After three years in the making, the Knesset finally passed Israel's Clean Air Act Tuesday, with 39 MKs voting in favor of it and none objecting. The act is expected to regulate all issues pertaining to the air quality in Israel, enabling local authorities to crackdown on industries or individuals that contribute to excessive air pollution. The bill is said to take effect at the beginning of 2011. "This is a great victory for the environmental movement and the Israeli citizens," said Knesset Member Michael Melchior (Labor-Meimad), who co-chairs the Knesset's environmental lobby. The Green Course environmental group welcomed the decision, saying its merit is in the fact that it provides local authorities with the tools to fight air pollution. "This bill will revolutionize they way we deal with air quality issues, which affect all the health of each and every one of us," said Environment Minister Gideon Ezra. "Industrial and economic growth may lead to an increase in air pollution. It is our job as public officials to ensure that this growth's byproducts would be regulated and will cause no harm to the environment we live in." Fluent monitoring, increased enforcement The new act calls for the forming of a national air pollution monitoring authority, which would make its data public. The new act would further allow for redefining air pollution standards, which would have to be implemented by the various industries which would also be made to keep prolific records of all emissions and their components. The monitoring authority will ensure the data is correct. Those found at fault would be subjected to fines between $29,000 and $300,000 and may face up to two years in prison. The original outline for the Clear Air Act was brought before the Knesset by the Israel Union for Environmental Defense (IUED) in 2005. The act's final version calls for the cooperation of 11 government bureaus, which along the years have filed 200 amendments to its original form. The new act still has to overcome its final hurdle – that of the Treasury, which is supposed to allocate the necessary, additional funds to the Environmental Protection Ministry. Its implementation is scheduled to begin in 2011.