On 11 November 2020, Italian Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Rosa D’Amato of the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance posed a written parliamentary question to the European Commission:
“Fonderie Pisano produces foundry pig iron at its site structured as follows: the factory occupies a surface area of approximately 180 000 m2, comprising 30 000 m 2 of covered buildings (manufacturing plant, technological services, offices), 50 000 m 2 of asphalted yards and open air storage areas and 100 000 m 2 of greenery and areas for future expansion. The factory is located in a residential part of the municipality of Salerno.
The environmental and consumer protection organisation Codacons has reported that air in the Carmine district is unfit to breath, and has identified emissions from Fonderie Pisano as the cause.
The regional environmental protection agency ARPA Campania has made a number of pronouncements over the years on Fonderie Pisano’s environmental impact and the orders from the authorities to stop production. According to the association ‘Salute e Vita’, there is a scientific report that states ‘objectively and incontrovertibly’ that Fonderie Pisano represents a danger to public health.
This study has not been made public despite this being requested by members of the public.
Can the Commission check:
1. That Directive 2010/75/EU is being complied with and in particular Articles 8, 11 and 15 thereof?
2. Whether Article 3 of Directive 2003/4/EC has been breached because the public has not been given access to the SPES study, which contains information on the state of human health and safety as cited in Article 2(1)(f) of Directive 2003/4/EC?”
On 28 January 2021, Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius responded on behalf of the European Commission stating:
“1. Under Directive 2010/75/EU on industrial emissions, production of pig iron must operate according to the Best Available Techniques (BAT), as defined in Commission Implementing Decision 2012/135/EU. The primary responsibility for verifying the compliance of an installation with these requirements lies with the Member State competent authorities.
2. Only a concrete examination of the mentioned study would allow verifying whether it contains environmental information as defined by Article 2.1 of Directive 2003/4/EC.
According to Article 4 (5) of that directive, if a public authority considers that access to environmental information has to be refused, it must notify its decision in writing to the applicant within the deadline envisaged by national legislation, state the reasons for the refusal and include information on the review procedure. Article 6 mentions remedies available to the applicant, in particular the administrative review (paragraph 1) and the possible subsequent judicial review (paragraph 2).
The Commission invites the applicant to re-iterate the request to the relevant public authority. Should the applicant conclude that the request to access this study is not being dealt with in line with the directive, the review procedures offered by the directive itself may further be exploited.”
Photo Credit : https://pixabay.com/photos/pollution-factory-industry-smoke-2575166/