The launch conference of the LIFE integrated project PREPAIR will be held on June 8 and 9 in Bologna as a side event of the G7 Environment.
The PREPAIR LIFE Integrated project aims at implementing actions in the territory of the Po Valley and Slovenia in order to improve air quality and comply with Dir. 2008/50/EC and the European strategy ‘Clean Air for Europe’. PREPAIR will also contribute to achieving compliance with the National Emission Ceilings Reduction Commitments. The project supports coordinated and large-scale actions in order to reduce emissions and further reduce the levels of background air pollution.
The Po Valley in northern Italy represents a significant nonattainment area for PM, NO2 and O3 air quality limit values. The area covers the northern Italian regions and several urban agglomerates such as Milan, Turin, Venice and Bologna, densely populated and heavily industrialised. Meteorological conditions and the transport and dispersion of pollutants are strongly influenced by the morphological characteristics of the Po Valley and the northern Adriatic Basin.
Around 450 000 tonnes of NOx, 90 000 tonnes of PM, and 250 000 tonnes of NH3 per year are emitted in the atmosphere by a wide variety of pollution sources mainly related to traffic, domestic heating, industry and energy production sectors. Another main source of pollution is related to the nitrogen and ammonia cycle, coming mainly from fertilisers, breeding and other farming activities.
The general objectives of the projects are to:
•Implement measures included in the Air Quality Plans (AQPs) and in the Po Valley Agreement, creating the information needed for a preliminary assessment of their impact on air quality;
•Increase know-how and reinforce capacity building within public authorities and private operators;
•Strengthen coordination among Po Basin authorities in the field of air quality;
•Establish a permanent networking structure that involves the environmental agencies of the Po Valley and of the eastern border regions and Northern Adriatic basin, such as Slovenia;
•Produce homogeneous assessment reports on the effectiveness of PREPAIR concrete actions on air quality in the Po Valley and the Northern Adriatic basin;
•Assess the effectiveness and resources needed for measures to improve air quality;
•Create a community that recognises the risks for human health and for the environment posed by air pollution; and
•Create a network of national, regional and local governments, socioeconomic actors, research centres and other stakeholders.
On the first day of the conference "GOVERNMENT POLICIES ON AIR QUALITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE", 8th of June, there will be an in-depth presentation of the project and its five thematic pillars (agriculture, biomass, transports, energy efficiency, air quality and emission evaluation) and the discussion with stakeholders.
The second day, 9th of June will be dedicated to an institutional event involving European representatives and the Presidents of the four Italian Regions who will be signing a new Air Quality Protocol at the end of the conference.