The EIA and Screening procedures are accompanied by a series of environmental assessments of the effects of the works (both during construction and at the project stage) on the environment and on human health and well-being, based on the characteristics of the project and following analysis of the components involved in their ante operam condition. Interference with the following components was analysed in particular: atmosphere, water resources, soil and subsoil, flora, fauna and ecosystems, noise, human health and well-being, landscape and cultural heritage, settlement system and socio-economic conditions.
The approach used involves performing specific model simulations in addition to qualitative and descriptive evaluations, using software and calculation algorithms, to obtain numerical data that can be compared with standards and limits set by industry regulations and so as to assess the significance of the impact. Model simulations are carried out in particular for the emission of pollutants and odorous substances into the atmosphere, and noise emissions.
All the simulations carried out involve the precise characterization of the sources and the evaluation of the most disadvantageous scenario in order to make out a precautionary assessment. To assess the visual effect of the new works on the surrounding environment, and specifically for creating new lots/landfill sites, landscape assessments are carried out by using renderings and photomontages. In some cases the applications were also accompanied by a specific “Health impact assessment and proposed health monitoring plan”.
Once all impacts have been assessed, specific mitigation measures are identified, where necessary, in order to reduce their impact and, where that is not possible, specific compensatory measures are prepared (construction of photovoltaic plants, planting trees, construction of charging stations for electric vehicles, etc.).
It must be noted that the design of the works is always carried out by identifying and using the best available technologies as required by Legislative Decree 152/06 as amended and Article 29 bis, paragraph 3, which, for landfills, are defined by Legislative Decree 36/03.
The following Environmental Impact Assessment applications were activated in 2018:
- Volumetric recovery at a higher level of the landfill for non-hazardous waste located in the municipality of Sommacampagna (VR)
The project presented is for a variant of the authorized project and involves increasing the recovery volume by raising the existing landfill and building the final covering with geosynthetic materials instead of gravel and clay. These changes, while exploiting the landfill reservoir differently than envisaged by the authorized project, are aimed at ensuring its full environmental safety from a technical point of view, and an adequate, optimal and precautionary post-mortem management of it. The raised recovery volume not only exploits the landfill’s volume better, but enables the construction of new slopes new slopes that ensure a rapid flow of surface water, avoiding the formation of pools or damp areas. The final outcome of the work, filling the initial excavation of the former quarry, has positive effects on the surrounding landscape. Compared to the current situation, in fact, the quarry excavation, which was initially clearly visible from three sides, at the end of the work, despite the presence of a morphological element that rises above the ground level, will be shielded to a great extent by a perimeter tree barrier and the new plantings in fact significantly enrich the vegetation on the site. The change of the final roofing package, using geosynthetic materials instead of raw materials, optimizes the construction methods and timing of the final roofing, and saves natural resources. Further positive aspects in terms of reducing environmental impacts concern in particular the atmosphere. In fact, the use of geosynthetic materials, delivered in rolls, involves a lower number of vehicles circulating, thus reducing the vehicular traffic and the related dust and noise emissions. Laying these materials also produces lower dust emissions compared to the use of inert material and the related operations of unloading it and storing it in heaps.
The modelling evaluations we carried out on the dispersion of odorous substances in the atmosphere have shown that, also thanks to the biogas collection network, which is also planned for the raised portion, the project does not cause significant changes with respect to the currently authorized condition. The noise impact assessment shows that all receptors complied with the zone limits.
We also assessed the influence of the work planned on the sites of the Natura 2000 network and in particular on the sites closest to the landfill, which are, however, more than 5 km from the landfill. These assessments showed that the project did not have a significant impact on these sites and therefore it was not necessary to prepare an impact assessment.
- Revamping of the F3 line of the waste-to-energy plant for industrial, municipal and special waste, including hazardous waste, located inside the Baiona (RA) Ecological Centre
The revamping project for this line involves increasing the annual quantity of waste to be incinerated by 10,000 t/year, through saturation but without increasing the thermal load of the furnace, i.e. the maximum quantity of “heat” that can be introduced into the incinerator as waste. After the revamping, the electrical output will be 3,800 kWh/h, for a total annual output of 29.3 GWh, compared with the current figure of about 20.7 GWh.
The revamping of the line also includes work on the boiler and on the thermal cycle (recovery of the process heat) that will increase the average steam production while increasing the plant’s overall energy efficiency. In order to maintain a high level of protection of the atmosphere media, the project envisages significant improvements to the flue gas purification section, and the installation of an emission monitoring system (EMS) on the newly constructed chimney. The system will measure flow rate, temperature, pressure, concentration of particulates, oxygen, Total Organic Carbon, hydrochloric acid, sulphur oxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ammonia, hydrofluoric acid, and mercury, pollutants that are critical for the Padania area.
In the light of the design methods applied in accordance with the sector’s best practices, no impacts were found for the environmental media that require mitigation or compensation works. In particular, in relation to the atmosphere media, potentially more affected by the revamping, simulations were carried out to estimate the dispersion of pollutants in the atmosphere and their precipitation to the ground. These simulations showed that, overall, the impact on air quality can be assessed as insignificant. A further assessment concerned the determination of the emission balance, in relation to the typical pollutants of the Po Valley area such as NOx and particulate, and showed that the project will significantly reduce the mass flows of these pollutants and consequently reduce the impact on the atmosphere.
In accordance with the regulations on Environmental Impact Assessment, the following environmental screening procedures were carried out in 2018.
