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Basilicata. Tecnoparco asks journalists for compensation

The company reacts so to allegations of pollution published by La Gazzetta del Sud and shared by the website Pisticci.com. Solidarity from the Order of Journalists and Union

A claim for damages and a warning “from taking further prejudicial actions against Tecnoparco Valbasento S.p.A.” were delivered to the journalists Mr Piero Miolla, from La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno and Mr Roberto D’Alessandro, editor of the online magazine Pisticci.com.

THE LETTER – The company, which in the territory of Pisticci (in the province of Matera) manages industrial wastes, has sent on April 22nd a letter to the journalists and to the lieutenant of the Provincial police of Potenza, Mr Giuseppe Di Bello, in which it disputes “statements with a clear defamatory intent”, as revealed by the lieutenant in an article by Piero Miolla, published on La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno and taken up by Pisticci.com on March 3rd. Tecnoparco did not send requests for corrections to the article. In the letter, there are no specifics as to what is the amount of damages claimed, although the company’s legal representative has invited all “to make contact” with his office “so as to reach an amicable solution of the matter”, otherwise “a full legal action will be taken”.

POLLUTION IN VALBASENTO – The article states that some farmers of the committee Clean Air Basilicata, concerned for pollution in the area caused by decades of industrial activities, had requested the analysis of the lands close to the river Basento. The Lieutenant Di Bello, who performed the samplings, as the article reported, said that “Tecnoparco is one of the certain sources of pollution”: and this is the sentence for which the company feels defamed. The Valbasento is a severely polluted area, classified as a national interest site that requires remediation works. In this context, Tecnoparco, along with ENI, is under investigation by the Anti-Mafia Directorate District of Potenza for alleged environmental crimes.

NO REQUEST FOR CORRECTION – The editor of Pisticci.com said: “the letter of Tecnoparxo is special because on other occasions, such as when the mayor of Pisticci Mr Vito Di Trani went with the TV cameras of RAI to take samplings, the company replied through a press release. We, on the other hand, are merely asked directly for a compensation”. Mr D’Alessandro often shares on his website the articles by Mr Miolla, as agreed with La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno: “it seems strange – he says – that among the recipients of the letter there is me, since I simply republished Miolla’s article, while instead excluding the editor of the Gazzetta. Those affected are those who have the most difficulty accessing some legal protection.”

SOLIDARITY – The Order of Journalists of Basilicata released a statement asking Tecnoparco to “give up the legal actions taken, and choose the path of confrontation”. The same request came from Assostampa Lucana, which also prompted the company to entrust “the replies to the charges of being a cause of pollution not to the courtrooms but to the newspaper’s pages and the website”. Solidarity with the journalists also came from associations and social networks on which, as D’Alessandro explains, “hundreds of people have shared the hashtag #TecnoparcoInquinaValbasento followed by the phrase “ And now bring us all to court”.

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