Giovedì, 18 Ottobre 2018
ROME

ILVA decree makes way through environmental commission

English
© ANSA

Rome, December 13 - The government's efforts to
keep the embattled ILVA steel plant in the southern city of
Taranto operational received a boost Thursday when a
parliamentary commission approved the government's ''Save
Taranto'' decree with only a few amendments.
Commenting the need to make sure that work continues at the
plant - which is at the center of a health and environmental
disaster battle between Taranto prosecutors and the national
government in Rome - Health Minister Renato Balduzzi said that
while peoples' health is of greatest importance, the environment
and work must also be considered.
''In their hierarchy, health is at the top, but it can't be
used to exclude the other elements, because if 20,000 people
lose their jobs there will be an impact on health,'' Balduzzi
said, referring to the risks associated with a closing of the
ILVA plant.
''The challenge is to succeed in lowering emissions and
have a permanent monitoring instrument,'' Balduzzi said,
referring to data which show that some health parameters, such
as the incidence of tumors in the local population, are
significantly higher than the regional average.
In terms of the ''Save Taranto'' decree, the government had
already issued some amendments to the decree on Wednesday that,
aside from allowing the plant to continue operations, allows for
the sale of products made before the date of entry of the decree
itself.
The seizure of some finished product shipments risked
putting other company plants in Italy and abroad in productive
difficulties, company managers told unions Thursday.
''The company has confirmed that, following the seizing of
finished products, there will soon be repercussions on other
Italian and foreign plants,'' a Uilm union official said, citing
company communications.
The company's plants in Genova and Novi Ligure are expected
to stop production in ''three-four days,'' the official told
ANSA.
Meanwhile, a Fim-Cisl union official in Taranto said
Thursday that work had begun to restore one of the contested
ovens at ILVA's Taranto plant and that the 100 or so people who
worked there have been temporarily reassigned to other duties
pending the end of the restoration.
Earlier Thursday the European Parliament asked the Italian
government to ''guarantee with extreme urgency the environmental
recovery of the site'' of ILVA in Taranto.
In a resolution adopted Thursday, the Parliament also asked
that ''the costs related to prevention and corrective measures
adopted [at the site] be paid for following the principal of
'polluter pays', as established by Art. 8 of EU directive 35 of
2004.''

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