ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND SAFETY TECHNICIANS
I’m Francesco Argento, administrator of Ecotaras spa founded in 1985, it’s the company that in Taranto deals with pollution prevention, the emergency intervention for cleaning-up the waters in the maritime zone of Taranto, a vast area of about 150 kilometres that covers both the province of Taranto and the province of Matera.
Our task is to protect the environment during risky operations, i.e. everything that concerns the handling of potentially polluting materials such as hydrocarbons, powdery substances, substances that are highly dangerous for the environment, and to intervene when, due to operational accidents, there is a spill or a potential possibility of one, thus preventing the spillage and restoring the marine environment to its original condition.
To give a practical example: where there is a risky operation a ship has to load or unload problematic products, the ship is surrounded with anti-pollution barriers and a vessel is placed in the immediate vicinity that can intervene in case of contamination to collect the spilled product at sea because it is equipped with specialised equipment to do so.
And the response time is reduced exponentially, along with the related costs and impact on the environment.
Our function as Ecotaras is essentially to protect the traffic, the environment and the population, but above all to ensure the sustainability of marine life.
And to see that nature is, nevertheless, taking back its own territory from a certain point of view also makes this city proud.
Typical examples are the presence of a large community of resident cetaceans here near the coast, but also other instances such as the presence of Loggerhead sea turtles or the persistence of the wetlands within the Mar Piccolo with the presence of flamingo birds and seahorses.
There is no doubt that concern for the environment has grown.
The job has put me in a privileged position because operationally I have been able to see beyond the efforts made by technology and certain industrial plants to reduce the real impact on the environment.
Which today has led to the approval of specific regulations that might have seemed to some yesterday to limit economic activity, I can definitely confirm that they are a plus, a boost to the economic development of the country and the local area.
When we, together with the Maritime Authority or independently, present information to secondary and high school classes, it’s as if we were looking to the future, as if we wanted to create, I won’t say a happy island, but certainly reduce the problems that seem insurmountable today.
We must invest in this, we must invest in the young people who will be the administrators of tomorrow or who will be studying the cetaceans out here, in the port of Taranto, or who will go around the world to say how this city, this territory, has managed to redeem itself, to evolve towards a new, better future for all.
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