The Po Valley of northern Italy represents an important non attaining zone for PM, NO2 and O3. This zone covers the territory of Italian northern Regions and includes several urban agglomerates such as Milan, Turin and Bologna. The area is densely populated and heavily industrialized. Tons of NOx, PM and NH3 are emitted in the atmosphere by a wide variety of pollution sources mainly related to traffic, domestic heating, industry and energy production sectors. Another important pollution source is related to the nitrogen and ammonia cycle, coming mainly from fertilizers, breeding and farming activities. 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. Due both to the meteorological conditions and the morphologic characteristics of the Po valley, the rural background concentration of pollutants are often high, while a large part of the PM is due to secondary production.

In order to further reduce the levels of background air pollution, all regions have clustered in the so-called Po Basin Board and planned actions to be taken with the aim of reducing emissions over the next years. The need of coordinated actions led the National and Regional governments to sign an agreement aimed at developing and coordinating short and long term actions for improving the air quality of the Po valley. The Po Valley Agreement identifies the main sectors where actions will be taken: biomass burning, transportation of goods and passengers, domestic heating, industry and energy, agriculture. All the regional governments involved in the agreement have their own Plans for the improvement of air quality.

PREPAIR (Po Regions Engaged to Policies of AIR) aims at implementing the measures foreseen in the regional plans and in the Po Valley agreement at a larger scale so to strengthen the sustainability and durability of results: the geographical coverage of the IP is the Po Valley with the regions and cities that mainly influence air quality in the basin. The IP actions are also extended to Slovenia in order to assess and reduce pollutants transportation also across the Adriatic sea.

The project will last for 7 years (from 1 February 2017 to 31 January 2024  )

The total budget is € 16.805.939 with a co-financing by the EU of € 9.974.624

The beneficiary coordinator of the project is the Emilia-Romagna Region, Directorate General for Territorial and Environmental Care, and it involves 17 associated beneficiaries.