Register Now! | Improving air quality together | Prepair’s International conference | 31st of May | Bruxelles and online

Improving air quality together.
LIFE IP PrepAIR: project’s achievements and main results


31st May 2022
Emilia-Romagna Region Delegation to the EU
Live from Rue Montoyer 21, 1000 Brussels and online

Partner Event of the EU Green Week 2022
EU Green Deal – Make it Real

Event celebrating the LIFE 30th Anniversary

The LIFE IP PrepAIR project aims at the improvement of air quality in the Po Valley, Northern Italy, and in Slovenia. It supports the implementation of regional and local air quality plans through a set of actions focused on capacity building, monitoring and evaluation, realization of web-based tools, education and communication. At the sixth year of the project, many outcomes have been realized in the five thematic pillars that are Agriculture, Biomass burning, Energy efficiency, Transports, Monitoring, Emissions and Air quality evaluation.

The international conference wants to present the main project’s achievements and results. It aims to give a contribution to the process towards Zero pollution and the New Green Deal, sharing data, reports and tools elaborated in one of the most complex areas of Europe as far as air pollution is concerned.

Download the agenda

Click here to register to the event to participate in presence or online

The relationship between agriculture and air quality. Results of Prepair’s pillar agricolture presented in Bologna

Agriculture plays a central role in the air quality issue of the Po valley, this has emerged more and more in recent years. The issue has been studied in depth within the LIFE PrepAIR project.

After five years of work, with the project entering its final stage, the results of the pillar dedicated to agriculture and the one dedicated to  emission evaluation and monitoring were presented during the conference “Agricolture and Air quality”, that took place in Bologna in the presence of the project partners and speakers hosted by Regione Emilia Romagna, Prepair’s project leader. More than 250 participants followed the event remotely.

The results presented shows the great effort that the project partners carried out to deepen and study the mechanisms that regulate the relationship between agriculture and air quality. These mechanisms depend on a large number of variables and factors. Emissions, for example, depend on the chemical composition of the manure and fertilizers used, on the biological cycles of the animals, on the variables related to the composition of the soil and on the meteorological and climatic variables, as well as on the absorption capacity of the plants.

Particular attention has been paid to fine aerosol (PM 2.5) produced by ammonia emitted by livestock waste (in the relaying, storage and spreading phases) if not managed properly.

The “BAT Tool”, a web-based app developed by Prepair’s project to estimate ammonia emissions into the atmosphere,  is now available and free to use. It allows to calculate emissions starting from data on techniques applied in intensive pig farming and poultry. The analyzes carried out so far shows that this tool has a considerable potential in developing technological assessments, both at a company and territorial level. To further develop this potential will have to be supported by the harmonized use of data sources, relating to the actual structure of the farms in the different territorial contexts.

The speakers that intervened during the day explored the issues and proposed solutions to reduce ammonia emissions thanks to the use of good practices, derived from the investigations and experiments. Since 2019 BAT Tool has been used  almost five thousand business simulations, an impressive given important result; since January 22, Bat Tool Plus is available, an upgraded version of the original tool. One of the future objectives is therefore to expand the application of the BAT-Tool to assess the application of  different techniques in the different emission phases, to quantify the achievable emission reduction in each scenario.

The proposal is based on the identification of defined and achievable ammonia  emission reduction targets related to the application of each specific good practice. The predetermined reduction target can therefore be chosen by each farm within the available BATs.

As a conclusion, a  round table took place with the participation of the Directors of the Environment and Agriculture of the Po Valley Regions. From the discussion emerged the importance to include specific measures in the policies that are under definition  at national and European level. However the current situation requires more resources then the ones currently available and an active involvement of the national government.

Furthermore, as a result of the debate it was confirmed that, in some regions, nitric fertilizer are already buried within 12 hours from the spread: thus the envisaged measures are applicable, even if mediation is  necessary to overcome the resistance of smaller companies worried by the economic impact of the measures.  After all, as the project managers stated, “if we do not anticipate the burial time we have no effect”. And they add: “thirty years ago, water protection plans made it clear that agriculture can affect the quality of the water resource. Today we understand that it can affect the air. But there is a problem of resources: we must understand on a national scale that there is a real emergency, that we are on very important orders of magnitude. And we must act in a not too long time, otherwise we will spend more sanctions than we would with new investments “.

In conclusion all the speakers underlined that the added value of PrepAir  is precisely the creation of relations between persons and institutions that was possible because of the joint work and has been an absolute unprecedent in the sector. In other words, the project has led the partners’ Environment and Agriculture offices to talk to each other in an increasingly stable and convinced way: creating a fundamental synergy to better address the problems linked to pollution, and to proceed toward the future jointly.

