To Mr. Daniel Calleja

 Commissione Europea

 DIREZIONE GENERALE AMBIENTE

 Direzione E – Attuazione e sostegno agli Stati membri

 ENV E.2 –  Attuazione in materia ambientale

 Av. Beaulieu 9

 B-1049 Bruxelles

 

Copy to: Mrs. Cecilia Wiksrőm, Mrs. Eleonora Evi, Mrs. Margrete Auken, Mr. Peter Jahr, Mr, Dario Tamburrano

  

July 27th 2017

 Object: petition 2191/2013

 Dear Mr. Calleja,

 
Thank you for your kind letter of  July 20th  concerning the missed presence of your expert during the discussion of my petition on July 10th. As this was due to an unpredictable delay of the airlines, I have no difficulty in accepting the reasons of your Direction.

 

However, I would like to know the name of the expert and his opinion about the repeated delays and non fulfillment of the Lazio Region, which I have raised during the hearing of my petition, here below summarized:

 ·         According to the Community targets, the water  quality of all lakes should have increased to the status of "good" by 2015. Due to a continuing trend of deterioration, the status which was “good” in 2003 is currently degraded to "sufficient". Monitoring indicates that a process of eutrophication is in progress:  the phosphorus concentration has doubled from 2004 to 2017, and at the bottom of the Lake in December 2016, a temporary 9-meter thick layer without oxygen occurred;

 

 ·         The PETI Committee discussed the same petition 2191/2013 on Lake Bolsena in its meeting of 5 May 2015. The President of the PETI Commission sent a letter of reminder to the Lazio Region on 02.06.2015 (protocol 309342) expressing the hope that "the Lazio Region and local authorities will adopt an effective plan to preserve the environmental balance of Lake Bolsena by repairing and completing the currently incomplete and disastrous sewage main collector around the lake." The Italian authorities informed the Commission that they launched a tender on 30 December 2015, expecting the completion of the repair by May 2017. Work has never started (it will start next September). Nothing has been planned to complete the collector, or any other alternative form of protection in the missing part of the collector.

 

·         The above mentioned letter the President of the PETI Commission expressed concern not only on the "poor management of urban waste water" but also on the "poor management of agricultural water".
The situation is further aggravating because the Lazio Region encouraged new hazel plantations in the lake basin, known to be heavily polluting.

 

·         Because of the delay of the Lazio Region in designating the Conservation Areas , the European Commission opened the EU Pilot Case 4999/13 / ENVI,  (Directive 92/43 / EEC, establishing measures to ensure the restoration and conservation of the habitat). The Lazio Region, in order to overcome the Case, deliberated the measures listed in DGR 162 of 14/4/2016 pag. 89/90 which in brief are: (a) maintaining the planned lake level; (b) improve carp fishing; (c) improve the anchors of tourist boats. The Region has preferred to approve marginal measures that have no cost and satisfy the legal aspect for closing the case, but in no way they reduce the arrival of phosphorus or  guarantee the restoration and conservation of the habitat;

 

·         In 2009, the Province of Viterbo approved the EU funded Management Plan (PdG) for Lake Bolsena, elaborated with the collaboration of the University of Tuscia and other leading experts. The PdG woud be an authoritative and effective plan to preserve the environmental status of Lake Bolsena, but the Plan has not been applied by the Lazio Region;

 

·         Instead of the above mentioned PDG the Lazio Region is proposing the Water Protection Plan (PTAR) which postpone the quality targets to 2021/2027. Considering the extremely long water renewal time of Bolsena lake (200-300 years)  and the state of eutrophication in action, there is no time to waste until 2021/2027. The Region must immediately take drastic actions, otherwise the eutrophication process will become irreversible. Despite the fact that the PTAR has been approved on June  2016, nothing has been done so far.

 

·         We are not opposed to geothermal energy in general, however we are opposed to its application in our unfavorable geological situations characterized by a high number of faults due to the past intense volcanic activity.  Faults facilitate the up flow of the geothermal fluid toward the surface aquifer and obstruct the horizontal return of the geothermal fluid from the zone of re-injection to that of production. In addition the characteristics of the geothermal fluid are unfavorable (5% of CO2 and 90.000 µg/l of arsenic!). The result of such unfavorable conditions are: a high risk of arsenic contamination of the surface aquifer, the prohibitive release of  CO2 in the atmosphere and the increased seismic risk. The Vulsini volcanic area is not suitable for geothermal exploitation. 

 

A more detailed description is in our brochure "Lake of Bolsena 2016", that I will send you by mail. I am planning to forward a letter to the Members of Parliament and Executives that could help in sustaining our action to save the lake.

 I hope that the validity of the discussion of my petition of July 10 is not compromised by the missed presence of your expert or because the discussion of the petition was not entirely recorded (we have completed it for local use  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIrvFOiHlMM&feature=youtu.be). In the case that the discussion is not valid, I am available to repeat the audition or to do what eventually required.

  
Best regards and renewed thanks.

 Piero Bruni