Environment Department in the Civil Administration
Environment Department in the Civil Administration is mainly responsible for all environmental issues in Judea and Samaria. These include environmental planning, waste disposal sites, wastewater treatment, hazardous material handling, pest control and more.
The Environment Department’s main principle is to protect the environment and improve the living standards of the population in Judea and Samaria. The area’s complexity and uniqueness are increasing its significance. With this purpose, the Environment Department performs all daily activities required to minimize the hazardous materials in Judea and Samaria and reduce their impacts.
The Environment Department works cooperatively with all parties of the Civil Administration, Ministry of Environmental Protection, City Unions of Environment Quality in Judea and Samaria and various DCOs. In addition, it works in collaboration with PA officials in joint committees about water issues (JWC) and with international institutions such as the World Bank and the German Bank KFW in order to promote environmental projects throughout Judea and Samaria for Israeli and Palestinian populations.
This document presents some of the main projects, activities and achievements carried out during the year 2011.
Waste Disposal Sites (Landfills)
One of the Environment Department’s main objectives is to open and monitor various waste disposal sites and reduce the negative effects on the environment, such as water, soil and air pollution, as well as any other risks to human life.
In this context the Environment Department has approved and/or implemented various projects in more than ten waste disposal sites. The main objective is to have three major disposal areas (North, Center and South) in Judea and Samaria for most of the waste disposal and other subsidiary landfills. Some of these projects are listed below.
Al-Miniyya Landfill The Al-Miniyya Landfill is currently being established near the Palestinian villages of Al-Miniyya and Arav Al-Rashida. The permits for construction were approved by the Environment Department on June 29, 2011 and after by the Ministry of Environmental Protection. The landfill is designed to meet more than 800,000 peoples' waste disposal needs in different sectors around the areas of Bethlehem, Hebron and Jerusalem. The World Bank also promotes the project at a cost of $ 23 million. The planned facility is expected to be established on 1,038 dunams (257 acres) of land and will sort and separate waste. The project also includes the closure and rehabilitation of seventeen illegal disposal sites (eight of which have already been closed). Detailed plans for the rehabilitation of these lands are currently being held by the World Bank in cooperation with the Hebron municipality.
Carmel Landfill / YATAThe Carmel Landfill, located near the Carmel Community and Palestinian villages in South Hebron area, has absorbed the waste surplus of Hebron and Bethlehem and some of the Jewish Communities for decades. The Environment Department and the Hebron and Bethlehem municipalities are currently allocating approximately ₪100,000 every month for operating the site. After the establishment of the Al-Miniyya Landfill the site will be closed and rehabilitated by the World Bank according to the Environment Department’s guidelines. In this framework seventeen illegal waste disposal sites will be closed.
Al Finjan Landfill The site has been successfully operated since 2008. In 2011, the site extended its use to a wider radius over the Palestinian communities in the area. Today the site receives about 750 tons of waste from Jenin, Ephraim Section (Tulkarm and Qalqilya) and North of Nablus and villages around the area.
Ramon Landfill On December 14th 2011, subcommittees convened to discuss and start the planning process of the Ramon Landfill project, including; receiving necessary approvals from official institutions and studying significant conditions around the area. The landfill is planned to absorb Ramallah’s waste and will be established by funding from the German Bank KFW, at a cost of $ 25 million. The landfill will eliminate the hazards created by the various illegal dump sites in the area. After the establishment of the Ramon Landfill, these various sites will be rehabilitated again with the support the German Bank. Fraon LandfillThe Fraon Landfill is located on the banks of the Te'enim River close to the Te'enim crossing. The site, which has been unregulated and out of use by the Tulkarm Municipality for years, lacks appropriate infrastructure (such as sealing) and does not carry out necessary functions (such as collecting and treating waste). The site used to cause serious hazards, such as pests and pollution. After the site was closed, a team of officers from the Environment Department conducted a tour of the facility on December 27th, 2010 in order to investigate the rehabilitation progress and reported that:• Waste at the altitude of five meters was removed from the area. • The entire area was covered with 60 cm of garden soil.• About 25 pipes were placed about 3 meters inside the landfill in order to remove biogas.• There are no hazardous odors or air pollution at the site.On March 18, 2012 the Civil Administration transferred ₪ 1,000,000 to the Tulkarm Municipality to cover rehabilitation costs.
Roadside Waste Removal During 2011 roadside waste deposits around Hebron, Ramallah, Nablus and Jerusalem were removed. Removal in Hebron AreaRoadside waste removal in Hebron was completed during October. Most of the work was carried out along the roads used by Palestinians and was undertaken in full cooperation with the Hebron DCO. The municipality utilized ₪ 35,380 from the tender funds.
Removal in Ramallah Area Throughout December waste removal from the Ramallah area was completed in full cooperation with the Ramallah DCO. The evacuations were mainly carried out in:• Near the south entrance of Sinjil• En route to Ein Yabrud, Route 60 turn• Entrance to Deir Nizam• Entrance to Avod• Haramiya Valley The municipality utilized ₪ 22,156 from the tender funds, and the process was supervised by the Environment Department officers.
Removal in Jerusalem AreaThroughout December waste removal from the Jerusalem area was completed in full cooperation with the Jerusalem DCO. The main work was carried out at the entrance to the village Anata. A total of ₪ 13,800 were utilized from the tender funds, and the process was supervised by the Environment Department officers.
