There are 35 thousand areas to be reclaimed in Italy: 30 billion are needed

Hydrocarbons and mining tailings. Then other industrial waste or what’s left of now abandoned operations. Which has a total value in Italy of about 300 thousand hectares. Areas to be reclaimed, which include both sites of national interest and those under the responsibility of regions or other agencies. A complex mosaic in which several factors and many skills intertwine. Part of the scenario involving almost 35 thousand sites, with a report dedicated to the state of remediation and the contaminated sites that fall under the responsibility of the regions, summarizes the work “State of remediation of contaminated sites in Italy: second report on regional data” by Ispra (authors Federico Arranio, Eugenia Bartolucci, National Protection Network Antonella, Antonella, National Environmental Protection Network Antonella).

treatment procedures

The report contains data compiled by Mosaico, the national database of sites “subject to reclamation actions, from which Italy obtained an overview of contaminated sites related to reclamation actions held in the databases of autonomous regions or provinces”. Data on sin sites, that is, sites of national importance, were not included in the report.


To describe the complexity of the issue, there is the data cited by the researchers: «As of December 31, 2020, the total number of sites subject to reclamation measures is 35,022 of which 16,199 are with procedures in progress (46% of total procedures) and 18,823 with procedures completed (54% of total procedures) – write the authors -. Lombardy (17%), followed by Tuscany and Veneto (12% and 10%, respectively); The procedures completed are concentrated in Lombardy, where 43% of the national procedures have been completed, followed by Tuscany (14%) ».

Business progress

Despite the population, the whole process which is supposed to lead to the reclamation of the site after the various stages is still very slow. If attention turns to the data on the progress of works and rehabilitation interventions of the Sen region, it is discovered that 66% of the land areas have been characterised, while only 14% of the areas have the reclamation project approved and 16% of the areas the procedure has been completed because it was found to be uncontaminated or because the reclamation was completed.

According to Ispra’s latest report, there are a total of 34,478 sites surveyed. Of these, as explained by the institute’s researchers, “16,264 procedures are in progress and 17,862 have been completed. Among those that had to be reclaimed was 5222.”

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