To the attention of: Bettina Doeser, Head of Unit ENV.C.1, Hans Stielstra, Deputy Head of Unit ENV.C.1, Stefan Leiner, Head of Unit ENV.D2, Laure Ledoux, Deputy Head of Unit ENV.D.2, Peter Jahr, MEP, Josep-Maria TERRICABRAS, Julia REDA, Margrete Auken, Michael Cramer, Martin Häusling, Gabriele Preuss, Ismail Ertug, Cecilia Wikstrőm, Eleonora Evi, Dario Tamburrano.


Lake Bolsena is located north of Rome in the Lazio Region. It is a volcanic lake of extraordinary stunning beauty that belongs to the European Community. The Administration of the Lazio Region pursues an electoral policy and is not really interested in the lake environmental protection. For this reason I involved the PETI Commission, which is very sensible to the matter. I am turning the problem also to you in the hope that together with the PETI Commission you could help the preservation of the lake.

 The questions I raised on July 10th during the discussion of my petition are the following:


  • According to the Community targets, the water  quality of all lakes should have increased to the status of "good" by 2015. Due to a continuing trend of deterioration the status ,which was “good” in 2003, is currently degraded to "sufficient". Monitoring indicates that a process of eutrophication is in progress:  the phosphorus concentration has doubled from 2004 to 2017, and at the bottom of the Lake in December 2016, a temporary 9-meter thick layer without oxygen occurred;  
  • The PETI Committee discussed the same petition 2191/2013 on Lake Bolsena in its meeting of 5 May 2015. The President of the PETI Commission sent a letter of reminder to the Lazio Region on 02.06.2015 (protocol 309342) expressing the hope that "the Lazio Region and local authorities will adopt an effective plan to preserve the environmental balance of Lake Bolsena by repairing and completing the currently incomplete and disastrous sewage main collector around the lake." The Italian authorities informed the Commission that they launched a tender on 30 December 2015, expecting the completion of the repair by May 2017. Work has never started (it will start next September). Nothing has been planned to complete the collector, or any other alternative form of protection in the missing part of the collector.  
  • The above mentioned letter the President of the PETI Commission expressed concern not only on the "poor management of urban waste water" but also on the "poor management of agricultural water".
    The situation is further aggravating because the Lazio Region encouraged new hazel plantations in the lake basin, known to be heavily polluting.
  • Because of the delay of the Lazio Region in designating the Conservation Areas , the European Commission opened the EU Pilot Case 4999/13 / ENVI,  (Directive 92/43 / EEC, establishing measures to ensure the restoration and conservation of the habitat). The Lazio Region, in order to overcome the Case, deliberated the measures listed in DGR 162 of 14/4/2016 pag. 89/90 which in brief are: (a) maintaining the planned lake level; (b) improve carp fishing; (c) improve the anchors of tourist boats. The Region has preferred to approve marginal measures that have no cost and satisfy the legal aspect for closing the case, but in no way they reduce the arrival of phosphorus or  guarantee the restoration and conservation of the habitat;  
  • In 2009, the Province of Viterbo approved the EU funded Management Plan (PdG) for Lake Bolsena, elaborated with the collaboration of the University of Tuscia and other leading experts. The PdG would be an authoritative and effective plan to preserve the environmental status of Lake Bolsena, but the Plan has not been applied by the Lazio Region;  
  • Instead of the above mentioned PDG the Lazio Region is proposing the Water Protection Plan (PTAR) which postpone the quality targets to 2021/2027. Considering the extremely long water renewal time of Bolsena lake (200-300 years)  and the state of eutrophication in action, there is not so much time to waste. The Region must immediately take drastic actions, otherwise the eutrophication process will become irreversible. Despite the fact that the PTAR has been approved on June  2016, nothing has been done so far.   
  • We are not opposed to geothermal energy in general, however we are opposed to its application in our unfavorable geological situation,  characterized by a high number of faults due to the past intense volcanic activity.  Faults facilitate the up flow of the geothermal fluid toward the surface aquifer and obstruct the horizontal return of the geothermal fluid from the zone of re-injection to that of production. In addition the characteristics of the geothermal fluid are very unfavorable (5% of CO2 and 90.000 µg/l of arsenic!). The result of the combined adversities is a high risk of arsenic contamination of the surface aquifer, the prohibitive release of  CO2 in the atmosphere and the increased seismic risk. The volcanic Vulsini area is definitively not suitable for geothermal exploitation!    

A more detailed description is in our brochure "Lake of Bolsena 2016", that I will send you by mail.  Also please consult the link


Thank you for the attention and best regards.


Piero Bruni