1983: the Oak Wood is born

Seveso - tecnici controllano zona A
Seveso – tecnici controllano zona A

On 2 June 1977 the Regional Council of Lombardy approved the five “action plans” for the reclamation of the polluted territory. The works were assigned to the Special Office for Seveso.
After discarding the 1981-1984 idea of building an incinerator for the elimination of polluted material, two waterproof tanks were built for the depositing of polluted material with an overall capacity of 280,000 m³.

To secure the contaminated material, a system of four successive barriers was adopted to separate the pollutants from the external environment. The tanks were equipped with a series of control tools that verified possible leakages, ensuring the safeguard of the place. A great part of the polluting material consisted in surface soils that were removed from the entire “Zone A” up to a depth of 46 cm. These were kept in the Seveso tank, with the remains of houses, personal belongings, and dead animals or those subsequently slaughtered after the incident, which on the whole totalled to over 8,000 heads. Also part of the equipment used for the reclamation were included. The land today is constituted by the surface layer of wood taken from other zones in Lombardy.
In 1983, a decision was made for a park project in the former “Zone A” area, which was later named Bosco delle Querce or Oak Wood. The environmental and forestry works started in 1984 and ended in 1986, providing for the planting of 5,000 trees and 6,000 bushes. Thanks to further measures and care for the park, the Regional Forestry that had assumed the care for the park upon the conclusion of the works at the end of 1998 covered 21,753 trees and 23,898 bushes, a plant legacy four times that of the initial plant set-up inherited from the Special Office for Seveso. This success is attributable also to the popular movements that arose in Seveso after the incident, and that strongly opposed the initial decision to build an incinerator for the burning of polluted material. So today, on the site of the disaster there is an immense Bosco delle Querce park, a place of life and a social centre besides being a site for culture and remembrance.