Removal in Nablus AreaThe evacuation was completed during December near the villages around the Nablus and Itma area at a total cost of ₪ 7,000.
Removal in Ephraim AreaThe removal was completed during December near the eastern entrance of Ariel at a total cost of ₪ 3,500.
Removal near Oranit AreaAsbestos and other hazards were gathered and removed over the course of three days in July. About 28 trucks transported approximately 650 tons of waste to El Bira. The evacuation cost about ₪ 90,000.
Nablus River CleanupThe project to open and clean the Nablus River was implemented in October by the Department's officers in cooperation with the Ephraim DCO and Emek Hefer Regional Council. During the operation, the lattice over the security fence was raised in order to clean the sludge in the stream. Over ten days, fifteen trucks transferred waste to Al-Kayysi in area B. The total cost of the operation was ₪ 102,312.
Wastewater Treatment and Sewage Project
The goal of water and wastewater treatment is to remove contaminants in the water so the water is nontoxic and fit for its desired use. In 2011 the Civil Administration undertook several projects in order to sterilize and decontaminate various water sources and decrease the hazardous effects on the environment. Some of these projects are listed below.
Wastewater Solution to Arab Towns around Tulkarm AreaOn June 29, 2011 the Civil Administration’s Water Department signed the order to lay a wastewater assembler line in the Zamir Valley around Tulkarm area. The line will provide a solution to wastewater issues in the Palestinian towns of Anabta, Shuweika, Ichtaba, Balaa, Levad, Roman, Ramin and Beit Layad. The project will be financed by the German Bank KFW and will cost $20 million. The JWC approved the project in November 2010. Deir Sharaf Project to establish wastewater treatment facility for the city of Nablus and the area near Deir A-Sharaf, is to be funded by the German Bank KFW at a cost of EUR 5,000,000. Laying of the sewage pipes has started and the site is expected to function at the first quarter of 2013. The project will treat 3 million cubic meters of raw sewage, allowing a greater access to water for agricultural purposes in the region and better living standards for the citizens of Nablus. BeituniaEssential documents were prepared in order to examine the alternative locations for the waste treatment facility. The facility is financed by KFW at a cost of $ 20 million and will provide a solution to the sewage problems of Ramallah and the region. The project was also approved by the JWC.
A-Zaiim SewageThe Regional Development Ministry decided to allocate a budget of ₪ 8,000,000 to the Civil Administration for the wastewater treatment in the village. The project will include the completion of the internal sewer pipes in the village, the establishment of a pumping station and a line to connect the rear sewer delivery to the Jerusalem sewage system. The project is to be funded by The Civil Administration and the Regional Development Ministry. It is expected that one hundred presently unconnected houses in the village will be incorporated into the sewage system at a cost of ₪ 1.2 million.Samaritan Neighborhood The Regional Development Ministry decided to transfer ₪5,000,000 to the Civil Administration for wastewater treatment around the Samaritan Neighborhood. The project will include collecting wastewater from the southern part of the village, the military camp Tel-Aras, and the tourist site of Mount Gerizim. It will also include transmission and upgrading of water treatment facility in Mount Bracha. About 400 people live in the Samaritan Neighborhood and Mount Gerizim. On January 19, 2012 a tender was approved by the committee for the project. Khirbet Abu SalmanThe village of Khirbet Abu Salman in Area B has about 800 residents. The village already has a sewer system that drains wastewater to the pipes towards the Kana River. The main issue about the system is that the end of the pipe is about 80 meters away from the pit itself and this causes the wastewater to flow on the ground. On May 12, 2010 a discussion was held about the problem and a budget of ₪ 200,000 was approved to connect the drainage line from Kana River to K. Abu Salman. The Environment Department took over the project on April 20, 2011. On November 3, 2011 the Tenders Committee approved the selection of the winning contractor. Har-Zacharia Connection to Gush Etzion The Village of Har-Zacharia (Area C) will be connected to the wastewater treatment facility in Gush Etzion. The Regional Development Ministry has proposed a budget for funding the project in 2012.
Pest Control Unit
There is a special unit within the Environment Department that both fights pests and opens streams. The unit consists of seven Palestinian workers that are managed by Fight Against Pests Center under the direct supervision of the Environment Department.
The main tasks of the unit are:• Monitoring and controlling mosquitoes in streams and wetlands.• Opening streams and waterways.• Draining and pumping of sewage puddles.• Sampling from the streams and wetlands for mosquito larvae. • General pest control. • Responding to public inquiries and resolving issues.This unit is important because of its ability to perform operations throughout Judea and Samaria, including areas A and B. The unit operates in cooperation with DCOs and local Palestinian and Israeli authorities. The unit works in professional cooperation with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and other partner committees, through monthly meetings and discussions. The Ministry of Environmental Protection provides the budget for monitoring and samplings tasks regularly.The unit received an award from the UN for its actions to prevent malaria in Judea and Samaria.
Working cooperatively with Palestinian organizations and the local authorities, many waste and wastewater treatment projects have been completed, established or approved. Out of 52 million cubic meters of wastewater from Palestinian neighborhoods, 17 million cubic meters were treated in Israel and 2.5 million cubic meters were treated in Palestinian facilities during 2011. Based on these results we can say the Environment Department in the Civil Administration is fulfilling its most significant mission: improving the quality of life for people living in Judea and Samaria by protecting the environment.