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U.S. EPA Sends Experts to Israel for Asbestos Training


(New York, N.Y.) A team of asbestos experts coordinated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just returned from a unique mission in Israel. Asbestos experts Chuck Nace and David Eppler traveled to Tel Aviv to conduct a workshop for the Ministry of the Environment (MOE), US State Department, and local non-governmental organizations in Israel. The goal of the visit and workshop was to help the Israeli government address severe asbestos contamination in certain areas of the country.

“This trip was an opportunity for the EPA to use its technical knowledge and experience to help Israel avoid environmental problems that could potentially harm local residents,” said Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. “This mission gave our experts the opportunity to learn from and share with our Israeli colleagues.”

To better understand Israel’s asbestos problems, EPA risk expert Chuck Nace and EPA asbestos inspector David Eppler first traveled to Nahariyya, a town in northern Israel close to the Lebanese border. Nahariyya is home to a former cement manufacturing plant that operated between 1952 and 1997. The plant produced cement products that contained asbestos, and these products were then used as construction materials throughout Israel, and waste products were used as fill material in the surrounding community.

After returning from Nahariyya, the EPA experts gave a two day technical asbestos workshop attended by Israeli governmental and non-governmental environmental professionals covering a variety of important topics. During the workshop, EPA gave an overview of the U.S. government’s asbestos responsibilities; survey and sampling methods for asbestos in soil, air, and solid materials; and discussed the U.S.’s asbestos response in Libby, Montana, including how the U.S. government determined the need for cleanup, set cleanup goals, addressed asbestos within buildings, and involved the affected community.

As a result of the EPA visit, EPA and the Israeli government have agreed to on-going collaboration. To that end, Shai Avital, Director General of the Israeli Ministry of the Environment, is visiting the U.S. and will speak to employees at EPA today.

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For information on the Israeli Ministry of the Environment, please visit:


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