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NAPLES, Italy — Italian officials no longer plan to build an incinerator in the Neapolitan suburb of Agnano, stating the site that once housed the U.S. Navy base is "not suitable."

The government-appointed "trash czar," Guido Bertolaso, said Tuesday that the area — which is surrounded by hills — offers poor disbursement and air ventilation, posing a health risk, according to Italian media reports.

Civil engineers recommended scrapping plans for the site because plant emissions would not disperse properly because the area is in a valley, said a civil engineer who asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

To overcome the obstacle, the incinerator would require a chimney more than 650 feet high, but Agnano is next to the famed Phlegrean Fields, a caldera formed by volcanic eruption that caused the land to collapse. Seismic activity and small earthquakes still occur there, making a tower that tall dangerous, the engineer said.

Naples mayor Rosa Russo Iervolino announced in late June that the five-acre former Navy shopping compound would be the site of one of two incinerators built to destroy tons of refuse that litter the city’s streets.

"I’m happy and I’m sad," Wylie Miller, president of the U.S. Military Retirees Association of Southern Italy, said of the announcement. "Happy because they’re not going to build it a mile and a half from where I live, which would bring down property values considerably, but sad because they might put it along the waterfront in Bagnoli. … That will do wonders for tourism in the area," Miller said, sarcastically.

Media reports speculated the incinerator might be built in Bagnoli in the area that used to house two steel factories, or east of Naples in the town of Scampia.


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