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Removal of asbestos and polychlorinated biphenyls

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Consistent with the Group’s strategy and environmental policy, A2A places the utmost importance on the proper handling of dangerous substances such as for example PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and asbestos, which at one time were widely used but have subsequently been recognised as harmful to health.
A2A keeps its log of structures containing asbestos materials updated and carries out constant reclamation measures when performing programmed extraordinary maintenance on the plant structures and by means of specifically dedicated restoration and/or removal plans aimed at eliminating environmental liabilities. Training for persons in charge of the control and coordination of maintenance performed on materials containing asbestos was scheduled and given in 2011.

Other significant initiatives designed to reduce the presence of asbestos were:

  • the A2A Reti Gas Asbestos restoration programme. A2A Reti Gas has recently unified and updated its log of materials containing asbestos. As required by current legislation, the cataloguing of these materials led to the need to take samples and carry out analyses of materials, to characterise these and to send the data obtained to the competent authorities (the local health authorities - ASLs). A2A Reti Gas has set itself the objective of removing all the materials containing asbestos and still to be found in the structures (around 4,800 square metres of coverage) between 2011 and 2013, with priorities being established on the basis of the degree of risk; the investment for doing this has been estimated in one million euro. Restoration activities began in September 2011 and by December 31, 2011 work had been completed on 17 reduction cabins for a total of 820 square metres at a cost of approximately 170,000 euro;

  • removal of asbestos in A2A Reti Elettriche; the roofs of the primary cabins “Odolo” and “Nozza” (Brescia) were rebuilt in 2011 at a cost of approximately 70,000 euro, with the removal of approximately 750 square metres. The firebreaking panels in the underground section of the Milan North Receiver were eliminated. In addition, 3 switches were replaced at the plant at via Lamarmora (Brescia);

  • removal of asbestos at the ITS centre at Cavaglià (Biella); during 2011 A2A removed items made with asbestos and demolished certain old unsafe buildings.

On the distribution networks A2A has eliminated transformers with a concentration of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) > 50 ppm from the secondary cabins and continues monitoring those with a concentration of PCB < 50 ppm.