Dowload the slides of the conference (mostly in Italian)

Watch the picture gallery.


Evaluation of emission reduction scenarios on air quality in Po Valley. New report available


The technical report “Evaluation of emission reduction scenarios on air quality in Po Valley” is available for download on the LIFE PrepAIR website. The report is the result of the work of ARPAE and ARPA Piemonte with the contribution of the Environment Agency network of project PrepAIR.

The aim of the document is to contribute to the discussion of the revision of European air quality rules in connection with the new  recommendation on pollutant concentration included in the World Health Organisation’s new AIR Quality Global Guidelines

In order to evaluate  the possibility of achieving the new air quality limits in the Po basin, the NINFA CTM Modelling system has been used to carried out several simulations of targeted emission reduction scenarios.

The full report is available here.



Brand New, upgraded version of BAT Tool software on livestock emission evaluation in now online

The “Plus” version of the BAT-Tool is now available, the application to evaluate the emissions of livestocks now applies to cattles and can estimate greenhouse gases emissions in greater detail (in accordance with IPCC 2006 tier 2 method). A new territorial model allows to carry out a simulation on a regional scale, extending the scope of the application once limited to a single farm/company.

The new features add up to the previous ones: estimation of green house gases, gaseous emissions (ammonia, nitrogen oxides, methane and carbon dioxide) and potential release of nitrogen compounds into water by animal farms (originally pigs and poultry only).

To use the software, simply access the site, after registering, and click on the “Ammonia Greenhouse Gas Module” icon. The previous version of the BAT Tool, will still remain available, but  in read only mode. Each user will be able to see its own business simulations both in the “basic” version of the application and in the Plus version.

The BAT-Tool Plus User Manual is available here (in Italian).

Three occasions of european networking for LIFE PrepAIR


The two weeks from 8 to 21 November have been full of opportunities for LIFE PrepAIR’s european networking.

On  November 9th, Katia Raffaelli and Marco Deserti from the Emilia-Romagna Region, participated to the International Conference on Air Pollution – Moving Towards Clean Air for Europe organized by the LIFE HungAIRy project dedicated to air quality in Hungary.

On November 16th, Katia Raffaelli participated as LIFE Prepair project manager in Session 3 “Sustainable Cities and districts” of the event “Beautiful, sustainable, together: LIFE in the New European Bauhaus” organized by the LIFE programme.

Finally, on 18 and 19 November, LIFE Prepair will virtually be in Madrid with the LIFE programme at the Clean Air Forum 2021 to talk about Air Quality and the commitment of the territories of the Po Valley.



Prepair’s Second Midterm conference: two days debate on Air Quality in the Po basin

The Second Midterm Conference of LIFE Prepair Project took place on last 6th and 7th october in the beautiful location of Venice’s Arsenale: two days of debate dedicated to Air Quality issue in the Po basin. During the first day, Prepair’s partners explored the work done so far by the project and analyzed strategic issues and policies linked to the common struggle against air pollution. The second day was dedicated to the domestic consumption of Woody biomass (one of the thematic pillars of Prepair Project).

The two days work stressed out the role of Prepair Project in the creation of a community of experts that provides dependable data to support policymakers in the development of a common strategy toward air quality improvement in the Po basin. During the roundtable that ended the first day of conference, the regional Councilors for environment  (Irene Priolo for Emilia Romagna, Raffaele Cattaneo for Lombardy, Matteo Marnati for Piedmont and Gianpaolo Bottacin for Veneto) called for a greater commitment of the national government in the Air quality issue of Po Basin.

The technical focus of the first day has inevitably been the particular state of air quality during 2020: COVID-19’s lockdown allowed to observe Po basin in an unprecedented condition, almost completely lacking of vehicular traffic. The analysis carried out by Prepair’s working group during the lockdown registered a substantial drop in some pollutants’ concentration (NO2, NO, Benzene) , but not PM10. Despite the strong drop of traffic, over the threshold values of aerosol concentration have been observed during the lockdown. The dynamic of Aerosol is strongly influenced by meteorological conditions and by the presence of precursors. To comply to the limit values of PM10 concentration in the Po valley it is necessary to reduce both aerosol primary emission and its precursors (NOx and NH3). To achieve this goal Air Quality plans and strategy foresee to intervene simultaneously on all emission sources and on the whole Po basin.

Freight logistics is going to be an area of primary importance in the near future: it is necessary to reduce long distance road transport, optimize medium to short distance logistics and substitute old commercial vehicles with low impact ones.

As far as concern Agriculture and Animal farming, it is necessary to find a new balance between production of nitric compound from cattles and the receiving capacity of farms, introducing a depuration system to eliminate excessive loads combined with digestors. It will be essential to apply to animal farms measures integrating food, quality of the barn and innovative spreading technics.

