Italy:-  Policy and regulatory

Glossary Entry
A democratic republic replaced the monarchy in 1946 and economic revival followed. It consists of 
20 regions. Italy covers an area of 301,230 square kilometres and has a population of 58 million. The
capital is Rome. Italy is one of the charter members of the European Union.

Italy Overview: Policy


Italy has a different legislation for the different environmental sectors. The most important regulatory references on soil and water protection are the following:


  • Law n. 349 of July 1986 regulates the ‘environmental damage’. The Art. 18 forces the liable party, that causes environmental damage, to recover the original environmental status or to refund the damage.
  • Law n. 183 of May 1989 regulates soil and water protection through:


    • soil management, conservation and recovery within river basins
    • surface water protection and management
    • regulation of mining activities to prevent hydrogeological risks
    • protection of the coastal environment from sea waters
    • rational use of surface and ground waters by an efficient water management, including administration of drinking water supplies and agricultural uses


  • Law n. 36 of January 1994 (Legge Galli) on water resources which defines the concept of public property on all surface and ground waters and ‘optimal water management districts’.

§         Waste Management Act of February 1997 (D.Lgs.22/97) in actuation of Directives 91/156/CE, 91/689/CE and 94/62/CE.

§         D. Lgs. n.180 of June 1998 (Legge Sarno), for individuation and delimitation of areas under hydrogeological risks, issued after the flooding event of 4th and 5th of May occurred in Campania region. For prevention of flooding risks within regional water management districts an ‘Extraordinary Plans for Hydrogeological Risks’ should be defined for delimitation of risk areas with the following objectives:


    • public safety and infrastructure stability
    • evaluation of hazard and risk levels within this areas
    • definition of safety and protection measures
    • extraordinary planning for mitigation of high risks


These objectives concern separately:


    • flooding risk (hydraulic risk)
    • risk for soil profile stability  (geomorphologic risk)


  • D.Lgs. n. 152 of May 1999 regulating the protection of water resources and the management of waste waters.










Key Documents


Law n° 349 of 8th July 1986 - Environmental damage

Legge 8 luglio 1986, n. 349 - "Istituzione del Ministero dell'ambiente e norme in materia di danno ambientale(1/circ)"



Law n° 183 of 18th May 1989 - Soil Protection Act

Legge 18 maggio 1989, n.183 - "Norme per il riassetto organizzativo e funzionale della difesa del suolo"



Law n° 36 of 5th January 1994 - Water resources Management Act

Legge 5 gennaio 1994, n.36 (Galli) - " Disposizioni in materia di risorse idriche"



Legislative Decree of 5th February 1997, n°22 - Waste Act

Decreto Legislativo 5 febbraio 1997, n. 22 - "Attuazione delle direttive 91/156/CEE sui rifiuti, 91/689/CEE sui rifiuti pericolosi e 94/62/CE sugli imballaggi e sui rifiuti di imballaggio"



Legislative Decree of 11th June 1998, n°180 - Provisions for the prevention of hydrogeological risks

Decreto Legislativo 11 giugno 1998, n. 180  - "Misure urgenti per la prevenzione del rischio idrogeologico ed a favore delle zone colpite da disastri franosi nella regione Campania"




Legislative Decree of 11th May 1999, n°152 - Water Protection Act

Decreto Legislativo 11 maggio 1999, n. 152 - "Disposizioni sulla tutela delle acque dall’inquinamento e recepimento della direttiva 91/271/CEE concernente il trattamento delle acque reflue urbane e della direttiva 91/676/CEE relativa alla protezione delle acque dall’inquinamento provocato dai nitrati provenienti da fonti agricole"





Useful Web Links


  • Italian Ministry for the Environment: (Italian only)
  • Italian Agency for Environment Protection and Technical Services : (some documents available in English)



List of Abbreviations





Article  (Articolo)


Legislative Decree  (Decreto legislativo)





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