ITALY: Government launches contaminated land clean-up campaign

Italian Environment Minister, Edo Ronchi has announced that a new regulation on the clean-up of contaminated land will has been prepared and will be published in Italy's Official Journal by May.

The 16 most critical clean-up operations that are considered of national interest, including the industrial zone of Porto Marghera on the Venice Lagoon, will begin in the very near future, says Ronchi.

The Government has a clean-up budget of some 600 billion Lira (euros 310 million), which it plans to supplement with funds from private landowners and the European Community.

The new regulation, provided for under an existing decree on waste and recycling, is intended to set standards for clean-up intervention and results, and guarantee that there is funding available, whereas in the past intervention only took place on an emergency basis, and results were often unsatisfactory, says the Minister.

In a second phase, the Environment Ministry plans to begin the remediation of sites considered of regional or local interest. It also plans to set up national “centres of excellence” on remediated sites, which will serve as centres for training and research into advanced remediation technology.

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