Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Italian steel giant ordered to upgrade but plant kept open
by Staff Writers
Rome (AFP) Aug 7, 2012

An Italian court Tuesday ordered the country's biggest steel plant to clean up its act but did not call for closure despite fears that chemicals spewed by the unit were behind the high cancer rates in the region.

One of Europe's biggest steel factories, the ILVA plant had become the scene of a fierce stand-off between those who want it closed and thousands of families that depend on it at a time of worsening economic crisis.

The plant is located in the poor southern city of Taranto.

Tuesday's ruling partly reversed a decision by prosecutors in July to shut down the most polluting part of the plant, as the chairman of ILVA said the factory could be kept running while the necessary upgrades are made.

The decision safeguards the jobs of 11,500 workers in the impoverished region. The court also released five of the eight ILVA executives put under house arrest following a health scare investigation.

Environment Minister Corrado Clini, who slammed as "unacceptable to have to choose between bread and poison," said he was confident "the company's efforts and the resources from the government will allow the plant to avoid closure."

Experts had found that chemicals spilling from the plant are behind high cancer rates and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases among workers and locals but the threat to close the plant had sparked protests and angered the country's labour unions.

ILVA chairman Bruno Ferrante, who has been named as the state administrator, will oversee the 336-million-euro ($414 million) clean-up plan funded by the government.

"All the interventions necessary at the ILVA plant can be carried out without interrupting production," Nicola Pirrone, head of the CNR Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research, said following the court's ruling.

"Turning the chimney stacks off without damaging the plant is a lengthy and costly procedure. It's best that it is avoided. Everything, including installing pollution monitoring systems, can be done with them on," he said.

ILVA, which is owned by the Riva Group, produced nearly 30 percent of Italy's steel output in 2011.

An Italian study last year found that Taranto residents suffered from a "mortality excess" of between 10 and 15 percent, due to the release of dioxin and other chemicals causing cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

Environmental association "Taranto Breathes" had hailed the magistrates' initial decision to shut down areas of the plant as "a historic turnaround," praising the courts "for intervening where politics has failed."

But workers backed by Italy's three biggest trade unions had called on the government to protect their jobs, preferring, as one employer told Italian media, "to die of cancer than of hunger."


Related Links
Global Trade News

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Global fears shackle India's outsourcing job-hoppers
New Delhi (AFP) Aug 6, 2012
The employee turnover rate in India's notoriously job-hopping outsourcing sector has fallen sharply as a weak global economy hits the flagship industry, a study on Monday showed. While still elevated by other Indian industry standards, the outsourcing turnover rate tumbled to 15-20 percent in the last six months of 2011, according to the study by business lobby ASSOCHAM, down from 55-60 perc ... read more

Armageddon looming? Tell Bruce Willis not to bother

TEPCO video shows tensions as Fukushima crisis unfurls

FEMA cell-phone alerts warn too many

Queen, politicians, Nobel winner named to UN social panel

Samsung exec 'very offended' by Apple rip-off claim

Wrinkled surfaces could have widespread applications

Writing graphics software gets much easier

Christine Arlt goes from dwarf research to Institute management

Thai villagers in legal challenge against Laos dam

Deep-sea squid can 'jettison arms' as defensive tactic

China urges Sri Lanka to release fishermen

Study finds healthy seafood comes from sustainable fish

Tropical climate in the Antarctic

Aerial photos reveal dynamic ice sheet

Russian icebreaker sets out for expedition

Researchers analyze melting glaciers and water resources in Central Asia

Roots and microbes: Bringing a complex underground ecology into the lab

India's economic growth seen lower as rains play truant

Early weaning, DDGS feed could cut costs for cattle producers

UCLA research makes possible rapid assessment of plant drought tolerance

13-year Cascadia study complete - and earthquake risk looms large

China pulls paper over flood story: rights group

Long-dormant New Zealand volcano erupts

India floods kill 34, hundreds of pilgrims stranded

Mali needs other options if diplomacy fails: Rabat

Heritage listing spurs Congo park poaching crackdown

Gunmen kill 2 sailors, kidnap 4 foreigners in Nigeria

France would back African intervention in Mali: minister

It's in our genes: Why women outlive men

Later Stone Age got earlier start in South Africa than thought

Modern culture 44,000 years ago

Hey, I'm over here: Men and women see things differently

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement