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The “Terra dei Fuochi” in Campania

Geographical reading on an environmental disaster and its possible remedies
La « Terra dei Fuochi » (région de Campanie) : lecture géographique d’une catastrophe environnementale et de solutions envisageables
Silvia Siniscalchi

Résumés

« Terra dei Fuochi » est le nom donné au début des années 2000 aux territoires des provinces de Naples et de Caserte, qui constituaient jadis le cœur de la Campania Felix romaine, mais sont aujourd’hui dévastés par des années de dépôts illégaux et de brûlage de déchets. 90 communes ont signé le pacte de la « Terra dei Fuochi », par lequel elles ont décidé d’adopter des mesures pour combattre les phénomènes de combustion des déchets abandonnés et d’intervenir pour leur enlèvement. Le monitoring pour cette remédiation est encore en cours. En même temps, des projets de redéveloppements environnementaux « verts » ont été testés. Ils pourraient, dans une perspective systémique, restaurer l’intégrité matérielle et immatérielle de ces territoires et de leurs populations.

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Delimitation and description of the considered area

  • 1 The phenomenon was made known by the volumes of R. Saviano (Gomorra, 2006) and B. Iovene (Campania (...)

1“Terra dei Fuochi” (hereafter TDF) is not a geographical name, but an indication of a profound anomaly, caused by one of the most heinous environmental crimes in the history. It appears for the first time in the “Rapporto Ecomafia 2003” of Legambiente to denote an area between the municipalities of Qualiano, Villaricca and Giugliano (Naples) devastated by illegal landfills and night fires for the destruction of illegal waste of all kinds, with the dispersion in the air of highly noxious and polluting substances. In this mean, it falls within the neologisms of the Treccani online vocabulary (2013)1.

2The spatial area of reference is located between the city of Naples, the Domitio-Flegreo seabord, to the north-west, the agro Aversano-Atellano, to the north, the agro Acerrano-Nolano, to the north-east, and the Vesuvian to southeast (Figure 2). More precisely, the current perimeter delimits an area of about 1,443.18 km2, corresponding to almost 37% of the territory of the provinces of Naples and Caserta (just over 3,830 km2: Table 2) and to 10% of the Campania region (extended for 13,590 km2).

  • 2 Indications for carrying out technical investigations for the mapping of land in the Campania Regio (...)
  • 3 Definition [...] of the additional territories to be subjected to technical surveys for the mapping (...)
  • 4 Identification [...] of the additional agricultural land to be subjected to technical investigation (...)

3This demarcation is quite recent, since the number of municipalities affected by the phenomenon has expanded over the years: from the 57 indicated by the Ministerial Directive [henceforth MD] of 23.12.20132, we passed to 88 on the MD of 16.04.20143, up to 90 on that of 10.12.20154, of which 56 in the province of Naples and 34 in the province of Caserta (Table 1 and Figure 1).

4At present, according to the mapping of contaminated places reported by the Piano Regionale di Bonifica [henceforth PRB] of Campania (Regione Campania [henceforth R.C.], 2018 [b], p. 85) in the agricultural areas of the 90 municipalities included in the TDF there are 488 sites to be investigated (for a total of about 17.47 km2), characterized by various levels of risk, relating to the more or less accentuated presence of pollutants concentrations (according to the parameters set by Legislative Decree 152/2006, part IV)5. A second mapping carried out by the Roan (Aeronaval Operational Department) of the Guard of Finance and by the Benecon University Consortium, at the request of the prefecture of Naples, however, highlighted that, in the meantime, the illegal spills have not stopped: the surveys from above, carried out with dozens of flights and hundreds of sophisticated sensors, «show that sensitive sites always remain the same and that in many cases the identical reclaimed sites are then subject to new spills. From 2011 to 2021, 1,321 anomalies were identified through overflights, indicative of sites affected by fires or illegal disposal. In the province of Caserta were located 509 micro-landfills and 73 tubs in the municipalities of Ercolano and Torre del Greco. Between 2017 and 2019 between Afragola, Acerra and Giugliano in Campania 409 anomalies were found» (Ruggiero, 2021, p. 100)6.

Table 1. The 90 municipalities included in the TDF according to the inter-ministerial Directives of 23.12.2013, of 16.04.2014 and of 10.12.2015 with the relative surfaces and the number of inhabitants.

Table 1. The 90 municipalities included in the TDF according to the inter-ministerial Directives of 23.12.2013, of 16.04.2014 and of 10.12.2015 with the relative surfaces and the number of inhabitants.

Source: Istat 2022

Figure 1. The 90 municipalities of the TDF according to the inter-ministerial Directives of 23.12.2013, of 16.04.2014 and of 10.12.2015.

Figure 1. The 90 municipalities of the TDF according to the inter-ministerial Directives of 23.12.2013, of 16.04.2014 and of 10.12.2015.

Source: Arpac (2016)

From “Terra di Lavoro” to “Terra dei Fuochi”

  • 7 For a complete territorial description and a summary of the post-war administrative reconfiguration (...)

5From a geographical-historical point of view, the province of Caserta, formerly Terra di Lavoro olim Campania Felix, included a much larger area – partly annexed to the province of Naples after the Second World War – enhanced in the period of the Bourbon by the transformation of innovative agricultural centres and manufacturing activities of excellence into poles of development (Conti, 2012)7. Considering the centuries-old persistence of a way of life based on agriculture, breeding, and manufacturing, if in this territory the constitutive bond between men and natural elements has been broken, the cause cannot therefore be solely of criminal origin. The intertwining between entrepreneurship, politics, and organized crime, in fact, alternates with the cases of entrepreneurs or private subjects who have acted illegally in the sector without the complicity or support of the Camorra (Camera dei deputati, 2018, p. 11). Therefore, the question is indeed broader and has its roots in development policies based on a functional vision of space, whose natural, historical and identity heritage, starting from the post-war reconstruction, was subordinated to the logic of profit and exchange value. Agriculture has also been incorporated into this system which has produced «a process of contamination and pollution of the countryside due to the intensive use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and all kinds of products that are highly harmful not only for the reproductive capacity of the soils, but also for human health» (Corona, Sciarrone, 2012, p. 30).

6If this change has affected all the Italian plains, in the case of those of the Neapolitan and Caserta areas it has been even more devastating in its brutal speed, upsetting a territorial organization which, as Di Gennaro observes (2014, pp. 110-111), was still rural in the mid-twentieth century, preserving a total integrity of the agronomic, business, production, landscape assets, confirmed by the comparison between the descriptions of Giuseppe M. Galanti and Johann W. Goethe (among XVIIIth and XIXth Centuries) with those of Guido Piovene (1957) and Aldo Sestini (1963).

  • 8 After the building of the Regi Lagni in the viceregal era, the reclamation, resumed by the Bourbon, (...)

7From the point of view of public initiatives, the establishment of the «Cassa per il Mezzogiorno» (law n. 646 of 08.10.1950) clearly changes the direction of development of this territory, after the reclamations8. The extraordinary public intervention, especially starting from the second phase (1957-80), promotes an industrialization policy that disqualifies the function of agricultural areas, transforming them into anonymous and worthless spaces. Thus, a new development paradigm is established, based on the city-industry binomial, which over the years, after the first two phases (urban concentration and sub-urbanization), with the transition from the Fordist model to the “just in time” model, sees businesses and residents moving to smaller centres (decentralization), giving rise to the formation of vast metropolitan areas. On an international level, this transformation sees in the background the fall of the Berlin Wall and the opening of markets on a global scale, favoured by renewed production methods based on new technologies. In Campania, however, this process does not derive from a modernization of the industrial production circuit, nor from the search for a better urban quality of residential spaces by the population and businesses, but reflects the «forced transmigration from the effects of congestion in urban areas», with «a disorderly proliferation towards peri-urban areas» and the creation of «an urban continuum that has expanded its borders, to the point of giving the major southern cities the dimensions of metropolitan areas». The 1980 earthquake also contributes to this situation, which accelerates the internal movements of the population and companies from the centre to the peripheral areas: Naples and the Vesuvian municipalities thus lose inhabitants, while grow the «municipalities today part of the land affected by the phenomenon of the Terra dei Fuochi (Giugliano, Mugnano, Quarto, Melito, Sant’Antimo, Acerra, Villaricca, Afragola)» (for the texts with quotation marks: Flora, 2015, pp. 115-116).

Table 2. Area, population, and total density of the provinces of Naples and Caserta and of the 90 municipalities of the TDF.

Table 2. Area, population, and total density of the provinces of Naples and Caserta and of the 90 municipalities of the TDF.

Source: Istat, 2022

8The high population density recorded today in these areas (2,003 inhabitants per km2: Table 2 and Figure 2) is therefore a direct consequence of the great transformation they underwent, when, subordinating the agriculture to industrial development, they were destined to accommodate a growing network of homes and industries, with constant overbuilding, without any respect for the landscape planning and their original territorial vocations.

  • 9 In the other parts of the region, the l.c. concerns about 27% of the province of Salerno (391.68 km (...)

9This is the result of a rapid and directionless transformative context, in which speculation and unauthorized building have become common practices, determining, in the absence of shared spaces and services, the systematic violation of the landscape and the territory as well as the corruption of civic and of moral heritage. It is a corruption undoubtedly also fuelled by poverty and social marginalization: Istat (2021) attest that Campania, with 22.8% of families in poverty, is second only to Puglia (27.5%), compared to a national average of about 11%. Similarly, the unemployment rate in the provinces of Naples (23.6%) and Caserta (15.3%) places them respectively in 14th and 31th place in the national ranking. So, the geography of areas once characterized by a few large cities (Naples and Caserta in primis), a long coastal strip, some extensive flat areas of semi-urbanised countryside and a large hillside «has been literally rewritten by a multitude of artifacts lonely. An expanse of “low-density” buildings that has swallowed up the old settlements of the area (small and medium-sized urban centres, production areas, suburban neighbourhoods) and has welded them together [...], spreading along the roads and the edges of the countryside, uniting once distant urban centres, climbing along the slopes, and completing the construction of its coast» (Boeri, Jodice, 1999, p. 10). It is a process that is still ongoing: land consumption [hereafter l.c.] – by the extent of which Campania is third in Italy, after Lombardy and Veneto – continues to grow. From 2006 to 2021 it went from 9.9% (1,356.41 km2) to 10.49% (1,426.25 km2). The 48% of this increase concerns the provinces of Caserta (272.38 km2 of l.c.) and, above all, Naples (406.7 km2 of l.c.)9, in which the municipalities affected by the phenomenon partly fall in the TDF. In the first three, on a regional basis, Arzano (83.3%) and Melito di Naples (81.2%) appear, while, on a national basis, Giugliano in Campania (26.2%) is in the top 30 municipalities of over 100,000 inhabitants with more l.c. (S.N.P.A., 2022).

  • 10 The seven Rural Territorial Systems of Campania in which the 90 municipalities of the TDF fall are (...)
  • 11 The number of farms was derived from R.C. (2014, p. 13).

10This alteration is much more devastating precisely by virtue of the original agricultural vocation of the TDF (evidenced by its toponymy too) which, not surprisingly, despite the chaotic urbanization of the last 70 years, is home to 7 of the 28 Rural Territorial Systems of Campania (R.C. 2014)10, with over 25,000 farms (more than 18% of the regional total)11 which, over time, have found themselves coexisting with increasingly large industrial agglomerations.

Figure 2. The area of the municipalities of the TDF (outlined in white) compared with the map of the population density in Campania (2022).

Figure 2. The area of the municipalities of the TDF (outlined in white) compared with the map of the population density in Campania (2022).

Source: overlap between the TDF area (inter-ministerial delimitation) and the ISTAT data (2022) on Google Earth (processing by the Author)

  • 12 Added to this is the Foce del Sarno agglomeration, however located southeast of the regional capita (...)
  • 13 The number of companies is reported by the latest estimate made by R.C. (2018 [c]).
  • 14 The percentages shown are the result of an approximate average edited by the author: in fact, for s (...)

11Right here, in fact, in about 15 km2, a significant part of the Industrial Development Area of ​​Naples extends – with the districts of Nola-Marigliano (68 companies), Pomigliano d’Arco (40 companies), Acerra (58 companies), Caivano (77 companies), Arzano-Casoria-Frattamaggiore (72 companies)12 – and, in about 8 km2, that of Caserta – with the industrial districts of Marcianise-S. Marco (613 companies) and Aversa Nord (460 companies)13 – with a very high density (more than 134 companies per km2). They are companies active in the sectors of metalworking (21%), agri-food (18%), electrical and electronic (17%), advanced technology (10%), chemicals (5.7%), textiles (5.6%), packaging (4.8%), construction (4.2%), footwear (4.0%), logistics (3.5%) and, with percentages lower than 1%, paper, nautical, aeronautical, animal husbandry, recycling, wood and furniture, glass, rubber and plastic (R.C., 2018 [c])14.

  • 15 Although the same trend is not found in the province of Caserta – increased from 603,549 inhabitant (...)

12It is therefore clear why 52% of the Campania population (5,590,681 inhabitants in 2022) is distributed in these two provinces. However, the existence of an evident discrepancy emerges from the comparison between the demographic data and the building increase: while the l.c. in the two provinces increases, the number of residents in the last 16 years has decreased. The data is clear for the province of Naples: in the 1951 Istat census it has 2,1 million residents, in the 2006 one more than one million (3,032,336 inhabitants), whereas in the 2022 they are 65,219 fewer (2,967,117)15.

13Yet, in these areas construction continues, as the data show, for purposes that are certainly not linked to the real needs of the population. Building speculation, therefore, is not only evident but is also the indication of a distorted vision of development, which puts the logic of profit (of a patronage or personal nature) before that of the collective interest in the land management. It is a logic, therefore, deeply rooted in the mentality of the ruling classes, but also of a large part of the population. So, the TDF is one of its most extreme, dramatic, and criminal, but also completely coherent outcomes.

The waste in Campania and the reclamation of the TDF : a misunderstood relationship

  • 16 Gazzetta Ufficiale [henceforth G.U.) n. 165 of 16.07.2008 (p. 3), Conversion into law, with amendme (...)
  • 17 The circumstance is further confirmed by a recent report by the CGIA (2022) on tax evasion in Italy (...)

14The TDF issue has been associated with the problem of the municipal waste management crisis in Campania, which exploded in 2008. In this regard, the Italian Government intervened at the time for their removal and management under an ordinary regime, through the separate collection imposed on local authorities, the preparation of new landfills and the inauguration of the Acerra waste-to-energy plant (26.03.2009), in anticipation of building others in Naples and Salerno. With the official end of the emergency (set at 31.12.2009 by law n. 123 of 14.07.2008)16, we are back in a condition of apparent normality. But the fires in Campania continued: they are, in fact, not the consequence of disservices or anomalies in the regular management of waste, but instead serve to dispose those special and toxic, produced by that illegal part of the economic system, which is founded, not only in Campania but throughout Italy, on evasion tax (Marfella, 2020, p. 76)17. The fires mostly flare up in the evening and at night, often with the recruitment of residents in the nearby rom camps, committed to recovering ferrous materials and copper or destroying industrial and processing waste produced with illegal labour. If a part of the special waste is incinerated, the most sophisticated and perverse technique used for the disposal of the most dangerous ones was the “entombment”, in other words the burying of polluting materials at a depth of many meters: so, the soils and the agricultural products result intact by the laboratory tests.

  • 18 Agenzia Regionale per la Protezione Ambientale della Campania [Regional Agency for Environmental Pr (...)
  • 19 The links between polluted soils and the spread of tumour diseases have been denounced by the Churc (...)
  • 20 The data relating to the other provinces see Salerno in first place (79.8) followed by Benevento an (...)

15Thus, because of the illicit spills that have affected the deep layer of soils, the classification of the land falling within the contaminated areas carried out by Arpac18 (fig. 3.a-b) must consider not only the integrity of the crops, but also that of the underlying water resources (R.C., 2019-21). The circumstance is certified by the data on the waters of Campania (R.C., 2019-21), collected since 2012 by the Regional Agency for Environmental Protection of Tuscany (Arpat) and by the Higher Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (Ispra), which detected the presence of elements highly polluting and carcinogenic chemicals in the Regi Lagni, the canals that collect the rain and spring waters of the plain north of Naples bringing them to the sea (Marfella, 2020, pp. 149-151). In fact, official reports confirm the higher incidence of cancer in TDF19, while Istat data on life expectancy certify that for 30 years Campania has been stably in last place among the regions of Italy: here people live about two years less of the national average (which is currently over 80 years), with the lowest peak reached by the provinces of Caserta (78.61) and Naples (78.60) (Istat, 2022)20.

16It is therefore clear that, to plan the remediation of the TDF, it is essential first to prepare a scientific model for monitoring the sites involved, which the PRB (RC, 2018 [b]) has divided into six phases.

17The first (identification) examined 74 cadastral particles included in 16 municipalities in the province of Naples (Acerra, Caivano, Camposano, Cicciano, Cimitile, Comiziano, Giugliano in Campania, Grumo Nevano, Nola, Pozzuoli, Qualiano, San Gennaro Vesuviano, San Paolo Bel Sito, San Vitaliano, Saviano, Villaricca) and 12 municipalities in the province of Caserta (Caserta, Castel Volturno, Maddaloni, Mondragone, Orta di Atella, San Marco Evangelista, Roccarainola, San Marco Evangelista, San Nicola La Strada, Santa Maria La Fossa, Succivo, Villa Literno). So, the collection of all useful data was planned through a cataloguing system and a shared geoportal, with the mapping of all the areas affected by potential or existing environmental criticalities.

  • 21 The five classes are currently divided as follows: land suitable for agri-food production (A); land (...)

18The second (classification) has envisaged the application of the scientific model to the data collected for the development of the five risk classes21, preparatory to the choice of the order of priority of the interventions. The third (surveys) for the soils identified and classified according to the different types of risk involved a technical-analytical activity by Arpac, Asl and the Forest Guard, to ascertain the levels of radioactivity of the surface layer of the soil and the possible presence of underground ferrous waste; sample surface soils, water used for irrigation purposes, agricultural products / fodder and spontaneous vegetation; carry out visual checks aimed at identifying the possible presence of waste on the surface of the land.

19The fourth (evaluation of the results of the surveys carried out on agricultural sites at 31/12/2017) has provided for the classification of the sites examined in the already highlighted five risk classes. The fifth (results) has certified the absence of anomalous radioactivity values on the surface layer of the soil for all the lands examined, while has found the presence of ferrous material buried in 28 agricultural lands; by the chemical-physical investigations on the land also revealed the prevalent presence of dioxins and PAHs, pollutants linked to combustion phenomena, and of some heavy metals; as regards agricultural products intended for human consumption, all of them have resulted comply with regulatory limits, while in five samples of spontaneous vegetation, four anomalies and an exceeding of the action level for dioxins were found.

  • 22 Legislative Decree of 03.04.2006, n. 152: Environmental Norms (G.U. S.G. n. 88 of 14.04.2006 - Supp (...)

20Finally, the sixth phase has highlighted 67 agricultural land not usable for agri-food or forest-pastoral production in the municipalities of Acerra (67,944 m2), Caivano (76,693 m2), Giugliano in Campania (6,629 m2), San Gennaro Vesuviano (1,371 m2), Santa Maria La Fossa (10,337 m2), Saviano (3,730 m2), Succivo (11,281 m2), Villa Literno (122,862 m2), for a result of about 0.3 km2 (300,847 m2), corresponding to 12.5% of the total classified. The PRB (RC, 2018 [b]) therefore underlined the need to complete the monitoring in the 74 cadastral particles identified, removing waste, and analysing the sediment areas (38% of cases), carrying out an environmental characterization pursuant to Legislative Decree n. 152/0622 (in 74% of cases) and further investigations to confirm or not the presence of waste (66% of cases), extending them to neighbouring particles.

  • 23 Conversion into law, with amendments, of the decree-law 10.12.2013, n. 136, containing urgent provi (...)
  • 24 Decreto Ministeriale [henceforth DM] of 12.02.2015, Indication of the land in the Campania region t (...)
  • 25 DM 01.06.2021, Adoption of the classification for agricultural use in relation to the vast area “Bo (...)

21More recently, Arpac (2021 [a], [b], [c]) with other bodies of the TDF working group (law n. 6 of 02.06.2014)23, has conducted further technical investigations (still in progress) for the indication of land to be banned from agri-food production and to be used exclusively for different crops in consideration of the Phyto depurative capacities, or only for certain agri-food productions. The results – published on the G.U. between 2015-201724 and 202125 – concern in particular the agricultural land of two “Vast Areas” (henceforth V.A.) of the TDF (R.C., 2018 [b], p. 93), belonging to the province of Caserta: there are the V.A. of Bortolotto (municipality of Castelvolturno) and Lo Uttaro [first excerpt] (municipalities of Caserta, Maddaloni, S. Nicola La Strada and S. Marco Evangelista).

22In addition to the results of the monitoring, Arpac also provided two KML files of the analyses carried out, showing the cadastral parcticles of the areas examined using satellite cartography (Figures 3.a-b and 4.a-b).

Figure 3.a-b. Classification of soils of the TDF by Arpac (2021[a], [b], [c]), based on MD 56 of 10.12.2015 (MASAF, 2015), and of MD 238 of 01/06/2021 and 239 of 01/06/2021 (see note 25). The samplings (3.a) concern sites in the province of Caserta, in the municipalities of Castel Volturno (Bortolotto V.A.), Villa Literno, Caserta-San Marco Evangelista-Maddaloni-San Nicola La Strada (Lo Uttaro V.A.), and in province of Naples, in the municipalities of Caivano-Acerra-Marigliano, Afragola, Nola, Saviano, Roccarinola, Ottaviano, San Gennaro Vesuviano, Giugliano in Campania (Masseria del Pozzo-Schiavi V.A.), Villaricca. In blue the V.A. of the municipalities of Santa Maria La Fossa and San Tammaro (Maruzzella V.A.), Naples and Pozzuoli (Pianura V.A.). Each is accompanied by an information table: in this example (3.b) we can observe in red colour the cadastral particles not adeguated for agri-food production.

Figure 3.a-b. Classification of soils of the TDF by Arpac (2021[a], [b], [c]), based on MD 56 of 10.12.2015 (MASAF, 2015), and of MD 238 of 01/06/2021 and 239 of 01/06/2021 (see note 25). The samplings (3.a) concern sites in the province of Caserta, in the municipalities of Castel Volturno (Bortolotto V.A.), Villa Literno, Caserta-San Marco Evangelista-Maddaloni-San Nicola La Strada (Lo Uttaro V.A.), and in province of Naples, in the municipalities of Caivano-Acerra-Marigliano, Afragola, Nola, Saviano, Roccarinola, Ottaviano, San Gennaro Vesuviano, Giugliano in Campania (Masseria del Pozzo-Schiavi V.A.), Villaricca. In blue the V.A. of the municipalities of Santa Maria La Fossa and San Tammaro (Maruzzella V.A.), Naples and Pozzuoli (Pianura V.A.). Each is accompanied by an information table: in this example (3.b) we can observe in red colour the cadastral particles not adeguated for agri-food production.

Source: elaboration of the A. on Google Earth of an Arpac KML file

23These images (Figure 3.b) thus show included in the monitoring also some areas of the province of Naples, related to the municipality of Villaricca and to the V.A. of Masseria del Pozzo-Schiavi (municipalities of Caivano, Acerra, Marigliano, Afragola, Nola, Saviano, Roccarinola, Ottaviano, San Gennaro Vesuviano, Giugliano in Campania), Maruzzella (municipalities of Santa Maria La Fossa and San Tammaro) and Pianura (municipalities of Naples and Pozzuoli). To identify within these areas the land potentially affected by contamination due to landfill and surface spillage of waste, Arpac has employed various remote sensing techniques, especially with the use of drones. In the process of identification, however, the reports of local populations have also proved to be very useful and valuable, as they often monitor areas at risk and denounce the abuses still in progress, thus intervening directly in the fight against the phenomenon.

Figure 4.a-b. The cadastral particles investigated by Arpac in the V.A. Lo Uttaro (4.a [municipalities of Caserta, Maddaloni, S. Nicola La Strada and S. Marco Evangelista]) – with their classification (according to the previous MD 238 of 06/01/2021 and 239 of 06/01/2021) – and in Villa Literno (4.b). As we can see, in the first case (4.a) the number of particles unsuitable for agro-food production (highlighted by red and yellow) considerably exceeds the number of those suitable; in the second case (4.b), on the other hand, a prevalence of suitable particles (marked in green) is observed.

Figure 4.a-b. The cadastral particles investigated by Arpac in the V.A. Lo Uttaro (4.a [municipalities of Caserta, Maddaloni, S. Nicola La Strada and S. Marco Evangelista]) – with their classification (according to the previous MD 238 of 06/01/2021 and 239 of 06/01/2021) – and in Villa Literno (4.b). As we can see, in the first case (4.a) the number of particles unsuitable for agro-food production (highlighted by red and yellow) considerably exceeds the number of those suitable; in the second case (4.b), on the other hand, a prevalence of suitable particles (marked in green) is observed.

Source: elaboration of the A. on Google Earth of an Arpac KML file

24It is therefore an excellent premise for the creation of participatory processes, for the realization of which, however, it would be necessary for citizens to have more complete and adequate support from the institutions, as will be better explained later. Once the contaminated soils had been identified, Arpac then moved on to the next phase, relating to the definition of the degrees of risk of the damage they have suffered so far, considering critical parameters found by laboratory tests. For this purpose, it applied the five classes defined by the PRB (RC 2018 [b]), based on which it presented the results of analyses (Arpac, 2021 [a], [b], [c]). The latter, however serious, are less dramatic than expected: in fact, out of the total area examined (3.3 km2), about 45% of cadastral particles (1.5 km2) is suitable for agri-food production (class A), while almost 2% (0.07 km2) can become so, after removal and analysis of the sediment areas (class A1).

25On the contrary, negative outcomes emerged for about 17% of cadastral particles (0.5 km2), which have limitations to certain agri-food productions under specific conditions (class B), while the worst result concerns almost 31% of cadastral particles (1.07 km2) which cannot be used for agri-food production (class D). The latter are found above all in the province of Caserta, where the presence of the highest percentages of the last class is observed – undoubtedly the most serious – which see the municipality of Castelvolturno in first place (with about 40% of cadastral particles in class D), followed by the capital municipality (which has almost 27% of cadastral particles in class D) and Villa Literno (about 11% of cadastral particles in class D).

26Then follows the province of Naples, with the municipalities of Caivano (almost 7% of cadastral particles in class D) and Acerra (about 6% of cadastral particles in class D).

From the “TDF Pact” to participatory practices

27The economic growth of Italy – a very topical issue – also depends on the ability to restore and secure the territory, as well as on the enhancement and reconversion of abandoned areas. This is the position of Italian Confindustria expressed in 2016 in the document “From reclamation to reindustrialisation”. In this regard, the PNRR represents a great opportunity for the rehabilitation of the polluted areas of the TDF, thanks to the allocation of a part of the funds to support the remediation of the “orphan sites”, so-called because it is impossible to individuate the responsible which must shoulder the costs of their recovery (MASE, 2020). It is a category which also includes the polluted areas of the TDF and, at the same time, is an important resource, because it is based on synergistic collaboration, on interrelated scales, between different bodies and on the implementation of participatory-type operational plans.

28The latter is an orientation already included in the so-called “TDF Pact” (R.C., 2013), signed ten years ago by the R.C. with the Provinces and Prefectures of Naples and Caserta, ANCI Campania and the Mayors of the municipalities affected by the phenomenon of toxic fires. The “Pact”, considering the objective «to eradicate the phenomenon of uncontrolled abandonment and waste disposal by lighting fires» as a priority (Article 1), identifies for each of the contracting parties a series of specific actions to hinder this practice. The mayors undertake «to adopt measures to combat the phenomenon of burning waste abandoned on roads and public areas or for public use and to take action for the timely removal of waste» (R.C., 2018 [a], p. 81). The “Pact” also promotes an inter-institutional synergy through the launch of a dedicated portal (“Prometeus”), aimed at ensuring the transparency of the initiatives introduced and, at the same time, encouraging citizen participation. It therefore intends to encourage interactions between the population, institutions, and competent associations, at the same time supporting opportunities for meeting and debate to spread awareness of the environmental and health problem represented by toxic waste, stimulating the adoption of correct behaviour by families, by workers of commerce and agriculture, artisans, self-employed workers, and businesses. In the same way, the “Pact” promotes active citizenship practices for the civic surveillance of the territory, with the “adoption” of public areas subject to degradation, to encourage their recovery and, if possible, their collective use.

29The objectives and good intentions of the “Pact”, however, seem to have remained so only on paper, not only because the fight against spills has failed for now, but above all because the announced “Prometeus” portal, visible on the Caserta Prefecture website, is reduced to a single page, which is completely empty26. Nonetheless, the participation in the battle for environmental protection by the residents of the TDF continued thanks to a spontaneous initiative, as previously anticipated, often in lively controversy with the institutions, accused of poor efficiency in combating the phenomenon of fires. Social networks have contributed significantly to this regard, allowing the inhabitants of cities such as Caivano, Qualiano, Giugliano, Ottaviano (in the province of Naples), Aversa, Casaluce, Casapulla, Roccamonfina (in the province of Caserta) to organize themselves into groups dedicated to the theme – all distinguished by the “brand” «Never again TDF» – documenting with images and video footage the continuation of fires and illegal spills in the countryside of Naples and Caserta.

30To these initiatives are added associations of the Third Sector regularly registered in the RUNTS (Single National Register of the Third Sector) and present in the municipalities of the TDF, in the Neapolitan area – including Casalnuovo di Naples (39 associations), Caivano (19), Casamarciano (15), Camposano (11) – and in the Caserta area – such as Casal di Principe (31 associations), Casapulla (14), Casapesenna (11), Casa luce (7). These initiatives created to offer support and services to the communities of contaminated areas and, in some cases, specifically dedicated to helping families with children with cancer. The expansion of the phenomenon therefore demonstrates how the shared experience of the hardships and suffering caused by an environmental disaster such as that of the TDF constitutes, at the same time, an effective platform for reinforcing social cohesion and relaunching collective actions to combat crime from below organized, also opposing the lack of civic sense of a part of the population and the habit of widespread illegality in degraded areas.

31However, this certainly cannot be the formula for the application of that new form of freedom, responsible and in solidarity, recognized to the community by the last paragraph of the Art. 118 of the Italian Constitution, which supports the autonomous initiative of citizens, both at an individual and associative level, for carrying out activities of general interest, on the basis of the principle of subsidiarity (Arena, 2022, p. 136). In fact, forms of organization governed by shared institutional pacts must contribute to founding the latter, such as for example the Regulations for the management of common goods, of which that of the Municipality of Bologna, approved in 2014, was a pioneer, to then be followed by that of many others, in different ways and adapted to different contexts. Among these, the Regulation of the Municipality of Naples stands out, which however is not focused on the TDF as a shared public good, but on a more general and transversal issue, linked to the theme of water as a public resource (Giglioni, 2022, p. 213).

32A further aspect for the implementation of participatory projects is active citizenship education present today in schools and anchored to the concept of sustainability, according to the 17 objectives of the 2030 Agenda. In this context, training initiatives shared by various institutional levels are active. An example of this is the “2030 School” project (https://scuola2030.indire.it/​), which offers all Italian school teachers self-training content, resources and materials for an education inspired by the values ​​and vision of 17 goals of 2030 Agenda. The “Green School Italia” network (https://www.retescuolegreen.it/​) is instead aimed directly at the training of young people: it is a project that aims to promote awareness-raising actions in schools to reduce the impact of man on environment and inspire good practices of active citizenship for the protection of the planet. Among the provinces that have joined there are also Naples and Caserta, with the overall participation of twenty schools and high schools, including some falling within the municipalities of the TDF (Naples, Mondragone, Teverola, Capua and Carinaro).

The remediation of the TDF: monitoring and possible recovered techniques

33«To clean up the area I think it would take all the state’s money for a year» stated Carmine Schiavone, collaborator of justice (Camera dei deputati, 1997, p. 15), prefiguring the impossibility of completing the undertaking which, in fact, has only been planned but so far not realized: «in more than eighteen years of debates, projects and government plans for the Terra dei Fuochi, the works have remained at year zero» (Ruggiero, 2021, p. 100). Really, compared with the national figure (Araneo, Bartolucci, 2021), Campania, with 12% of reclamations carried out (449 out of 3,701 ascertained sites to be recovered) is the last among the Italian regions and autonomous provinces to have completed the remediation of its polluted areas, while it is first for the number of sites with remediation procedures in progress (3,252, of which 1,377 in the province of Naples and 1,059 in the province of Caserta), equivalent to more than double the Italian regional average (MIMIT, 2022, p. 39). However, a positive element emerges from the share of companies that have in the meantime undertaken actions to reduce their environmental impact: Campania (86.7%), together with Sicily (87.8%) and Puglia (86.0%), has in fact a recovery percentage of special waste higher than the national average (80.8%), to which must be added the fact that it is the region with the lowest share of greenhouse gas emissions per capita (Ivi, p. 36 and p. 38) .

  • 27 Approval of the list of sites [...] which are no longer included among the reclamation sites of nat (...)
  • 28 For the identification criteria of the SIN, please refer to the Ispra page: Siti di Interesse Nazio (...)
  • 29 Today, the V.A. of ​​Giugliano is an exception, identified as a SIN (L. n. 120 of 09.11.2020), to w (...)

34However, its delay in the reclamation is very evident, but at the base there are also bureaucratic reasons: with the DM of 01.11.201327, in fact, the areas of the region to be reclaimed, initially bounded as Sites of National Interest (SIN)28, have been declassified as Sites of Regional Interest (SIR)29. The Region has thus inherited a very onerous task, already planned but not yet happening, which it had to take on in its entirety, starting from the monitoring phase – whose methodological structure and status quo have been described above – which, at the current state, it is not concluded. Most of the sites are awaiting investigation and the analyses, also due to their complexity, are proceeding slowly: the latest results, as we have seen, are related to the surveys conducted by Arpac on agricultural land in the V.A. identified by the PRB (R.C., 2018[b]) of polluted sites of RC, with particular regard to the aforementioned areas of Bortolotto and Lo Uttaro (Figures 3.a-b and 4.a-b).

  • 30 The Resolution and related attachments (of which no. 6 contains the list of agricultural sites) can (...)

35Considering the certified contamination of soils and groundwater, the cultivation of agricultural land, now controlled by the Carabinieri Forestali, has been prohibited, while the «technicians of the territorial areas and of the Arpac laboratories are continuing to take and analyse samples of land and water in the wide area of Lo Uttaro, with a view to completing, in the related municipalities, the investigations requirced by law 6/2014 [see note 23]» (Marro, Bardari, 2021, p. 63). From a recent update of the PRB databases (Resolution of the Regional Council n. 736 of 28/12/2022) numerous micro-areas (measured in m2) distributed among the five provinces of the region are in fact the subject of reclamation interventions implemented or close to completion implementation; but the list of agricultural land that cannot be used for agri-food or forestry-pastoral production, falling, as it has already been highlighted above, in the provinces of Naples and, above all, of Caserta, continues to report only monitoring activities and it is completely devoid of information on remediation implemented or in progress30.

36To the difficulty of completing the sampling, is added the complexity of dealing with the situation with physical-chemical remediation techniques: the latter are not an easily practicable solution for the remediation of contaminated soils, both for the very high costs and because they return them completely degraded and infertile, no longer usable for agricultural purposes. The circumstance is confirmed by Ispra (2018), which, as part of its institutional activities, has created a screening matrix (constantly updated) as a decision support tool for public administrations in the selection of remediation technologies, highlighting the consistence of the short and long-term impacts on natural resources of the chemical treatments adopted for the remediation of polluted soils. From the matrix emerges as an alternative solution the adoption of “phytoremediation” techniques (linked to the ability of some plants to purify the soil, air, and water from polluting components) applied in the context of the most modern sustainable remediation systems with a triple objective: cleaning up a contaminated soil; restoring its fertility; producing useful materials for the agro-energy and green chemistry chain.

37The word was coined in the 1990s by researcher Ilya Riskin, who worked in the Chernobyl area to clean up contaminated land by growing hemp, a plant that, in the case of the TDF, being a part of its historical economic tradition, could be an ideal candidate for the phytoremediation of its polluted lands. Its cultivation and processing, in fact, were for a long time the main activity of the inhabitants of some of the contaminated areas, including Frattamaggiore (Santangelo, 2003, p. 199). Therefore, it represents an undoubted point of conjunction between past and present and an incentive to recover a practice that could contribute to the material and immaterial recovery of areas degraded by illegal spills, more because hemp combines the adequacy for their reclamation with the making of raw materials or products of high economic and environmental value. Thanks to its roots’ ability to retain contaminated materials, it can in fact be used to produce biodiesel, bioplastics, waxes, biobatteries and superconductors, paper, building materials and much more. Its biochemical characteristics are therefore effective in different areas of environmental recovery and make it not only an excellent weapon for defending the territory and human health but, at the same time, a source of income for farms according to the logic of the Economy circular and regenerative, values ​​that should be the basis of the sustainable economy (Tolve et Alia, 2019, p. 11).

  • 31 Hemp is a «bioaccumulator»: it can absorb polluting agents such as dioxins, hydrocarbons and heavy (...)

38International research then continued, from Germany to India, with several scientists testing the potential of hemp to discover that this plant works to remove heavy metals such as lead, chromium, nickel arsenic and others from the soil31. Along these lines, considering the European interest in the relationship between ecology and economy (European Commission, 2012), it was started in Campania the Life-Ecoremed project (http://www.ecoremed.it/​), funded by the European Community indeed, and lasted from 2012 to 2017, that has received prestigious international awards. Coordinated by the Interdepartmental Centre for Environmental Research (CIRAM) of the University of Naples Federico II, Ecoremed involved 69 researchers belonging to different areas (agronomic partnership, chemistry, engineering, geological, economic, biological, medical, urban planning), with the partnership of the Arpac, R.C. and Risorsa Srl. The project, from a systemic and interdisciplinary point of view, has tested the effectiveness of eco-sustainable remediation in the Agro Aversano, implementing bioremediation techniques, with the use of bacteria to biodegrade the hydrocarbons present in the soil, and phytoremediation, with the recourse to various species of non-food plants – among which, in addition to hemp, there are also poplars – to reduce the content of organic and inorganic pollutants in the soil with a view to returning, at the end of the process, the areas to their original agricultural use. At the same time, the project aimed to encourage the use of eco-sustainable reclamation, addressing aspects related to the planning and protection of the territory and the agricultural landscape, to the strengthening of protection activities and to the control of the rural space to combat illegal practices from which pollution phenomena originate.

39In this perspective, in 2017 a phytoremediation experiment was successfully carried out in the industrial area of Marcianise, in the province of Caserta: the Eco bat company, applying the Ecoremed protocol, planted 17,500 poplars near a land of 35,000 m2 strongly contaminated by heavy metals, obtaining its recovery in just 4 months, and restoring its fertility thanks to the compost produced from the organic fraction of solid urban waste in a plant in Salerno. The poplar wood, according to a circular economy process, was then recovered as reusable biomass in the system cycle (De Rosa, 2017).

  • 32 The scientific results obtained have allowed a scientific and industrial partnership (CNR-IRSA, CIS (...)

40Further and more recent experiments were conducted by the CNR, which applied phyto-assisted bioremediation techniques for the recovery of a soil in a multi-contaminated area located near the city of Taranto (Puglia) and overlooking the Mar Piccolo (Grenni et al., 2019)32. Another example in Italy concerned the experimentation of Phyto containment techniques and bioremediation technologies in the agricultural land of the SIN “Brescia-Caffaro”, confirming the potential of this biological technology. So, its concrete applicability on a large scale for the reclamation of agricultural land of SIN now represents the goal to be achieved (Anelli et al, 2019).

  • 33 The remediation methods of a contaminated site are divided, based on the place of intervention, int (...)

41The use of phytoremediation to reclaim contaminated soils is therefore establishing itself thanks to the many advantages it offers, including economic ones: costs are 40% lower than other in situ applications and are reduced by up to 90% for ex situ33 (Bonomo, Sezenna, 2005). Phytoremediation can therefore be evaluated as a pool of low-cost intervention techniques to be adopted for the reclamation/security and long/very long-term management of polluted areas (Marchiol, Tomat, 2019): their application, in fact, totally avoids short- and long-term impacts on natural resources.

  • 34 The matrix, which is constantly updated, lists 25 in situ and ex situ technologies for soil remedia (...)

42However, Italy suffers from a significant delay in the extensive application of these procedures, for technical and legal-administrative reasons, specifically linked to the fate of the biomasses produced within contaminated sites (Sconocchia, 2016). However, a point in favour of the use of this green remediation technique came from Confindustria (2016) – which underlines its effectiveness for integrating the relaunch of economic/industrial activities into reclamation policies – and from Ispra (2018), which developed the aforementioned “Remediation technologies screening matrix”. The latter highlights the effectiveness of the phytoremediation for the recovery of soils polluted by certain types of inorganic and organic compounds, also operating in synergy with other systems, as well as with other biological techniques for other types of organic compounds34. Certainly these techniques, in addition to the limit of application, present a critical point in the implementation times; but they add to the advantage of zero impact on natural balances a further and undoubted positive effect on the perception of the communities and on the possibility of involving them in the recovery of practices economics linked to the history of their territories, as could happen, precisely, with the diffuse use of hemp for the recovery of the TDF.

Conclusion

43The original goal of this contribution was to carry out research on current ecological remediation techniques for the integral recovery of the contaminated territories of the TDF. Along the way, the goal has expanded: the fragmentation of the available data on the extent of the phenomenon and the surveys still in progress have required preliminary clarification work to frame the problem in its dimensions, starting with the geographical ones. Certainly, the question cannot be reduced to a purely quantitative measurement: it involves anthropological, environmental, historical-social, political-economic, ethical-cultural aspects and recalls, more generally, the need for a rethinking of the economic model of functional type today again adopted. If in the 70s of the last century the critics in this regard were above all researchers of the Marxist critical-social geography, interesting ideas were also offered by other academics, such as Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, author of the “bioeconomy”, a theory inspired not to the principles of rational mechanics but to those of the environment and, as such, based on the idea of circularity and reuse of materials and energy in the dominant mechanisms of production and consumption (Falcone, Imbert, 2016, p. 819).

44The TDF is therefore the extreme demonstration of the devastating consequences of a self-referential economic system and of the need to reformulate the terms of the relationship between man and environment in an integral holistic vision. The road to take, therefore, can only be of a systemic nature, considering the impact of technical-scientific interventions on land management policies and on the quality of life of the communities that inhabit it. A vision that is more relevant than ever today, in relation to the inspiring principles of the UN 2030 Agenda and the sustainability strategies of the European Great Deal.

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Regione Campania [R.C.] (2018 [a]), Piano di sviluppo strategico. Zona Economica Speciale della Campania “ZES Campania”, Bollettino Ufficiale della R.C., n. 26 del 29.03 (http://ris3.regione.campania.it/index.php/news/notizie/136-piano-di-sviluppo-strategico-zona-economica-speciale-della-campania-zes-campania). Consultation: 01.04.23.

Regione Campania [R.C.] (2018 [b]), Piano Regionale di Bonifica della Campania (https://www.regione.campania.it/assets/documents/piano-regionale-di-bonifica-aggiornamento-2018.pdf). Consultation: 10.11.22.

Regione Campania [R.C.] (2018 [c]), «Piano di sviluppo strategico. Zona economica speciale della Campania “ZES Campania”», Bollettino Ufficiale della R.C. n. 26 del 29 marzo [Parte I. Atti della Regione] (https://www.agenziacoesione.gov.it/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Piano-Strategico-Campania.pdf). Consultation: 07.04.23.

Regione Campania [R.C.] (2019-21), Programma attività di implementazione del piano di azione per il contrasto dei roghi dei rifiuti. Monitoraggio ambientale, studio ed approfondimento della salute della popolazione residente in aree a rischio. Documento Programmatico 2019/2021 (http://www.burc.regione.campania.it/eBurcWeb/directServlet?DOCUMENT_ID=119580&ATTACH_ID=178829). Consultation: 30.07.22.

Salmaso S. et al. (eds.) (2015), Profilo di salute in Campania in relazione alla problematica dei rifiuti e situazione ambientale (2011), Roma, Ist. Sup. di Sanità (Rapporti ISTISAN 15/26, https://www.iss.it/documents/20126/45616/15_26_web.pdf/f3e69834-ead3-117a-7e16-5f20d81e1ded?version=1.4&t=1581099097630&download=true). Consultation: 01.09.22.

Senato Della Repubblica (2018), XVII Legislatura, 12ª Commissione permanente Igiene e sanità, Indagine conoscitiva sugli effetti dell’inquinamento ambientale sull’incidenza dei tumori, delle malformazioni feto-neonatali ed epigenetica, Roma (https://www.senato.it/service/PDF/PDFServer/BGT/1063792.pdf). Consultation: 31.07.22.

Sentieri (2019), Studio epidemiologico nazionale dei territori e degli insediamenti esposti a rischio da inquinamento. Quinto Rapporto, E&P, 43 (2-3) mar.-giu., Suppl. 1 https://epiprev.it/pubblicazioni/sentieri-studio-epidemiologico-nazionale-dei-territori-e-degli-insediamenti-esposti-a-rischio-da-inquinamento.quinto-rapporto). Consultation: 01.09.22.

