Government Demands Data on Leviathan Flares

YERUSHALAYIM -
leviathan gas
View of the Leviathan rig as it seen from Dor Habonim Beach Nature Reserve. (Flash90/File)

The operators of the Leviathan natural gas platform are being charged by the Environmental Protection Ministry with failing to comply with emissions regulations, the Times of Israel reported on Tuesday.

The EPM said it will initiate enforcement proceedings against the proprietors, Texas-based Noble Energy, which it said did not connect a system for constant measurement of emissions from the flare stacks to a national database that enables the ministry to keep track of pollutant release.

Flare stacks are long vent pipes used to release flammable gases during periods of system problems or breakdown.

The Leviathan rig, which was completed despite years of local opposition due to public health concerns, has drawn complaints in recent months related to the flare stacks.

Yoni Sappir, who heads Home Guardians, a nonprofit organization that campaigns against Leviathan, said the emergency flares lit up the skies “like fireballs” that were longer than the flare stack itself.

The EPM said that it viewed the company’s violations “with gravity” and warned that “failure to carry out instructions violates the emissions permit and detracts from the ministry’s ability to efficiently supervise and monitor emissions that pollute the air via the stacks and flares in order to get a picture of the situation in real time of the effect of the platform’s activities on the environment.”