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Hydrocarbons characterization and remediation in a Site of National Interest in Taranto


In the last decade, the refined products volume in our country has increased from about 136 million tons (2000-2001) to about 70 million tons in 2011. The refineries reduce their production capacity or close; thousands service stations are abandoned. The refineries closure costs more than keeping it idle and often the subsoil remediation of a fuel station can cost more than the property value. The subsoil remediation is a significant european problem, Claudia Olazabal (EU DG XII) said during BOSICON – Contaminated site remediation Conference at the Sapienza University in Rome in May 2009 – that “between 3.5 millions of potentially contaminated sites, more than 500,000 have a significant risk to health and environment” and ” we are losing 38 million euros per year for soil degradation. The “polluter pays principle” introduced  into Italian law by Legislative Decree no. 22/1997 fifteen years ago, is being further enhancing with the recent legislation (e.g. Directive 2010/75/EU) that introduce the “zero tolerance ” concepts towards new forms of pollution.

This short paper focuses on three issues of specific interest: the Italian legislation that involves aspects of the soil, subsoil and groundwater characterization; characterization surveys  necessary to verify the quality of the soil, subsoil and groundwater applied to a site of national interest in the Taranto industrial area; remediation techniques applicable to subsoil hydrocarbons decontamination, with particular reference to the eco-friendly Smart-Stripping® remediation considered effective and interest by the Technical Evaluation of the European Commission EACI, Eco-Innovation.

The nonprofit experimental project in the geology and environmental engineering fields aims to add eco-sustainable criteria in the subsoil remediation design. The subsoil remediation takes place with environmental sustainability criteria, avoiding the use of chemicals, emissions, consumption of natural resources and waste groundwater disposed in sewer.

(Excerpt of the Fifth Session of the National Order of Geologists Congress, Potenza,30.11.2012 – 2.12.2012)

Dr. Francesco Caridei (Project Coordinator Smart-Stripping® Eco-Innovation EACI – European Commission)

Dr. Geol. Valentina Dell’Acqua (Ecosurvey®)

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