Israel's National Infrastructure Committee would like to exempt the Europe Asia Pipeline Company (EAPC), formerly the Eilat - Ashkelon Pipeline, from carrying out the customary environmental impact survey of its installation in Ashkelon.
The crude oil pipeline system of EAPC consists of three pipelines. The largest of them is a 42″ diameter pipeline 254 km long linking the Eilat oil port on the Red Sea coast with the Ashkelon oil port on the Mediterranean coast. Two additional pipelines supply the refineries in Haifa and Ashdod, respectively. The company operates two oil ports and two oil terminals with a storage capacity of 3.7 million cubic meters for crude oil and petroleum products.
The Association of Cities for the Environment called on the committee to require an environmental survey, and noted that it was needed considering the number of environmental concerns regarding the pipeline in recent years, particularly a number of serious petroleum leaks. Meital Amitay, the association's director, noted that the Europe Asia Pipeline Company had never been required to prepare an environmental impact survey of their activities. He added that it was therefore insufficient that the company had prepared risk and environmental impact assessments on each of it.
The Europe Asia Pipeline Company responded: “These are baseless claims. There has been no change in the company’s activities, and it maintains its installations on a regular basis at a very high level.
The company was originally formed in 1968 as a 50/50% joint venture between Israel and Iran (during the Shah's rule) to transport crude oil from Iran to Europe. After the Iranian Revolution 1979, Israel nationalized the company. In 2015, a Swiss court ordered Israel to pay Iran $1.1 billion compensation, which they refused to do, arguing that this was prohibited by its Trading with the Enemy Act.