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Italian MEPs ask EC to pay 600 mn for toxic waste clean up

MEP Mazzoni calls poisoned land near Pescara potential 'Ilva'

11 November, 16:40
Italian MEPs ask EC to pay 600 mn for toxic waste clean up (ANSA) Brussels, November 11 - MEP Erminia Mazzoni on Monday called on the European Commission to allocate 600 million euros to clean up an illegal chemical dumping ground near the city of Pescara on the Adriatic coast.

''After Ilva, in the area near the chemical production district of Pescara, in Bussi sul Tirino, poses the risk of delegating the duties of politics and representative institutions to the judiciary,'' said Mazzoni, who belongs to Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party.

Ilva is a massive steel plant in southern Italy at the centre of probes over an alleged health and environmental disaster generated by the plant's emissions over a period of years.

Last week Mazzoni presented to the EC a petition signed by twenty Italian representatives of every political stripe asking to fund remediation of Bussi sul Tirino before a freeze on European European Structural Funds for the 2014-2020 period, which are EU funds aimed at creating development parity among member states.

Bussi sul Tirino is located between two national parks and about 40 km from Pescara.

''The area...today is under court-seizure and on November 27 the trial will begin at the Corte d'Assise di Chieti (middle appeals court) against the ex-managers of Montedison, who are accused of poisoning more than 7.5 hectares of land''. Montedison was an Italian major cap industrial chemical group from the 1960s through the 1980s. ''For years, 500,000 citizens would drink polluted water and breathe polluted air,'' said Mazzoni.

''It has been since at least 2007 that Italian authorities have known about the illegal dump at Bussi Tirino, around which three smaller toxic waste disposals were also found, without reaching a solution for a remediation plan,'' said Mazzoni.

''The issue calls the European Union into question in that the resources necessary, estimated at 600 million euros...are covered by the Structural Funds programme,'' she said.

''Unfortunately the lack of respect for European environmental law opens the path to the umpeenth infraction procedure against Italy,'' she continued.

''The petition attempts to preempt the European Commission's moves, asking that it reorient funds on the agenda for 2014-2020 before they are fixed, toward a correct management respecting the health of citizens and care of the environment''.

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