Sistema Nazionale per la Protezione dell’Ambiente [S.N.P.A.] (2022), Consumo di suolo, dinamiche territoriali e servizi ecosistemici. Ediz. 2022, Delibera del Consiglio SNPA. Seduta del 22.07.22. Doc. n. 177/22 (https://www.snpambiente.it/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Rapporto_consumo_di_suolo_2022.pdf). Consultation: 31.03.23.

Tolve M. et al. (2019), «Economia circolare, gli usi della canapa: punto di convergenza tra la bonifica di acque e suoli contaminati e la produzione agro-industriale», in Sconocchia A., De Angelis P. (ed.), op. cit., pp. 10-25. Consultation: 03.04.23.

Treccani (2013), online vocabulary, «Terra dei Fuochi» (https://www.treccani.it/vocabolario/terra-dei-fuochi_%28Neologismi%29/). Consultation: 31.07.22.

Ufficio studi cgia-associazione artigiani e piccole imprese mestre [CGIA] (2023), News del 18.03, «Abbiamo cancellato l’evasione? Nel 2022 maggior gettito da 98,6 miliardi» (https://www.cgiamestre.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Evasione-fiscale-azzerata-18.03.2023.pdf). Consultation: 03.04.2023.

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Notes

1 The phenomenon was made known by the volumes of R. Saviano (Gomorra, 2006) and B. Iovene (Campania Infelix, 2008), by many journalistic inquiries and by the award-winning documentary Biùtiful cauntri (Calabria, D’Ambrosio, Ruggiero, 2008), whose dramatic images show the shepherds of Acerra helplessly witnessing the agony of lambs and sheep condemned to death by dioxin. Also, people get sick and die: the report of Lancet Oncology (Senior, Mazza, 2004) certifies this as early as 2004, which identifies an area with high tumour incidence in the municipalities of Nola, Marigliano, and Acerra (the “Triangle of death”), which has become larger and more lethal over time (Patriciello, 2016; Marfella, 2020, p. 48).

2 Indications for carrying out technical investigations for the mapping of land in the Campania Region intended for agriculture […] (https://www.politicheagricole.it/flex/cm/pages/ServeAttachment.php/L/IT/D/5%252Fa%252F7%252FD.3ad5cc4c954fc5350983/P/BLOB%3AID%3D7072/E/pdf?mode=download). Consultation: 01.04.23.

3 Definition [...] of the additional territories to be subjected to technical surveys for the mapping of R.C. land intended for agriculture […] (https://www.arpacampania.it/documents/20195/152582/11_tdf+direttiva+ministeriale+16.04.14.pdf/2f3533d8-258b-4250-9866-6a94b089ab5d). Consultation: 01.04.23.

4 Identification [...] of the additional agricultural land to be subjected to technical investigations for the mapping of the land of the R.C. intended for agriculture [...] and change in the composition of the working group […] (https://www.politicheagricole.it/flex/cm/pages/ServeAttachment.php/L/IT/D/9%252Fe%252Fb%252FD.0edc6cdb3fa982ab623e/P/BLOB%3AID%3D9558/E/pdf?mode=download). Consultation: 01.04.23.

5 Norms in waste management and remediation of polluted sites (https://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/dettaglio/codici/materiaAmbientale). Consultation: 08.04.2023.

6 The sentences in quotation marks taken from Italian texts have been translated into English by the Author.

7 For a complete territorial description and a summary of the post-war administrative reconfiguration events in the province of Terra di Lavoro (today Caserta) see Andretta (2009).

8 After the building of the Regi Lagni in the viceregal era, the reclamation, resumed by the Bourbon, continued after the unification of Italy, and was fully implemented by fascism. After the war, in view of the land reform of the 1950s («Legge stralcio» n. 851 of 10.21.1950), it was finally managed by the reclamation districts (Andretta, 2009).

9 In the other parts of the region, the l.c. concerns about 27% of the province of Salerno (391.68 km2), about 14% of that of Avellino (205.36 km2) and about 10% of that of Benevento (150.13 km2).

10 The seven Rural Territorial Systems of Campania in which the 90 municipalities of the TDF fall are the following: n. 4 (Piana del Volturno-Litorale Domizio), n. 5 (Media Valle del Volturno), n. 11 (Piana Casertana), n.12 (Piana Flegrea), n.13 (Piana Campana), n. 14 (Colline Flegree), n. 16 (Complesso del Vesuvio-Monte Somma).

11 The number of farms was derived from R.C. (2014, p. 13).

12 Added to this is the Foce del Sarno agglomeration, however located southeast of the regional capital, in an area distant from the TDF.

13 The number of companies is reported by the latest estimate made by R.C. (2018 [c]).

14 The percentages shown are the result of an approximate average edited by the author: in fact, for some agglomerations only the total number of sectors is available and not of the individual types.

15 Although the same trend is not found in the province of Caserta – increased from 603,549 inhabitants (Istat, 1951) to 879,789 (Istat, 2006) and to 900,293 (Istat, 2022) – however, the total number of residents in both provinces decreased by 44,715 units: the population from 3,912,125 (Istat, 2006) is decreased to 3,867,410 (Istat, 2022).

16 Gazzetta Ufficiale [henceforth G.U.) n. 165 of 16.07.2008 (p. 3), Conversion into law, with amendments, of the decree-law 23.05.2008, n. 90, containing extraordinary measures to deal with the emergency in the waste disposal sector in the Campania region and further civil protection provisions, https://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/gu/2008/07/16/165/sg/pdf). Consultation: 04.04.2023.

17 The circumstance is further confirmed by a recent report by the CGIA (2022) on tax evasion in Italy, which shows that, against a national average of 11.6%, Campania, with 17.7%, is the Italian region where the most people escape, second only to Calabria (18.8%).

18 Agenzia Regionale per la Protezione Ambientale della Campania [Regional Agency for Environmental Protection of Campania].

19 The links between polluted soils and the spread of tumour diseases have been denounced by the Church, the frontier priests, the heroic servants of the state (such as Michele Liguori, a policeman from Acerra, and the policeman Roberto Mancini, both dead of cancer in 2014) and from the documentation and dissemination work of researchers such as Antonio Marfella (2020). Today they are finally acknowledged in various documents: the report of the Senato della Repubblica (2018), the report Sentieri (2019), the reports of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Musmeci et al, 2015; Salmaso et al., 2015) – in particular the last one (Beccaloni et al, 2020), commissioned by the Naples North Prosecutor’s Office – and the ecological study conducted as part of a memorandum of understanding promoted by the prosecutor of Santa Maria Capua Vetere (CE) in which Arpac and other entities participate (www.procurasantamariacapuavetere.it/protocolli_di_intesa.aspx). Consultation: 23.02.2023. The issue is also further investigated by a more recent document by R.C. (2019-21), specifically dedicated to monitoring the environment and the health of the population residing in areas at risk.

20 The data relating to the other provinces see Salerno in first place (79.8) followed by Benevento and Avellino (79.3).

21 The five classes are currently divided as follows: land suitable for agri-food production (A); land suitable for agri-food production after removal and analysis of the sediment areas (A1); land with limitations to certain agri-food productions under certain conditions (B); land prohibited from agri-food production (D); unclassified land (NC).

22 Legislative Decree of 03.04.2006, n. 152: Environmental Norms (G.U. S.G. n. 88 of 14.04.2006 - Suppl. Ordinario n. 96 (http://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/gu/2006/04/14/88/so/96/sg/pdf). Consultation: 03.04.2023.

23 Conversion into law, with amendments, of the decree-law 10.12.2013, n. 136, containing urgent provisions aimed at dealing with environmental and industrial emergencies and promoting the development of the areas concerned [translated into English by the Author], G.U. S.G. n. 32 of 08.02.2014 (http://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/gu/2014/02/08/32/sg/pdf). Consultation: 05.04.2023.

