Israeli Pipeline Group EAPC Indicted Over 2014 Oil Spill

JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israeli state-owned energy group Europe Asia Pipeline Company (EAPC) was indicted on Tuesday over a 2014 oil spill that severely damaged a desert nature reserve, the country's Justice Ministry said.

Four current and former executives were also indicted over shared responsibility for the pipeline breach that flooded the Evrona reserve in southern Israel with 5 million liters of oil, the ministry said.

The spill was one of Israel's worst environmental disasters and the cost of the damage was more than 100 million shekels ($32 million).

The charges include environmental offences under Israeli laws for water, cleanliness and hazard prevention, the ministry said. The indictment did not set a trial date and a ministry spokeswoman said it was not yet clear what penalties the company and the indicted individuals might face.

After the charges were brought before a court in the southern city of Beersheba, EAPC said the oil spill had been an exceptional, one-time failure while the company had been altering the route of the pipeline.

"Since the event the company has learned lessons, changed procedures and worked hard to rehabilitate the land," EAPC said.

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