Unusually high levels of pollution in Haifa. (Archive photo)
Photo: George Ginsberg
The Ministry of Environmental Protection announced on Friday that an highly irregular meteorological conditions in the area have led to the accumulation of unusual levels of pollution in the Haifa Bay. In response, the ministry issued special instructions to all Bazan oil refineries in order to prevent the problem from worsening.
"The Ministry of Environmental Protection closely monitors the activities of plants all over Haifa Bay, and especially the Bazan complex," the ministry's statement said. "As a result of the conditions (a sharp reversal in temperatures), the proper dispersal of emissions was prevented, and the air remained close to ground. Therefore, and due to the fact that a rise in concentration of pollution in the monitoring stations has been registered, the ministry has instructed the plants to take precautionary and preventative measures."
The accumulation of pollution was apparently caused by an environmental phenomena called inversion. It entails air staying near ground level instead of rising, which can cause pollutant materials to improperly disperse, thus keeping them in a relatively small area in high concentration.