The Cento celle park is a 126 hectare green area located in the 5th municipality of the city of Rome. Despite the denomination, the Park involves not only Centocelle but Quadraro and Torpignattara too. For years, citizens denounced the illegal disposal of waste within the park area, but there have been no action or feedbacks from the police, judicial bodies or the institutions.
In January 2017, after a fire started in a specific area of the park, waste buried underground between 3 to 7 meters deep where found. In reaction, the park gained some attention from the institutions. The mayor ordered immediately after the fire the Environmental Protection Department to develop a cleanup action plan for the park and the Regional Environmental Protection Agency to proceed with air analysis and water contamination analysis of underground water in the surrounding wells. As for the air, the monitoring was disputable and superficial (in areas not particularly exposed anymore) according to local organizations, leading to partial results. The water analysis of the underground water, instead, led the Civil Protection to disseminate public alerts regarding water contamination, without sharing results of the water analysis.
At this moment, all the information provided by institutional bodies and official analysis are inadequate and confusing. Despite the initial declarations, no cleanup action plan has been developed until now because there is no fund available to actuate an adequate clean up action. Moreover the obvious presence of waste, no characterization of the waste or of the soil potentially contaminated has been done. Furthermore, the park is also jeopardized by the presence within the archaeological park of auto wreckers.
October 2017 – September 2018
· Donor: Patagonia Environmental Grants Fund of Tides Foundation
· Grant amount: 5.000$ (4,233.26€)
The project foresees 3 objectives, according to the identified problems related to the presence of illegal buried waste and auto wreckers threatening the park ecosystem.
· First objective is to support citizens and local committees in the identification of specific polluting factors lying in the park, in order to have a clearer picture of the environmental criticality in the area.
· Second objective is to collect topsoil samples and realize independent chemical analysis in order to obtain concrete scientific data regarding the environmental state of the park.
· Third objective is to elaborate data and results in a report to be disseminated among local citizens and in particular towards the public administration to foster the park’s clean up action.
· Park users, neighborhood residents, local social associations and all those who are exposed to the risks of atmospheric pollution, soil and groundwater contamination due to the presence of contaminants and waste in the park.
· The analysis results’ report will address to the local government, as an instrument to guide the clean up activities.
Indipendent analysis on the Park’s soil were commissioned to SOURCE International. On 26-27 June 2018, they carried out sampling on 8 different locations both in the areas forbidden and open to the public.
The analyses’ results show significant concentration levels of some substances, that overcome the legal limits for public, private and residential green areas and in some cases for areas intended for industrial and commercial purposes (D. Lgs. 152/2006). Specifically, the results exceed the limits allowed for some heavy metals, in particular beryllium, selenium, tin, thallium, vanadium.
Upon receiving the results, the CDCA – Documentation Centre on Environmental Conflicts has realized a report on the story of this project, the citizens’ mobilization for the park’s preservation, and all the implications of the analyses’ results.
The report (in Italian) is open-access and is available here: SCEMPIO CAPITALE – I veleni nel Parco Archeologico di Centocelle.
To disseminate the results, on September 27 at the coworking “L’Alveare” a press conference was held. It was attended by CDCA researchers, activists from the “PAC Libero” committee, interested families living in the area, istitutional representatives, technicians involved in the analyses and experts to illustrate the data and potential threaths for public health. During the conference, the analyses’ results, the scientific report by SOURCE International and the evaluation document on the Park’s environmental status were presented.
After the meeting, the CDCA and the PAC Libero committee organized a visit to the Park and to the sampling locations for journalists and all interested people.
The press conference statement (only in Italian) is available here
PRESS RELEASE: Only available in Italian