It appears that the enactment of an Italian law on "electrosmog" is imminent. The law sets the foundations of the rules relating to all devices that emit electric or magnetic fields, with the sole exclusion of diagnostic or therapeutic instruments and the related exposure of the patients who are subjected to their use.

The new rules will reduce from ten to five years the period in which the radioelectric plants and systems already in function (e.g., radio transmitters/receivers) must conform to the new limits established; and they will introduce the penalty of the suspension of activities, for a period of four months, for those who violate the limits established by the necessary authorisation - to be granted after specific verifications, which are no longer just provided for radioelectric plants, but also for all other instruments to which the rules apply: electric cable, fixed telephone plants for mobile telephones, television and audio radio diffusion, etc.

Equally exacerbated, by means of the extension of the deactivation for six months to all the categories of instruments and devices, is the sanction for the operator's failure to "clean up" a site after receiving an injunction to do so.

Furthermore, the rules in question extend the competence of the regional and provincial councils with respect to surveillance and organisation tasks, providing for, among other things, the establishment of regional registries of permanent sources of electric, magnetic, and electromagnetic fields, in co-ordination with the national registry that will be realised under the aegis of the Ministries of the Environment and of the Public Health. The national government will therefore determine the limits to be observed, the co-ordination of the administrations involved and the management of the national assessment program; the regions will instead have the responsibility of defining the plans, especially with respect to clean-ups, which in the initial phase will be the fundamental element of the regulation; the provinces, which will operate through the ARPA (Regional Agencies for Environmental Protection), will finally administer the phases of supervision and issuance of the suspensions and fines.

These latter penalties are set by the pending bill from a minimum of two million to two-hundred million Lire for those who exceed the tolerance limits provided, and between two million and sixty million for those who do not comply with the protective measures provided for the construction or the modification of plants and devices.

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