Rome

Taranto shutdown would lead to other closures, warns ILVA

Steel plant at centre of pollution storm

Taranto shutdown would lead to other closures, warns ILVA

(ANSA) - Rome, August 6 - The shutdown of the ILVA steelworks in the southern port city of Taranto could lead to the closure of other plants as well, company President Bruno Ferrante told a parliamentary commission on Monday. "The provision of the preliminary investigations judge is clear and precise - it orders the closure of the (Taranto) plant," said Ferrante in reference to a court order issued at the end of July ordering the company to halt its mineral park and foundry areas in Taranto to restrict toxic pollution that prosecutors say has poisoned nearby areas since 1995. The judge also ordered the house arrest of eightßILVA managers and ex-managers, including the owner Emilio Riva. "But closing Taranto also means closing the Genoa and Novi Ligure plants, which survive on the what is produced in Taranto. It would be a tragic," added Ferrante. The company has appealed against the court order and the appeals process is due to begin in earnest after September 15. Last Friday the government approved the allocation of 336 million euros for environmental remediation and recovery at theßILVA plant with immediate effect in an effort to keep the steelworks in production while protecting the health of local people.

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