At Group level, at the end of 2018, 130 of 137 urban areas with more than 2,000 population equivalents (pe) have been upgraded to Legislative Decree 152/2006. Compliant urban areas amount to 92.2% of the total equivalent population. In Emilia-Romagna, this figure reaches 100%. In 2017, in fact, the Ministry of the Environment formally informed the Regional Government of Emilia-Romagna that it had withdrawn infringement proceedings 2014/2059, which therefore ended with compliance of the 206 urban areas >2,000 pe in the region, 101 of which are managed by Hera. In 2016, all of those urban areas achieved the quality objectives set out in the Water Protection Plan of the Regional Government of Emilia-Romagna’s Regional Government, in terms of extension of the networks and the presence of treatment plants. As far as the Triveneto area is concerned, in 2018 the compliance was achieved for the Trieste Muggia urban area for a total of 256,882 population equivalents: the Servola plant started operation in June 2018 compliant with all discharge parameters. The Regional Government is awaiting formalities from the European Union to close the infringement procedure. In the Marche region, in the area served by the Group, 6 urban areas have been declared non-compliant and infringement proceedings 2014/2059 and 2009/2034 have been initiated. Action is already planned to bring each urban area into line with the requirements of Community and national legislation by 2021. By 2021, therefore, all urban areas with a population equivalent greater than 2000 in the service areas of Hera will have achieved compliance.
In addition to the above, the Emilia-Romagna Regional Government, in its resolution 201/2016 on the adaptation of urban wastewater discharges, ruled to implement some additional measures in urban areas with more than 10,000 pe. These are structural adjustments relating, for example to the upgrade of undersized network floodways or more thorough nitrogen abatement. Although these situations do not undermine the compliance of those urban areas to Legislative Decree 152/2006, they may locally jeopardize the achievement of quality objectives for water bodies. Therefore, the Regional Government of Emilia-Romagna, together with the integrated water service operators, have defined timescales and compliance criteria in the aforementioned resolution. Two projects have already been completed (Riccione and Cattolica, respectively in 2018 and 2017). Further 6 interventions are planned in 4 urban areas (Castel San Pietro Terme, San Giovanni in Persiceto, Budrio, Medicina) by 2021, 9 by 2024 and 16 by 2030. It should be borne in mind that a total of 26 urban areas are affected by the 33 improvement measures, some of which involve more than one intervention in different years.
With regard to urban areas under 2,000 pe, where critical issues remain for subjecting the final effluents to appropriate treatment, Emilia-Romagna’s Regional Government identified and set the timeframe for achieving compliance in its Resolution 201/2016 as: 31/12/2018 to prepare the detailed plan; 31/12/2021 to implement the measure. Compliance will be achieved by end 2021 in 91 urban areas in Emilia-Romagna for total 55.5 thousand population equivalents. In the served Triveneto area there are 37 urban areas of less than 2,000 pe, of which 34 are already compliant with the regulations in 2018, one is planned to be finished in 2019 and two will be upgraded in subsequent years. Considering Emilia-Romagna and Triveneto, there are 254 urban areas with less than 2,000 pe for a total of 200 thousand population equivalents, of which 62.2% are compliant (160 urban areas for 103 thousand population equivalents, equal to 64.2% of the population equivalents). By 2021, 252 urban areas out of 254 (99.2%) will have been adapted to less than 2,000 pe. With regard to urban areas of less than 2,000 pe in Marche, the Regional Government is still at a standstill having done their initial identification, without having yet issued provisions in this regard.