complex and high value environmental claims and have also represented our clients in legal proceedings that have led to precedent decisions in matters focusing on environmental law.

     

    We provide our clients with ongoing legal consultation relating to their activities. Inter alia, weadvise our clients with respect to environmental legislative provisions and regulations that apply to them and regarding internal compliance procedures; in addition we advise our clients with regard to their relations with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and other regulatory and enforcement authorities, at both the governmental and local-municipal levels, including: the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources, the Ministry of Health, the municipal environmental protection organisations, the various Knesset committees and planning committees as well as many civil and communal organisations.

     

    We also provide our clients with immediate legal advice in the case of environmental incidents and breach of a provision of any environmental law—already from the occurrence of the incident or breach, during the investigation and throughout the legal and enforcement procedures. Similarly, we provide our clients with legal consultation during the rehabilitation proceedings, following the occurrence of the environmental incident.

     

    Furthermore, we advise and represent our clients in transactions that involve environmental aspects, provide legal consultation on national projects in relation to environmental issues and also offer legal assistance on environmental, legislative procedures.

     

    We represent governmental corporations, core public and private companies that are market leaders, statutory corporations and municipal organisations as well as office holders in these organisations, in a wide spectrum of industries.

    • Providing on-going counsel to and representation of the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) on environmental issues relating to production and distribution of electricity, and representing it in criminal and administrative enforcement proceedings filed against it in relation to environmental laws, including where, as a result of IEC'S alleged actions, underground natural resources, ground water and other underground infrastructures have been allegedly damaged, polluted or otherwise adversely affected
    • Representing the Dan Region Infrastructure Association in criminal proceedings brought against it by the State of Israel alleging violation of the Prevention of Sea Pollution from Land Based Sources Law, 1988.  The prosecution claimed that the parties did not take all actions necessary to prevent and to minimise the damage resulting from the cracking of certain major sewage pipes in the sewage system
    • Representing the IEC in many civil claims instituted against it for personal injury, potential future health risks, property damage and diminution in value of properties located in close proximity to electricity installations resulting from electromagnetic fields, including:

     

    (i) defending IEC in a class action relating to extreme low frequency magnetic fields, in which damages of approximately USD 30 million were claimed; and

    (ii) representing IEC in a claim, the first of its kind in Israel, filed against it by the estate and the mother of a 19 year old girl who had died of cancer.  The plaintiffs claimed that the cancer was the result of high exposure to electromagnetic radiation caused by deficient electric wiring in proximity to the area where the deceased had lived

     

    • Representing the Blue and Green Association, a voluntary non-profit association established by a group of concerned citizens for the Mount Carmel region (this is a relatively large region in Israel which includes the City of Haifa and its environs), in its petition to the Israeli Supreme Court against the Minister of Internal Security requesting the court to grant an order for the suspension of the construction plans on the coastline south of Haifa on the basis of its adverse environmental impact on the coast
    • Representing Minrav Engineering & Construction Ltd. in a criminal proceeding, in which the company and two of its managers were accused under the Prevention of Sea Pollution from Land-Based Sources Law, 1988 of having unlawfully permitted the pumping out of seawater during construction of a water purification plant in Ashdod
    • Defending the Paz Group, Israel's largest oil and gas company, in a civil claim seeking damages for contamination of neighbouring property caused by the alleged leaking of petroleum from one of Paz's petrol stations
    • Representing IEC and three of its officers in criminal proceedings filed by the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection in accordance with the Water Law, Maintenance of Cleanliness Law and Prevention of Nuisances Law.  The proceedings involved the responsibility of the accused with regard to the contamination of the River Kishon (one of Israel’s main arterial waterways)
    • Representing Mediplast Israel Ltd. in hearings before the Ministry of Environmental Protection pertaining to the renewal of the poison permit granted to the company pursuant to the Dangerous Materials Law.  Mediplast Israel is a company operating in the field of sterilisation through gas
    • Representing IEC in proceedings before the Israeli High Court of Justice, in a key petition filed against 25 respondents including IEC, concerning the handling, disposal and recycling of construction waste
    • Representing the Weizmann Institute of Science, in a number of petitions submitted by it opposing the misuse of agriculture lands in the proximity of the Institute.  The Institute is claiming that construction on land which had been designated for agricultural use only has caused significant adverse environmental impact
    • Representing IEC in a petition brought by it against the decision of the Regulator to categorise "fly ash" (a by-product in the production of electricity) as radioactive waste, hence prohibiting its use in agriculture and industry and regulating its disposal
    • Representing Hadera Water Resources Ltd., in a claim brought against it by the city of Hadera.  The case involved in the interpretation, for the first time by the Israeli Supreme Court, of the Water and Sewage Corporations Law
    • Representing IEC and one of IEC's senior operating managers in criminal proceedings brought against them by the State of Israel alleging the causing of unreasonable air pollution.  The firm succeeded in bringing about the settlement of the proceedings and the dropping of the charges
    • Representing Lime & Stone Production Co. in defending a class action seeking NIS 40 million (approximately USD 10 million) in damages
    • Representing the Association of the South Eastern Sharon Cities and its chairman and executive director in hearings relating to the alleged non-compliance of the sewage treatment plant of the South Eastern Sharon with regulations governing water quality requirements
    • Representing the Quarry Owners Association in a petition filed with the High Court of Justice contesting the appropriation by the State of a special fund worth over NIS 300 million (approximately USD 75 million) to which the quarry owners had contributed for the rehabilitation of quarries and landscape development.  The High Court of Justice ruled in favour of the Association in a precedent-setting ruling