In Italy, a Tiny Toxic-Waste Victory

The arrests of 18 EniChem executives for illegally dumping hazardous material signal a long-overdue crackdown on this rampant practice

A strange red-tinged film that appeared on the surface of the sea near the city of Syracuse in Sicily in September, 2001, was the tip-off. It took more than a year to piece together the evidence, but the smeary film led to the arrest on Jan. 16 of 18 top managers at Italian petrochemical giant EniChem. They're charged with illegal disposal of toxic waste and criminal association -- a signal that law enforcement officials are finally starting to crack down on decades of environmental abuse by industry.

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