Lazio court suspends TAP gas pipeline works

The TAP gas pipeline in Melendugno

 MELENDUGNO-- The Lazio Regional Administrative Court (TAR) suspended an environment ministry permit for the removal of the olive trees on the TAP gas pipeline site, in Melendugno, Puglia.

 Since the environmental ministry gave the green light for the removal of the olive trees, and the continuation of the works on gas pipeline in March, the Region of Puglia has continually contested it, on the basis of the environmental damage the pipeline will cause to the area.

 The initial memo, however, issued on March 17, has been overridden by TAR, not because it’s impossible to move the olive trees, but because there needs to be a hearing first, which will take place on April 19.

 In the meantime, the works have come to a standstill. This lull is crucial because the olive trees must be removed and replanted by the end of April. From May till October, the trees are vegetative and may not survive the replanting. The protestors, therefore, may be able to delay the completion of the project by six months.