Commission wraps up first segment of ILVA plant study

Taranto steel works charged with ignoring pollution woes

Commission wraps up first segment of ILVA plant study

(ANSA) - Taranto, August 30 - The ministerial committee studying the future of the troubled ILVA steel plant in the southern city of Taranto wrapped up its first segment of work Thursday. The group of experts appointed by Environment Minister Corrado Clini has finished studying documents related to the steel plant, one of Europe's largest and charged with ignoring pollution and health violations for years. After a weekend break, the committee will meet again Monday to talk about new operating technologies to bring the plant up to European standards. Besides its ministerial mandate, the committee must also comply with orders from the investigating magistrate Patrizia Todisco, who seized parts of the plant last month after many years of complaints about its pollution. Clini has said he'll return to Taranto on September 14 to assess progress in mapping out the environmental upgrades for the steelworks, which employs 12,000 people in a region hit hard by the economic crisis. The courts have closed parts of the steel mill in a move which ILVA has said will essentially halt production not just in Taranto but at its other plants as well. Still, the plant's chief executive Bruno Ferrante said on Wednesday that plant was still functioning at 70% of its capacity. The company, workers, the unions, and the Italian government have all been working together to keep the plant operating while the environmental upgrades are made.

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