24 Decreto Ministeriale [henceforth DM] of 12.02.2015, Indication of the land in the Campania region to be banned from agri-food production, to be used exclusively for different crops in consideration of the phytodepurative capacities, or only for certain agri-food productions, as well as those to be subjected to direct surveys, with a simultaneous ban on the marketing of agricultural products […], (G.U. n. 56 of 09/03/2015, p. 54: https://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/gu/2015/03/09/56/sg/pdf); DM 03.04.2017, Identification, following direct investigations, of agricultural land in the Campania Region […] (G.U. n. 88 of 14.04.2017, p. 21: https://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/gu/2017/04/14/88/sg/pdf). Consultation: 05.04.23.

25 DM 01.06.2021, Adoption of the classification for agricultural use in relation to the vast area “Bortolotto-Sogeri” (G.U. n. 169 of 16.07.2021, p. 20); DM 01.06.2021, Adoption of the classification for agricultural use in relation to the vast area “Lo Uttaro” - First section (Ivi, p. 24: http://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/gu/2021/07/16/169/sg/pdf). Consultation: 05.04.23.

26 The web page can be viewed at: http://www.prefettura.it/caserta/contenuti/Prometeo_lotta_agli_incendi_dei_rifiuti_in_campania-17855.htm. Consultation: 05.04.2023.

27 Approval of the list of sites [...] which are no longer included among the reclamation sites of national interest, G.U. S.G. n. 60 of 12-03-2013 (https://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/id/2013/03/12/13A02116/sg). Consultation: 05.04.2023.

28 For the identification criteria of the SIN, please refer to the Ispra page: Siti di Interesse Nazionale (https://www.isprambiente.gov.it/it/attivita/suolo-e-territorio/siti-contaminati/siti-di-interesse-nazionale-sin). Consultation: 05.03.2023.

29 Today, the V.A. of ​​Giugliano is an exception, identified as a SIN (L. n. 120 of 09.11.2020), to which are added the SIN of Bagnoli-Coroglio and Eastern Naples, affected by other causes of pollution.

30 The Resolution and related attachments (of which no. 6 contains the list of agricultural sites) can be downloaded from the page http://www.regione.campania.it/regione/it/tematiche/magazine-ambiente/aggiornamento-banche-dati-prb-2022?page=1. Consultation: 01.04.23.

31 Hemp is a «bioaccumulator»: it can absorb polluting agents such as dioxins, hydrocarbons and heavy metals present in the soil without compromising its growth; tolerates high concentrations of heavy metals and metabolizes various organic compounds (Tolve et al, 2019, p. 11).

32 The scientific results obtained have allowed a scientific and industrial partnership (CNR-IRSA, CISA S.p.a., RESET s.r.l., PROGEVA s.r.l., SOCRATE s.r.l.) to obtain funding for the project “Phyto-assisted bioremediation: a green strategy for the recovery of contaminated areas and the valorisation of biomass” (POR Puglia FESR FSE 2014-2020, Asse prioritario 1, Azione 1.6, Bando InnoNetwork- Support for R&D activities for the development of new sustainable technologies, new products and services) to continue the ongoing research activities for the redevelopment of the survey area.

33 The remediation methods of a contaminated site are divided, based on the place of intervention, into ex situ treatments, if there is handling and removal of the contaminated material in special plants, and in situ treatments, without handling of material.

34 The matrix, which is constantly updated, lists 25 in situ and ex situ technologies for soil remediation and 16 in situ and ex situ technologies for groundwater remediation. Variables used include timing, need for long-term monitoring, limitations and applicability, and case studies where available. The phytoremediation technique turns out to be very effective for restoring soils polluted by arsenic, cadmium, mercury, zinc, while it is less effective for cleaning them from chromium, lead and other metals and inorganic compounds. Similarly, it works well with chlorobenzenes, whereas for other organic compounds it is superseded by other types of in situ biological techniques (Bioventing, aerobic and anaerobic bioremediation), https://www.isprambiente.gov.it/it/attivita/suolo-e-territorio/siti-contaminati/Matrice_tecnologie_ISPRA_rev2018.pdf (Consultation: 05.04.23).

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Table des illustrations

Titre Table 1. The 90 municipalities included in the TDF according to the inter-ministerial Directives of 23.12.2013, of 16.04.2014 and of 10.12.2015 with the relative surfaces and the number of inhabitants.
Crédits Source: Istat 2022
URL http://journals.openedition.org/belgeo/docannexe/image/58750/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 639k
Titre Figure 1. The 90 municipalities of the TDF according to the inter-ministerial Directives of 23.12.2013, of 16.04.2014 and of 10.12.2015.
Crédits Source: Arpac (2016)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/belgeo/docannexe/image/58750/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 219k
Titre Table 2. Area, population, and total density of the provinces of Naples and Caserta and of the 90 municipalities of the TDF.
Crédits Source: Istat, 2022
URL http://journals.openedition.org/belgeo/docannexe/image/58750/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 117k
Titre Figure 2. The area of the municipalities of the TDF (outlined in white) compared with the map of the population density in Campania (2022).
Crédits Source: overlap between the TDF area (inter-ministerial delimitation) and the ISTAT data (2022) on Google Earth (processing by the Author)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/belgeo/docannexe/image/58750/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 433k
Titre Figure 3.a-b. Classification of soils of the TDF by Arpac (2021[a], [b], [c]), based on MD 56 of 10.12.2015 (MASAF, 2015), and of MD 238 of 01/06/2021 and 239 of 01/06/2021 (see note 25). The samplings (3.a) concern sites in the province of Caserta, in the municipalities of Castel Volturno (Bortolotto V.A.), Villa Literno, Caserta-San Marco Evangelista-Maddaloni-San Nicola La Strada (Lo Uttaro V.A.), and in province of Naples, in the municipalities of Caivano-Acerra-Marigliano, Afragola, Nola, Saviano, Roccarinola, Ottaviano, San Gennaro Vesuviano, Giugliano in Campania (Masseria del Pozzo-Schiavi V.A.), Villaricca. In blue the V.A. of the municipalities of Santa Maria La Fossa and San Tammaro (Maruzzella V.A.), Naples and Pozzuoli (Pianura V.A.). Each is accompanied by an information table: in this example (3.b) we can observe in red colour the cadastral particles not adeguated for agri-food production.
Crédits Source: elaboration of the A. on Google Earth of an Arpac KML file
URL http://journals.openedition.org/belgeo/docannexe/image/58750/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 584k
Titre Figure 4.a-b. The cadastral particles investigated by Arpac in the V.A. Lo Uttaro (4.a [municipalities of Caserta, Maddaloni, S. Nicola La Strada and S. Marco Evangelista]) – with their classification (according to the previous MD 238 of 06/01/2021 and 239 of 06/01/2021) – and in Villa Literno (4.b). As we can see, in the first case (4.a) the number of particles unsuitable for agro-food production (highlighted by red and yellow) considerably exceeds the number of those suitable; in the second case (4.b), on the other hand, a prevalence of suitable particles (marked in green) is observed.
Crédits Source: elaboration of the A. on Google Earth of an Arpac KML file
URL http://journals.openedition.org/belgeo/docannexe/image/58750/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 438k
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Référence électronique

Silvia Siniscalchi, « The “Terra dei Fuochi” in Campania »Belgeo [En ligne], 4 | 2022, mis en ligne le 24 avril 2023, consulté le 19 avril 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/belgeo/58750 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/belgeo.58750

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Auteur

Silvia Siniscalchi

Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici dell’Università degli Studi di Salerno
ORCID 0000-0003-2085-4321
ssiniscalchi@unisa.it

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