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Police seize Enel plant in southern Italy over pollution

Judge says plant given three months to clean up

27 November, 17:23
Police seize Enel plant in southern Italy over pollution (ANSA) - Bari, November 27 - A judge in southern Italy ordered police to seize a power plant owned by utility giant Enel on Tuesday, and ordered the company to start clean up immediately.

An investigating judge for the Court of Bari, a large city in the southern region of Puglia, order the plant's seizure and gave the company three months to make the necessary environmental and safety improvements.

The judge said protective measures are essential to avoid endangering public safety and the health of workers.

The court appointed Barbara Valenzano, an executive of the Regional Agency for Prevention and Environmental Protection (ARPA) Puglia, as guardian of the site while it is under seizure order.

Enel, which operates worldwide, disputes allegations that it has violated workplace health and safety regulations as well as laws designed to prevent major accidents.

However, the court says accidents have already occurred.

The community of Bari is only an hour's drive from Taranto, where prosecutors have seized large parts of a major polluting steel plant owned by ILVA.

That seizure has triggered both support from community members concerned about their health, and outrage from politicians and workers at the plant who are fearful for their jobs.