Rome

Decree approves clean-up funds for ILVA steel plant

336 million euros for area at center of pollution storm

Decree approves clean-up funds for ILVA steel plant

(ANSA) - Rome, August 3 - The Italian cabinet Friday approved a decree that allocates 336 million euros for environmental remediation and recovery at the ILVA steel plant in the southern port city of Taranto. The decree also frees up the funds for immediate use by streamlining procedures for getting from the decision to its application - a major bureaucratic issue in Italy with a long history of creating delays. "It is a decree that makes resources available and simplifies procedures so that planned interventions are carried out in a timely manner," said Environment Minister Corrado Clini on Friday. The decree is based on a memorandum of understanding spearheaded by the environmental minister, who has expressed the government's support for keeping the ILVA plant in production during clean up efforts. Clini praised ILVA's decision to retract all of its appeals against the environment ministry. "The company has decided to come to the table with the ministry and the regional government to find solutions. That is how a great European company behaves". At a hearing in Taranto's re-examination court Friday, a judge ruled in favor of examining an appeal to revoke a court-ordered partial shut down of the steel plant and house arrest of eight managers and ex-managers. The next hearing in the appeals process will be scheduled after September 15.

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