Incinerator in Rome, Zingaretti’s omissions and Gualtieri’s plan that the Region will not hinder

Be pro-incinerator a Rome it’s a bit like voting for that political leader you are a little ashamed of or cheering on an unpopular football team: I do it but I don’t say it, or if I say it then I minimize it. But then the knots come to a head and you are in having to make a public choice. This is also the case for Nicola Zingarettioutgoing president of the Lazio region, for which – as often happened in his long political career – the stars aligned perfectly. The former national secretary of the Democratic Party (who call in the shadow of the Dome “Er Soap” for his ability to slip away from crisis situations”) in recent days he tried to reassure the leader of the M5s, Joseph Conte, stating that “the Lazio Region has never approved the incinerator and will never approve it”. The intent, obviously, was to try to keep the wide field standing which from the Calenda-Renzians to the Rossoverdi, passing through the pentastellati, allowed Zingaretti to conclude the 10th year of government at Pisana. A few hours later, then, in order not to offend the mayor of Rome, Robert Gualtierihe also told Tgr Lazio that “Gualtieri did well, he faced this problem and took the bull by the horns”.

Then? There is a truth. The waste plan of the Lazio Region approved by the Zingaretti junta it does not envisage the use of waste-to-energy plants or other incineration plants (not existing) on ​​their territory. Translated: that of Acea in San Vittore is enough, on the border with Molise and Campania. The outgoing governor in his reply to Conte says something obvious, for those who have followed the Roman chronicles (and not only) of the last few months: Gualtieri had the opportunity to propose the construction of a waste-to-energy plant thanks to an ad hoc government regulation contained in the Aid Decree which included waste management among the responsibilities of the extraordinary commissioner for the 2025 Jubilee. A coup that allowed the tenant of the Campidoglio to completely bypass the Lazio Region: no authorization process, no services conference joint, above all no value to the regional waste plan.

Zingaretti bypassed, therefore. But with the freedom to express yourself. Last spring, when Gualtieri’s announcement was made, the governor needed to keep the majority standing with the M5s (with two councilors in addition). So for weeks there was silence. “It is the Municipality that must let us know which plant it wants to build to close the waste cycle”, the press offices leaked. The statements by Massimiliano Valeriani, Lazio councilor for waste and ultra-loyal to Zingaretti, date back to 16 June 2021. “Proposing the maintenance or even less the construction of plant models antithetical to that of the circular economy, such as incinerators, would be a political and economic mistake. Therefore, those who never change and do not want to understand that a new development model must be built are old: we must look to the future and not remain stuck in the past”. Even earlier, on 5 August 2020, on the occasion of the approval of the waste plan, Valeriani commented: “This element of waste-to-energy does not convince us. We have said it several times, we have set waste reduction as a priority objective”.

Then everything changes and Valeriani on 15 June 2022 Valeriani intervenes in Regional Council even speaking on behalf of the Executive (and therefore also of the President). “The Lazio regional council – he said – does not intend to change the waste plan, which does not envisage the construction of new waste-to-energy plants. But at the same time, it welcomes the construction of a 600,000-tonne waste-to-energy plant in Rome, work that would see the light thanks to the special derogatory powers conferred by the Government thus excluding the Region from any competence “. This is precisely the point: if we have to do it, we avoid it, if others do it (and it solves a problem for us) so much the better. And we come to the interview that Alessio D’Amato, outgoing councilor for health and candidate of Pd and Action for the presidency, has released in recent days to the Republic. “The Region must not approve it, it is a choice already defined by Gualtieri – he said – as commissioner, and by the State. The Region’s task will be to help Rome emerge from a crisis which on the one hand causes the waste tax to be among the highest in Italy and on the other increases pollution, because trucks and ships loaded with garbage they go back and forth with half of Europe”. The sense? If Gualtieri will build the incinerator, then the Lazio Region (who has no expertise in the matter) he will “suffer” it but without opposing too much.

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