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The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies
The Center for Environmental Policy
Air Pollution from Transportation
Position Paper
The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studie Air Pollution from Transportation
Position Paper
The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies This book was made possible by funds granted by the Charles H. Revson The statements made and the views expressed are solely the responsibility 2002, The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies Executive Summary
Air pollution in Israel is reaching crisis proportions. Hundreds and probably thousands of premature deaths each year are attributed to exposure to high concentrations of air pollutants. In addition to morbidity rates, other negative health effects related to air quality are also increasing. For example, asthma among Israeli youth has increased from 5% in 1980 to 10% in 1990, and is estimated to be up to 17% today. Mobile sources of air pollution’s are responsible for the majority of air pollution in urban centers, with diesel vehicles, primarily buses and other large commercial vehicles, making the largest contribution.
This report concludes a year of work by an inter-ministerial commission administered by the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies with the support of the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies. The objective of the initiative was to consider the reasons for the high amount of air pollution caused by transportation in Israel and to recommend concrete measures to improve enforcement of policies on vehicular emissions. The commission included a broad assembly of stakeholders: representatives of Israel’s Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of the Environment, the Israel Police, representatives of Israel’s Union of Vehicle Licensing Centers, the Garage Association, public interest NGOs, bus cooperatives, the City of Tel Aviv Environmental Unit, and a variety of experts from related disciplines in the academic community.
The report is divided into two sections. The first part presents the magnitude of transportation-based air pollution in Israel and its impact on public health. It includes an analysis of the pollution sources, the institutional and legal framework that has arisen to address the problem, and the required standards in Israel regarding mobile source air pollution in contrast to standards in other countries.
In the second section, the enforcement program in Israel is described and analyzed and recommendations are given for improvement. This section is divided into four parts corresponding to the four essential elements of a mobile source air • Implementation of an air emission inspection program and identification of vehicles that escape the tests by the inspection systemEnsuring the reliability of the emissions testsRepairing vehicles in which violations have been identified and evaluatingA supplementary program of enforcement that tests vehicle emissions in roadside spot checks and other policies to ensure compliance The following is a summary of the primary conclusions presented in the report: • The goal of any mobile source air pollution enforcement program must be the “creation of deterrence” and not “catching violators,” which is insufficient on its own to bring about the necessary change in a problem created by hundreds of thousands of vehicles that violate legal standards. Creating deterrence will require the raising of fines, both normatively and in terms of actual implementation by enforcement personnel and the judiciary, and publication • The State of Israel, in fact, has an excellent infrastructure in place for effective enforcement in the area of mobile source air pollution emissions. The annual inspection program and the diesel testing procedures and technology are very good, although the actual standard is old and relatively high when compared to the manufacturing specifications of new vehicles and emission requirements in many Western countries. It is important to reduce the diesel emission standard on a vehicle-specific basis according to fleet year, based on research presently being conducted that evaluates vehicle performance under local conditions • As a first step in improving the existing emission standard, it is important to replace the present carbon monoxide standard that tests performance when the vehicle is “idling” with a test at a high rpm level. The goal of this test, performed as part of the annual inspection test for gasoline-powered vehicles, should be to rate the performance of the catalytic converter. The standard should be updated to reflect the development of new technologies that enable more precise and practical testing protocols.
• The frequency of inspections should be increased for old gasoline-powered vehicles and for all commercial diesel vehicles (buses, taxis and trucks.) • Israel’s vehicle licensing inspection centers have begun the process of shifting to automated computer-generated results of emission testing. This transition should be expedited as it reduces the potential for human error due to the potentially subjective results that can be registered by inspection technicians.
• The emphasis of enforcement activities in general and of roadside inspections in particular should be placed on diesel vehicles and especially commercial vehicles, including trucks traveling in excess of their allowable loadings. Severe penalties for exceeding standards, including driver’s license suspension, should be adopted. This recommendation requires a substantial expansion in the number of the mobile roadside inspection units in Israel, as well as a meaningful improvement in their precision and reliability. In addition, legislation is needed • Enforcement personnel should focus their limited resources on large sectors with the potential for considerable loadings of air pollution. For example, busses should be tested when they return at the end of their routes to parking lots. In addition, a responsible official within the corporate structure should be assigned the role of air emissions officer. Frequently, such companies already have a “safety officer” who might be a natural candidate for this additional • Results of the emission tests at the annual vehicle inspections at the Testing Centers should be filed in a clear and accessible database that specifies the compounds measured. This information should be made available to the public • It is important to organize enforcement campaigns against a substantial group of vehicles that manage to avoid being tested altogether in the annual inspection, even though they pay the testing fees to Israel Licensing Authority.
• It is important to consider the possibility of imposing an emission standard and an annual emission test on entire groups of vehicles that are presently exempt from the emission inspection process. For example, even though motorcycles must comply with emission standards and testing in several states around the world, and contribute significantly to particulate loadings, at present they lay completely outside the Israeli air quality control system.
• Numerous measures involving economic incentives should be considered as part of the overall effort to improve compliance and supplement conventional command and control activities. These measures include reducing import taxes on a new vehicle when concomitantly an old “polluting” vehicle is taken off the road. Taxes on diesel fuel should be increased as an incentive to use vehicles requiring regular benzene gasoline, which is a “cleaner” fuel but is presently more expensive than diesel. A special environmental surcharge should be added to the mandatory fee for the vehicle inspections. Revenue from this surcharge could be directed to a mobile source air pollution prevention fund to support • A National Center for Emissions Testing, capable of conducting a variety of tests according to international standards, should be established to help evaluate the impact of changes in fuel types and technologies. Such centers already exist in many countries, and the establishment of one in Israel would contribute to a stronger empirical base for proposed changes and their implementation.
• The professional training of the inspection personnel involved in mobile source air quality regulation needs to be improved, especially among the technicians and inspectors who test vehicles along the roadside. This measure is critical for improving the reliability of tests and guaranteeing the complete implementation of existing protocols in the field.
• At the very least, it is important to cancel import taxes that are currently levied on catalytic converters, particulate traps, and other air pollution prevention equipment for vehicles. While import taxes were annulled for equipment designed to enhance traffic safety several years ago, replacement parts for air pollution equipment presently have an 84% import tax surcharge.
• Responsibility for roadside inspections should be placed in the hands of the Ministry of Environment, which would serve as the lead agency and work with the local municipal environmental protection units. Responsibility for overseeing the annual vehicle inspections should remain in the hands of the • The public should be guaranteed full access to information involving the enforcement program for motor vehicles, including inspection test results and the findings from the roadside inspections.
• It is important to increase public awareness about the effect of mobile-source air pollution on public health and the availability of measures to reduce such • It is worth noting that any new strategy in the area of enforcement must be consistent with a variety of non-enforcement related measures designed to improve mobile source performance, such as shifts to cleaner fuels, traffic demand management, and educational programs.

Source: http://jiis.org/.upload/publications/tansport.pdf

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