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City of Haifa establishes Low Emission Zone

14 February 2018

The Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) and Haifa Municipality have begun operating the first low-emission zone (LEZ) in the country. As of February 2, 2018, polluting heavy diesel vehicles are no longer allowed in downtown Haifa—buses and trucks have to install a diesel particulate filter (DPF) in order to enter the restricted area.

The LEZ plan is divided into two parts: The first stage, which began on February 2nd, covers diesel vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tonnes. About 22,000 diesel vehicle owners received letters that explained the restriction and gave them the option of installing a particulate filter in their vehicles at a subsidized price.

In the second stage, scheduled to begin in early 2019, all diesel fuel vehicles (including vans and commercial vehicles under 3.5 tonnes, but excluding private cars) that do not meet Euro 4 emission standards will be restricted from the LEZ. These vehicles will only be allowed in the LEZ if they are retrofitted with a DPF.

Clean diesel projects in Israel have been supported by the VERT Association, who held a number of workshops on the control of particle pollution from diesel engines. In 2014, VERT launched a pilot DPF testing program in Haifa. By the end of 2017, more than 500 Haifa buses were retrofitted with particulate filters.

The Israel MoEP considers an expansion of the Haifa low emission zone program to other cities, including the Krayot and Jerusalem, according to the Environmental Protection Minister Zeev Elkin.

Source: Israel MoEP