The video storytelling of LIFE PrepAIR project. Watch the trailer and contact us to host a premier show of the full movie!

Among the various thematic pillars tackled by LIFE PrepAir project – significant attention has been given to the topic of energy efficiency in public buildings: in particular, as far as concern training of public officials, the focus has been on CAM, Minimum Environmental Criteria, which became mandatory by law as of 2016 and now are a fundamental tool for Green Public Procurement policy enhancement in Italy.

In this regard, PrepAir’s partners have developed various initiatives : with the project now coming to an end, the results of these activities were presented the 9th of june in Trento, during a conference entitled ‘Energy Efficiency and Public Bodies’ organised by the Province of Trento , in the presence of the partners and the main stakeholders.

The event was part of the New European Bauhaus Festival: the ‘New European Bauhaus’, recently launched by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, is an initiative that harks back to the famous architectural movement of the XXth century, and promotes a new lifestyle for Europe – sensitive, inclusive and accessible – integrated with the concepts of the green deal.

Concepts that fits perfecly with research and materials produced by PrepAir in the area of energy efficiency the circular economy, and even more in view of future initiatives linked to the Resilienace and Renovation National Plan and structural funds.

Over the months, the project produced and proposed to stakeholders several otputs related to the topic of Minimun Environmental Criteria (even more than originally planned), registering great interest everywhere. As a result, four manuals have been published, intended for the Public Administration, which delve into the subject of the Minimum Environmental Criteria in as many application areas (construction, energy services, public lighting and public green areas); several training workshops have been held, in various areas of the Po Valley basin; a database on existing environmental certifications, and their correspondence to CAM; and three articulated e-learning modules have been implemented, which have involved and trained more than 900 users, mostly public officials or professionals in the sector.

The conference was also an opportunity to present the work done on the infopoint on the energy requalification of public buildings to support municipal officials, available at:

Lastly, the topic of Energy Communities and the role of local authorities was addressed, with an in-depth look at the coordination work carried out by the province of Trento in its own territory and a comparison between the various stakeholders. The topic of energy communities is on the agenda of numerous tables, and the conference allowed for a fruitful discussion in order to clear up some doubts and deepen those that are still unresolved. Several representatives of Trentino municipalities interested in setting up energy communities in the area participated.

“The issue of air quality can only be tackled successfully if it is dealt with in an integrated manner between its various aspects,’ he said during the meeting. There is a need to create a system between all the players involved: and the Public Administration, at every territorial level, must set an example, using all the levers in its possession to transfer this European strategic vision within which our work is developed to the various local spheres.

Dowload the slides (in italian)

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In the final months of its long journey, the LIFE PrepAir project has been presented in Brussels during the conference entitled ‘Improving air quality together’ at the headquarters of the Emilia-Romagna delegation to the EU.

Air pollution has always been one of the main problems in the Po Valley area, also due to its geomorphological characteristics. In recent years, the project has contributed to a considerable improvement of the situation, thanks to a series of important results and inputs.

First of all, thanks to PrepAir, the topic has been tackled in an increasingly joint manner among the various partners and increasingly integrated among the various operational sectors (from production activities to agriculture and the environment). This has enabled the growth of a scientific community of reference, capable of providing a solid basis for monitoring the effects of the various actions tested and identifying the most effective ones in terms of building future scenarios.

As a result and equally important it has been the work done in terms of stimulating the government, ever since the fundamental agreement signed in Turin during Clean Air Dialogue in 2019.

In practical terms, PrepAir made it possible to devise and test important methods and tools to better study the issue, also addressing it at a sectoral level: monitoring the various pollutants, the various sources of pollution, the results recorded for specific areas and for different periods of the year.

Even the situation following 2020 lockdown – which, of course, was unpredictable at the start of the project – has been exploited to monitor the situation during a long and unprecedent period characterized by almost no vehicular traffic. It was thus discovered that the concentration of certain pollutants had decreased less than expected in the Po basin during the lockdown weeks: confirming that vehicular pollution is only one of the cause of poor air quality. Emissions from biomass domestic heating, as well as sewage manure in agriculture (which releases pollutants such as ammonia and nitrogen oxides) are equally important impacts.

The results achieved in each of the pillars were extensively summarised at the Brussels meeting by the project leaders, who took turns in presenting them.

The participation of François Wakenhut, head of the European Commission’s Clean Air Unit (a Commission that has sanctioned Italy on two occasions in recent years with regard to the excessive concentration of pollutants: in 2019 for PM10 and recently for nitrogen oxides) was particularly significant. In fact, Wakenhut took note of the numerous activities carried out by the various project partners in recent years and the evident progress made, congratulating them and encouraging Italy to continue in this direction.

Compliments that were also reiterated in the speech by Angelo Salsi, LIFE project manager for the European Union. The meeting was also attended by Joanne Swets, coordinator of the AIR network of European regions.

At the end of the day, the docufilm ‘C’è aria per te! (You’ve got Air!)’, a medium-length film produced by the project that will be available for screening by local broadcasters, at festivals and similar occasions.

Click here to dowload the slides of the conference.

Visit our virtual poster session

Look at the pictures of the event

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

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.


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.



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).

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.



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)



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)