- Optimization of the secondary solid fuel production plant at the selection and recovery plant in the Municipality of Castiglione delle Stiviere (MN)
The project presented includes some new machinery on the existing secondary solid fuel production line. Remaining unchanged the quantities and types of incoming waste authorized to date, the main objective of the proposed changes is to optimize the production process to improve the quality of the CSS end product and increase its production at the expense of the average size in that line, with the possibility of obtaining also a secondary solid fuel that, if compliant with the criteria set out in Ministerial Decree 22/2013, pursuant to art. 184 ter of Legislative Decree 152/06 as amended, will cease being waste (End of Waste).
We carried out specific assessments on the potential impacts of the planned work, particularly concerning the noise generated by the new machinery on the secondary solid fuel production line. The noise impact assessment reported that the limits at the receptors were respected.
The potential impact on surface water and groundwater media, soil and subsoil was assessed in relation to the provision of a new external storage area (about 700 m2) for waste packaged in bales to be sent to the various destination facilities. In order to protect these environmental media, the area was identified on the existing yard, already paved and waterproofed, served by the plant’s sewage system that conveys rainwater to the first flush rainwater tank. In relation to the atmosphere, the planned work will not add points of atmospheric emission, nor involve changes to the existing abatement system and the corresponding point of emission. As for the current machines, the new ones will be equipped with special localized aspiration ducts, conveyed to the current abatement system that is already adequately sized. The packaging of the waste stored outside into film-coated bales will also prevent wind dispersion. Lastly, in accordance with the provisions of Lombardy Regional Authority Decision 4792 of 08/02/2016, a special section of the preliminary environmental study was prepared to assess the project’s compliance with the international, national and regional planning acts in the field of public health. This analysis did not find any elements that hinder the completion of the planned works.
- Extraordinary maintenance and modernization of Line 2 of the Trieste WTE in the Municipality of Trieste (TS)
The plan includes plant maintenance and modernization on Line 2, mainly to maximize energy recovery from waste combustion by work on the components of the thermal cycle (furnace, boiler and turbine), increasing the effectiveness of flue gas purification by changes to components of that section and also increasing the plant’s overall reliability to ensure greater continuity of operation.
These interventions therefore involve an increase in the thermal capacity of the F3 furnace and therefore a request to increase the quantity of waste that can be treated annually by about 19,000 tonnes per year. As a result of these measures, the installed capacity for the production of electricity increased compared to the current 3 MW. The effectiveness of the work planned, in relation to the protection of environmental media, was assessed by modelling the precipitation of the gaseous emissions produced by the plant in the configuration in relation to the main contaminants. The results obtained have been compared with the provisions of Legislative Decree 155/2010. A further comparison was made with the data on the specific air quality of the area made available by ARPA Friuli Venezia Giulia. The results have shown that the air quality standards are also met by adding the effects of operating the plant in the design configuration to the background values already present in the area
Lastly, in 2018, the main requests for Environmental Authorizations concerned:
- Increase in the maximum authorized quantity of waste that can be treated at the chemical-physical plant located in Modena, in via Cavazza 45.
On 9 June 2017, the request for an EIA verification was activated in relation to the request for an increase in the maximum authorized quantity of waste that can be treated as described below. The incoming waste increase is 12,000 tonnes per year, mainly for landfill leachates and composting plants, necessary in view of seasonal rainfall trends. At the logistics level, the Area 2 chemical-physical plant in Modena plays a strategic role in terms of centrality and proximity for the treatment of leachates generated in particular by landfills in the Modena area (Modena, Finale Emilia, Zocca, Montefiorino, Fanano and Pievepelago), in the Ferrara area (full landfills near Ferrara) and in the Bologna area (Sant’Agata Bolognese, Bentivoglio, Galliera and Guelfa-Bologna landfills).
The application also envisaged a change to the limits on discharge into public sewage in relation to certain parameters, in particular an increase in the limit for total surfactants in order to be able to manage potential peaks of concentration attributable to the discharge of leachate from landfills during periods characterized by low atmospheric precipitation, and a decrease, on the other hand, of the exceptions authorized for BOD5 and COD considered possible on the basis of the characteristics of the plant’s incoming waste.
The application also included a request to modify the lime milk preparation system, which involves supplementing the water supply of the lime milk preparer with the wastewater/inorganic waste in storage, in order to reduce the consumption of drinking and industrial water, estimating a saving in consumption of approximately 3.000 m3/year of industrial water.
On 30 October 2017, the procedure for verifying eligibility was completed, with exclusion from the EIA procedure, and subsequently, on 1 June 2018, the request for a substantial amendment to the IEA obtained on 16 November 2018 was activated.
- Review of the integrated environmental authorization for the non-hazardous waste landfill, per point 5.4 of Annex VIII to Part II of Legislative Decree 152/2006 as amended, located in Via Bocche 20 in the municipality of Baricella (BO).
In 2018, the VIPSA service of the Emilia-Romagna Regional Government was asked to extend by 3 years the deadline for completion of the works included in the “Project to expand the landfill for non-hazardous waste located in the Municipality of Baricella (BO) and project to move the existing medium-voltage line ENEL” approved by DGP 248 of 23/07/2013 (EIA).
This project involves extending the existing landfill for non-hazardous waste in order to increase its storage capacity for a quantity of waste equal to approximately 600,000 tonnes.
The extension consists in building a new module for the landfill unit, substantially similar to the current one, and as a result adapting the primary and service infrastructure of the disposal plant. Like the existing landfill, the planned extension of the landfill is also designed to meet the needs for the disposal of municipal waste and special non-hazardous waste.
With Regional Authority Decision 13238 of 10/08/2018, the Vipsa Service of the Emilia-Romagna Regional Government extended by 21 months the validity of DGP 248/2013 concerning the approval of the landfill extension project. Following this resolution, ARPAE’s permits and concessions department announced the start of the AIA Review procedure.