The Economics Committee approved on second and third reading amendments to the Drainage and Flood Protection Act

The Knesset’s Economics Committee today (Wednesday) approved the drainage chapter, which was split from the Arrangements Law and deals with a number of legislative amendments intended to regulate the issue of protection against floods and floods. H"As Ethan Ginzburg, who filled the place of were"R., said at the beginning of the discussions that the current law is outdated and does not provide an adequate response to reality, and congratulated the government for bringing an amendment backed by significant budgeting. According to him, "We need a good, efficient and advanced drainage system, although on most days of the year it is difficult to grasp its importance. The fear of flood damage is not unfounded, and should be addressed in reducing damage to property and preventing harm to human life.".

In the past, the committee discussed a government proposal for a comprehensive amendment to the Drainage Law, but the proposal was not promoted and as a result, the committee today approved the government proposal that included more limited amendments. The amendments approved today are intended to solve difficulties in the implementation of the law, to tighten the means of supervision and control of the drainage authorities and to strengthen the capacity of the drainage plants to be carried out.

During the previous discussions, a dispute arose regarding the composition of the drainage board, and during discussions in the committee, it was decided to increase the number of its members from 13 to 15. In addition to the representatives of the relevant government ministries, a representative of the Nature Conservation and National Parks Authority was added to the council, and another representative of the local government so that the local government will have a total of two representatives in the council. The council will be headed by an appointee appointed by the Minister of Agriculture from among the employees of his office, who will have the appropriate knowledge and skills in the field of drainage and protection against floods.

H"Alon Tal referred to the proposal at previous meetings, and said that from an environmental point of view, the treatment of Israeli streams, which are part of the drainage system, is one of the biggest failures, and asked whether the law gives drainage authorities the opportunity to be key players. According to him, the chairmen of the drainage authorities should be given powers to issue, for example, cleaning orders. In order for those heads of authorities to be able to deal with slavery responsibility he should, he says, be given operational tools to prevent harm.

Previous discussions have also raised controversy over the section that sought to oblige drainage authorities to prevent and treat health hazards. CEO"The Dead Sea Drainage Authority, Eitan Friedman, said that the authorities have no supervisory authority and this amendment does not look at the big picture. The Legal Adviser of the Ministry of Agriculture, Adv"D. Efrat Aviani, said that the section defines the role of the drainage authority as one that also includes the treatment of health hazards and creates authority in the matter.

US"R. Sharon Drainage Authority and Chairman of the Emek Hefer Council, d"R. Galit Shaul, said that drainage authorities were established for a specific purpose and their budget comes from residents who live in the authorities’ areas. According to her, if the drainage authority has a surplus of tasks that are not directly related to what it is responsible for then its residents are harmed. "You could say that we are also responsible for the airspace above the streams and the mosquitoes, everything can be said, but the idea is to adjust the powers to the ability and not go in the right direction in expanding the powers. Authorities have big tasks. In plowing, for example, before development the absorption was 96% and today only 4% and whoever maintains that her room will not be flooded is only the drainage authority on meager budgets. So you can focus on this task and you can add more tasks without budgeting, if you put it on the drainage authority, which is a broken reed support, it will also fall"Said Saul.

On the other hand, VP"To Zalul, Yuval Arbel, said that this law should be seen together with the Nahal and Maayanut Laws Act in order to look at the overall picture. According to him, there are missing things there as well, and in addition to the treatment of health hazards, there should be reference to the fact that the drainage authority will prevent hazards on its behalf, as long as it does not harm the river’s ecosystem.

VP"To the Ministry of Agriculture, Eran Ettinger, noted that the core role of the drainage authorities is to protect against floods and floods. H"Ginzburg sought to find a solution to this and finally the committee decided to add the section on the prevention of health hazards, adding that the Authority will work to treat or eliminate health hazards that may arise in its area, without derogating from any law and taking into account the need to prevent or aggravate environmental hazards.

Another approved clause concerns dealing with a turtle where a drainage authority does not comply with the directive of the Minister of Agriculture, in which case it is stipulated that a special director be appointed for her similar to the appointment of a committee called. VP"To the Ministry of Agriculture Ettinger explained that if the drainage authority does not repair defects as required and the commissioner of the drainage board believes that this impairs the authority’s ability to perform its duties, it will be possible to appoint a special director and entrust the operations to another authority and even transfer a budget.

At today’s hearing, the head of the Justice and Knesset Administration at the Center for Local Government, Mira Salomon, addressed the issue of the special director and said that he receives draconian powers and their operation should be under the authority of the Minister of Agriculture, as recommended by the commissioner. VP"To the Ministry of Agriculture Ettinger said that this was a professional incident, and that some of the deterioration of the authorities was around the involvement of political issues and the fear is that processes will stop the same considerations that caused the authority not to function.

H"As Limor Magen Telem asked to know how this happens in other bodies, and said that she believes that in these cases the factor that should be responsible is the professional factor and not the minister. H"As Sami Abu Shehadeh proposed to include in the decisions a regional planning factor. H"C. Ginzburg said that a certain balance needs to be found and that there can be no single factor that will move aside the entire chain of management and supervision. He proposed leaving the plenum of the authority in office but reducing its powers and said that the professional body "There will be no exclusive king".

CEO"The Dead Sea Drainage Authority, Itai Friedman, supported the proposal and said that the situation of the authorities was improving. According to him, the drainage authorities face very big challenges and encourage the regulator to monitor them and allow them to carry out their role, and the balance proposed by"As Ginzburg is reasonable.

H"About Abu Shehadeh wanted to know how many of the drainage authorities are functioning and not bringing in other companies to do the work for them. Ettinger replied that out of 11 drainage authorities there are some excellent and only a few that do not function. "There has been a steady improvement trend in recent years. There are those who are less good and that is what we are working on, in the hope that all 11 authorities will function and provide excellent service to the public.", Said Ettinger.

As stated, at the end of the discussion, the committee finished approving the bill for a second and third reading. H"C. Ginzburg concluded and congratulated that after so many years in which the law was archaic and the difficulty of functioning the drainage world was amended. "It is of great importance to treat rainwater, in areas anchored by floods and the approval of the bill is a first step on the way to treating the whole area in the current era, where the climate situation is changing. Situations that once happened once every hundred years now occur once every two years", said. H"As Ginzburg added and called on the government to complete the major amendments to the Drainage Act, "In order for this world to be more orderly".

Photo: Police spokeswoman

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