A.Mittal furnace closure suspended

(ANSA) – TARANTO, MAR 12 – The Council of State, Italy’s
highest administrative court, on Friday upheld ArcelorMittal’s
appeal against the Lecce regional administrative court (TAR)’s
recent order to comply with Taranto Mayor Rinaldo Melucci’s
emissions ban and shut down the blast furnaces at the giant
plant in the
Puglia city by April 14.
    The closure has been suspended pending a definitive ruling on
May 13.
    In its ruling, the TAR said the danger to the local population
from the emissions from Europe’s biggest steel plant was “permanent and immanent”.
    Italian politicians and employers’ groups have urged a reversal
of the TAR order saying the former ILVA plant at Taranto is too
important to the local and national economy.
    An environmental clean-up is ongoing at the plant, which has
seen job losses in recent years after Mittal’s takeover.
    Past emission at the factory have been linked to higher than
normal cancer rates among the Taranto population, especially
child tumours.
    The factory employs over 20,000 people, the largest single
employer in the south of Italy.
    The plant’s trade union leaders have met Industry Minister
Giancarlo Giorgetti after industrial employers group
Confindustria issued an urgent appeal against the shutdown.
    (ANSA).
   

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