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21.7.

1999 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 207/5

(1999/C 207/006) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2317/98


by Roberta Angelilli (NI) to the Commission

(22 July 1998)

Subject: Conversion of Italgas gasometers in Rome

A few months ago work began on the conversion into car parks of two gasometers in Rome which have been
disused since 1986.

In the course of the work a number of environmental safety problems have arisen:

1. Large quantities of toxic waste derived from coal (naphthalene, gasolene, etc.) deposited over a period of
80 years remain at the base of the gasometers and the unpleasant smell of the fumes given off is causing
the inhabitants of the Ostiense and Mercati Generali area to feel ill.

2. The iron structures are being sandblasted to remove the rust covering them with the result that sand is
being spread through the air over a very large area, to the extent that the cars of Romana Gas employees
and of residents are being damaged. Furthermore, complaints have been lodged with the local magistrate
by social organizations, including UGL Energia of the Italgas Group, and by residents.

In view of the above, does the Commission not think it would be advisable for it to approach the Italian
authorities to request that the Italian laws implementing the Community directives on health and safety in the
workplace and on the protection of the environment are complied with on the building sites referred to above.

Answer given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission

(2 October 1998)

The information given by the Honourable Member would indicate that the works which are causing problems
of sand spreading through the air are covered neither by Annex I nor by Annex II of Directive 85/337/EEC (1).
Consequently, there is no legal obligation to make them subject to an environmental impact assessment (EIA).

As regards the coal derived toxic waste at the basis of the gasometer in the area known as ‘Ostiense’ and
‘Mercati Generali’ in Rome, the information given by the Honourable Member does not enable the
Commission to make an assessment in the light of Community environmental legislation. Therefore, the
Commission is not in a position to identify any Community environmental legislation applicable to the
specific case.

The Community directives on health and safety at work lay down minimum requirements for the protection of
health and safety of workers at the workplace and make the employer responsible for the occupational health
and safety of his workers. Consequently, Community health and safety directives are not applicable to
residents of the area concerned, or to any other party outside the employer-worker relationship.

The enforcement of national provisions is a matter for the Italian authorities, who have to decide whether the
national laws implementing the Community directives on health and safety at work have been respected in this
case.

(1) OJ L 175, 5.7.1985.

(1999/C 207/007) WRITTEN QUESTION P-2345/98


by Carlos Carnero González (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(13 July 1998)

Subject: Situation of Reocín mine in Cantabria, Spain

The expected short-term closure of Reocín mine (Spain), which belongs to the AZSA company, due to the
exhaustion of deposits is understandably causing genuine concern in the region (Cantabria) and district
(Torrelavega and Besaya), since among other things the closure will lead to the loss of around 380 jobs in the
mine itself and a large number of jobs indirectly linked to the mine, with the corresponding economic and
social consequences.