The Brindisi coal power plant, in southern Italy, has been granted permission to operate for another 11 years, despite not having undergone an environmental impact check in 24 years. Photo: Enza - BY-NC-ND

Italy’s most polluting coal plant taken to court

Italy’s largest and dirtiest coal plant is facing legal action by environmental lawyers. WWF Italy and ClientEarth claim the new permit for Enel’s Federico II power plant in Brindisi is illegally allowing it to pollute above legal limits. The plant has undergone no environmental or health impact checks in 24 years, but has been granted permission to operate for another 11 years. If the case is successful, the plant could lose its permit to operate.

ClientEarth lawyer Ugo Taddei said: “It is scarcely believable that the authorities granted a new permit for this plant, completely ignoring clear evidence of the health impacts for the local population. Everyone has the right to live in a clean and healthy environment. Plant owners have a legal and moral obligation to ensure the best available techniques are being used to protect people’s health – we’re fighting to uphold this obligation.”

The Italian government recently announced a national coal phase-out, meaning that if it goes through, all plants in the country will have to be closed by 2025.

Taddei added: “The phase-out needs to happen as soon as possible, for the health of people and the planet. In the meantime, we cannot allow remaining coal power plants to break pollution rules.”

More information on the Federico II plant can be found in the Europe Beyond Coal campaign’s interactive map of Europe’s coal plants:

Source: ClientEarth, 8 November 2017


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