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Enel coal power plant in La Spezia, Italy

This case form has been translated for your convenience by voluntary translators. Therefore, they may contain errors. Any discrepancies or differences created in translating this content from the original version into another language are not binding and have no legal effect. If any questions arise related to the accuracy of the information contained in these translations, please refer to the original version of the case in: Italian


The plant "Eugenio Montale", owned by Enel, was located in 1962 in an urban, residential and industrial area near the center of the city centre of La Spezia. The power plant, fueled first by fuel oil and then coal, reached in 1968 its maximum power of 1835 MW.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Enel coal power plant in La Spezia, Italy
State or province:Liguria Region
Location of conflict:Municipality of La Spezia
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Thermal power plants
Specific commodities:Electricity
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The Enel plant was inaugurated in 1962 and in the sixties was the largest in Europe, with a 5% contribution to national energy production. In addition to the plant for the production of energy, the settlement includes two large open areas used for the carbon deposit and connected by means of a conveyor belt of over 1.5 Km, that reaches the coal ships.

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Project area:72
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:250.000
Start of the conflict:1987
Company names or state enterprises:Enel from Italy
Relevant government actors:Municipality and Province of Spezia, Municipality of Arcola, Region Liguria, Ministero dell’ambiente,
ISPRA (Institute for Environmental Protection and Research ), ARPAL (Regional Agency for the environmental protection, Liguria), ASL5 (Helath local agency), ISS (National Institute of Health), Medical order of La Spezia
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Comitato SpeziaViaDalCarbone -; Medici per l’ambiente ISDE (SP) -; Greenpeace; WWF; Legambiente; Italia Nostra; Rete Stop Enel -
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Referendum other local consultations
Shareholder/financial activism.
Boycotts of companies-products
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Waste overflow
Potential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths, Other environmental related diseases, Other Health impacts
Other Health impactsRespiratory cancers
cardiovascular diseases
respiratory diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Specific impacts on women
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (undecided)
Strengthening of participation
Proposal and development of alternatives:The local committee SpeziaViadalCarbone mobilised for the disclosure of the coal power plant and ask for new and ecologic options for the use of the area. Alternatives aim to convert the local economy.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The mobilisation didn't reach the objective of the protests. Nevertheless since 2011 the local committee managed to raise public attention on the importance to protect environment and health and to reactivate a historical conflict. LaSpeziaViaDalCarbone Commitee conducted research, disseminated information, implemented activities of awareness and mobilization, revitalised participation on important health issues and strengthened citizens' will to participate in decision-making processes regarding urban development.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

EIA Enel La Spezia
[click to view]

Law 10th of May 1976 n. 319
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

WWF Dossier: “Carbone: un ritorno al passato inutile e pericoloso”

Environmental declaration, La Spezia cola power plant
[click to view]

ENEL TODAY & TOMORROW “Hidden Costs of the Path of Coal and Carbon versus Possibilities for a Cleaner and Brighter Future

DOSSIER GREENPEACE “ Enel, il Carbone costa un morto al giorno”

Online newspaper
[click to view]

Il article
[click to view]

Ecologia politica article
[click to view]

Altreconomia article
[click to view]

ARPA document
[click to view]

StopEnel network
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

La Via Del Carbone - Reportage di Rita Rocca RAI Radio1
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Martina Di Russo (CDCA) - Daniela Patrucco (SpeziaViaDalCarbone)
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:1829
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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