Regarding industry and energy production, it will be necessary to apply Best Available Technologies, reach zero fossil fuels consumption, improve research on clean technologies and manage the impact of electric mobility on energy demand.

Last but not no least, as far as concern Domestic heating it is necessary to implement a general improvement of energy efficiency in new and existing buildings, substitution of old biomass heaters and fireplaces  with either newer and more efficent biomass plants or less polluting technologies (heat pump).

Download the presentation of Prepair Midterm conference | 6th October

Download the slides of the conference on Domestic consumption of Woody Biomass | 7th October (in italian)



Slides: Prepair’s second Midterm conference Prepair | Venice 6th October

The PREPAIR project in the context of the short and long term air quality planning in the Po Valley | Paolo Ferrecchi (Regione Emilia-Romagna)

Evaluation and Monitoring Session

PM10 precursor emissions | Alessandro Marongiu (ARPA Lombardia)

Air quality modelling assessment in the Po Valley | Michele Stortini (ARPAE Emilia-Romagna), Stefano Bande (ARPA

The effect of the COVID-19 lockdown on air quality in Slovenia | Don Ciglenecki, Janja Tursic (ARSO)

Particulate composition in special stations | Eleonora Cuccia (ARPA Lombardia)

Air quality and COVID | Arianna Trentini (ARPAE Emilia-Romagna)

The Measures for Air Quality in the Po basin: the results of 2 years monitoring | Michele Bartolomei (ART-ER)

Capacity building actions and raising awareness Session

Introduction | Katia Raffaelli (Regione Emilia-Romagna)

Main results of the Transport Pillar | Milena Orso Giacone (Regione Piemonte)

The role of cities

Agriculture: PREPAIR new tools for the assessment of emissions and improvement interventions | Matteo Balboni (Regione Emilia-Romagna)

Main results of the Energy Pillar | Sara Verones (Provincia Autonoma di Trento)

The actions of the PREPAIR project to promote the correct use of woody biomass for domestic heating | Alberto Suppa (Regione Lombardia)

You’ve got air, a communication campaign to seal the alliance between institutions and citizens | Marco Ottolenghi (ART-ER)

European and National Actions to improve air quality Session

Zero pollution action plan | Wilhelmus De Wilt (DG Environment European Commission)

The national strategy for improving air quality | Fabio Romeo (Ministero della Transizione Ecologica)

The Copernicus National mirror service for air quality | Andrea Taramelli (Delegato Nazionale al Copernicus User Forum UE e Coordinatore del Forum Nazionale degli Utenti Copernicus)

7 October | Conference on Woody Biomass Consumption

On Thursday  7th October, the Conference on Woody Biomass Consumption will be held within the LIFE PrepAIR project

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, Participants will follow the conferences exclusively online on the Zoom platform.

Consumption in the Po Valley and strategies for reducing emissions into the atmosphere: the impact of residential firewood and pellet combustion will be explored through the main results of PREPAIR’s actions and the involvement of some national experts on air emissions and energy scenarios.

The conference, structured in 2 sessions – morning and afternoom – will be hosted and organised by ARPA Veneto and Veneto Region.

Click here to register to the conference

Download the agenda

Download the slides of the conference on Domestic consumption of Woody Biomass | 7th October (in italian)

The Previous day, wednesday 6th October, the second Mid-Term conference of LIFE PrepAIR will take place


The Po basin together for the Quality of Air | 6 October

The second MId-term Conference of LIFE PrepAIR, online from Venice

The Air Quality Assessment Report for Po Basin and Slovenia in 2020 is Online

The Air Quality Assessment Report for Po Basin and Slovenia in 2020 is available for download.

The document is the result of the work of the environmental Agencies’ Network which are partner of the LIFE Prepair projects: ARPAE Emilia-Romagna and ARPA Piemonte (coordinators of the action), ARPA Friuli Venezia Giulia, ARPA Veneto, ARPA Lombardia, ARPA VAlle d’Aosta, APPA Trento e ARSO Slovenia.

This first assessment report of action D5 provides a synthetic view on the state of air quality in the Po Valley and Slovenia for year 2020 and examines PM10, PM2.5, nitrogen dioxide and ozone, which are the pollutants whose concentration values more frequently exceed legislation thresholds.  The assessment was carried out with data fusion techniques using model output and monitoring data collected by action C1 of the PREPAIR project. Even though four data fusion modelling systems with different setup (resolution, boundary condition, meteorological data and data fusion technique) have been used, the model outputs are very similar to each other. In this report the assessment methodology, the data fusion technique and results of the most critical indicators compared to the limit values established by the 2008/50/EC Directive are shown.