* Env Min experts say ILVA must follow court orders
* ILVA president says other experts see no emergency
ROME, Sept 28 Steelmaker ILVA must follow a
court order to drastically reduce pollution from its factory in
southern Italy, Europe's biggest steelworks, or risk losing its
environmental authorisation, the Environment Ministry warned on
Prosecutors have ordered ILVA to stop production and clean
up the factory in Taranto, the largest in Europe, after an
inquiry found that toxic chemicals pumped from the plant were
harming workers and local residents.
Court sources told Reuters on Wednesday that Patrizia
Todisco, the judge in charge of pre-trial proceedings, ruled
against the Italian group's plan to invest 400 million euros
($514.5 million) to modernise the plant while allowing
production to continue.
Court documents say emissions of choking dust and dioxin and
other cancer-causing chemicals from the plant are believed to
have caused hundreds of deaths from respiratory diseases in
Taranto and the surrounding region.
ILVA's president Bruno Ferrante said earlier on Friday he
had asked independent experts to assess the plant's impact on
the environment and health in the area, adding that they had
told him the situation was not so serious.
"The scientific experts I am meeting are telling me a
different story, that there is no health emergency at Taranto,"
he said. "When it's the right moment we will hand over the
findings to judicial authorities."
Some 12,000 people are employed by the mill, and an
additional 8,000 jobs are related to it.
The order to halt production and clean up the plant has
brought complaints from politicians, trade unionists and
industrialists. ILVA produced 8.5 million tonnes of steel in
2011, nearly 30 percent of Italy's total output, and is one of
the few big industrial plants in Italy's impoverished south.
(Reporting By Catherine Hornby; Editing by Mike Nesbit)