Italy needs to find asbestos clean-up resources

Some 40,000 asbestos sites, Minister Clini says

Italy needs to find asbestos clean-up resources

Venice, November 22 - Italian Environment Minister Corrado Clini on Thursday said the eurozone's third-largest economy is facing difficulties in sourcing funds necessary to clean up some 40,000 asbestos sites in the nation. Clini said Italy had an ''asbestos heritage'', adding the government had identified about 40,000 sites with asbestos of which some 400 were high risk locations. There is a financial resources issue, on the one hand'', Clini said. ''And there are also the problems relating to responsibility. In most cases we are in the presence of situations where it is difficult to determine in retrospect who is responsible, who needs to pay''. ''It is a complex situation'', he added. Earlier this year, Italy's health ministry published a review of Italy's asbestos situation, evaluating there were some 34,148 potentially dangerous locations in the nation. The ''Quaderni del Ministero della Salute'' September review singled out some 373 sites as top priority ones, adding that the total could rise to as high as 500 due to incomplete reviews of the regions of Sicily and Calabria. ''I will talk about the work we have been doing for years, about the geographical overviews of locations, and the cleanup process of asbestos sites'' Clini said with reference to his address later in the day at an asbestos conference in Venice. ''The cleanup plans are going forward, they have been approved, and the responsibility of planning them is mainly in the hands of the regions''.

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