A 2014 oil spill by a secretive state-run company that flooded an Israeli nature reserve caused 281 million shekels ($76 million) worth of damage, Israel's Environmental Protection Ministry said on Wednesday.
|(Photo: Noam Weiss - Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel)|
The ministry sent its estimate to a mediator for its case against the Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Company (EAPC), a major oil distributor in Israel. Worried about national security, the government maintains tight control over EAPC, and much of its business dealings are under military censorship.
There is also a criminal investigation into EAPC over what experts called the worst spill in Israel's history.
In December 2014, a pipe burst in southern Israel, pouring millions of litres of oil into a desert nature reserve. EAPC was already forced to pay 65 million shekels for a clean-up and environmental rehabilitation, which is included in its total estimate of damage, the ministry said.
($1 = 3.7170 shekels)
(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch Editing by Steven Scheer and David Evans)
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