EU urges Italy to get polluting steel plant under control

26 September 2013
By Tereza Pultarova
Mobile version
Share |
The ILVA steel plant in Taranto, is Europe's biggest steel producer and one of Italy's greatest polluters

The ILVA steel plant in Taranto, is Europe's biggest steel producer and one of Italy's greatest polluters [Credit:ILVA]

The European Commission (EC) has warned Italy to force Europe's biggest steel plant to reduce dangerous pollution.

The EC has responded to complaints raised by citizens and NGOs living and operating in the vicinity of the plant's site in Taranto, southern Italy.

The ILVA steel plant, Europe’s largest iron and steel producer, has been convicted of heavily polluting the air, soil and ground waters of the city. The situation turned to worse after it was discovered the Tamburi quarter of the city of Taranto has been heavily contaminated by the plant’s operations.

The EC has now said Italy, by not addressing the problem properly, is breaching the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive that guides industrial activities with a high pollution potential in the EU.

According to the directive, Italy is responsible for ensuring ILVA, the plant’s operator, will take necessary remedial measure and cover the full costs of dealing with the damage.

The EC said Italy is putting health of Taranto's inhabitants at risk by not taking appropriate action. The Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik has sent a Letter of Formal Notice to Italy, giving it two months to respond.

The European Court of Justice condemned Italy on 30 March 2011 for not issuing industrial emissions permits to several industrial installations, including the troubled ILVA plant. However, Italian authorities issued an IPPC permit to ILVA on 4 August 2011 with a further extension guaranteed on 26 October 2012.

The EC is concerns whether the process pertinent to giving out the permit has been conducted in compliance with European law.

The IPPC Directive provides an EU-wide standard for licensing industrial and agricultural activities with a high pollution potential. Permits can only be issued if certain environmental conditions are met, so that the companies themselves bear responsibility for preventing and reducing any pollution they may cause. Permitting ensures that the most appropriate pollution-prevention measures are used, and that waste is recycled or disposed of in the least polluting way possible.

The Environmental Liability Directive sets up a framework based on the "polluter pays" principle to prevent and remedy environmental damage. Operators carrying out dangerous activities listed in Annex III of the Directive, including iron and steel production, fall under "strict liability", with no requirement to prove fault, provided a causal link between the activity and the damage is established. Affected natural or legal persons and environmental NGOs have the right to request the competent authority to take remedial action if they deem it necessary.

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1607

"As the dust settles after the referendum result, we consider what happens next. We also look forward to an international summer of sport."

E&T jobs

  • Design Delivery Leader, Palace of Westminster Restoration & Renewal (R&R) - Engineering Lead

    House of Commons
    • City of Westminster, London (Greater)
    • Circa £65,000 (There may be more for an exceptional candidate)

    You will lead on a number of engineering infrastructure and associated workstreams under direction from the Deputy Director

    • Recruiter: House of Commons

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Engineer, Network Equipment

    Energy Networks Association
    • Westminster
    • £49-58k per annum, dependent on experience

    Manage issues and working groups relating to all types of equipment and assets used on the UK Transmission and Distribution Networks.

    • Recruiter: Energy Networks Association

    Apply for this job

  • Programme Manager, Network Resilience

    Energy Networks Association
    • Westminster
    • Competitive salary, dependent on experience

    Co-ordinate the network resilience, emergency planning and the Single Electricity Number (SEN) work in the ENA Engineering team.

    • Recruiter: Energy Networks Association

    Apply for this job

  • Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) of Smart Building Solutions

    Premium job

    ETH Zurich
    • Zurich, Canton of Zürich (CH)

    The successful candidate is expected to develop a strong and visible research programme in the area of control and diagnostics of building systems

    • Recruiter: ETH Zurich

    Apply for this job

  • Process Controls Leader

    Premium job

    Phillips 66
    • Humber Refinery, South Killingholme, North Lincolnshire DN40 3DW
    • £60k - 75k plus extensive Compensation and benefits package, dependent upon experience

    Experienced Process Control Leader providing leadership and technical support for Oil Refinery. Extensive Compensation and benefits package.

    • Recruiter: Phillips 66

    Apply for this job

  • Regional Technical Support Manager

    Premium job

    Siemens
    • Warwick, Warwickshire

    You will be required to lead the regional Customer Services strategy and resources to maximise Customer satisfaction.

    • Recruiter: Siemens

    Apply for this job

  • Communications Engineer

    BAE Systems
    • England, Hampshire, Portsmouth
    • Negotiable

    Communications Engineer Would you like to play a key role supporting the UK's Maritime Communications Infrastructure? We currently have a vacancy for a Communications Engineer at our site in Portsmouth. As a Communications Engineer, you will be carrying o

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • MetOp-SG Receiver Project Manager

    Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
    • STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell, Oxfordshire
    • £37,213 - £50,926 (depending on experience)

    Project Manager to oversee the development, production and test of spaceflight components and integrated receiver systems

    • Recruiter: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

    Apply for this job

  • Financial Controller

    MBDA
    • Stevenage
    • Competitive Salary & Benefits

    An opportunity has arisen to manage a diverse range of financial controlling activities within the Equipment Team (ET) and newly Centres of Excellence (CofEx) function...

    • Recruiter: MBDA

    Apply for this job

  • Weapon System Product Support Manager

    MBDA
    • Stevenage
    • Competitive Salary & Benefits

    The Opportunity An opportunity has arisen within MBDA?s Customer Support & Services organisation for a strong competent leader to deliver a key Weapon capability primarily...

    • Recruiter: MBDA

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T