The main objective of the project is to provide to the National Authorities of Southern European countries the appropriate measures to reduce PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations in air. Air pollution due to airborne particulate matter is a major environmental problem. Several urban and industrial areas in Europe are not capable of meeting the implemented EU standards for particulate matter. A better understanding of the causes of the limit exceedances, and not just monitoring ambient air pollutant concentrations, is needed. Competent air quality management is required in order to ensure compliance with the limit values and that the consequences of poor air quality are controlled and minimized.

As E.U. is moving towards the implementation of the Thematic strategy on Air Pollution, through the most recent Directive 2008/50/EC, and requirements of lower limit values for PM in air will come in effect, reduction in emissions will become costly and future management of emissions will require the implementation of effective mitigation measures.

In Southern Europe a great deal of improvement with respect to mitigation strategies can be made. The combination of diverse emission sources (dust intrusions) with the complex climatology (strong radiation, high photochemical conversion rates, low rainfall rate) significantly enhance the particle levels in South European and Mediterranean countries. The first objective of the project is to harmonize source apportionment methods and to prioritize the sources for evolving cost-effective air pollution mitigation strategies. The second objective is to assess the impact of sources on ambient air quality under different mitigation measures. The overall goal is to develop, demonstrate and adopt measures that considered appropriate and cost effective to ensure better air quality in urban areas. State of the art instrumentation and methodologies will be combined in order to determine the contribution of emission sources. The causes of the reported PM10 and PM2.5 exceedances will be assessed. The efficiency of the applied mitigation measures will be tested by means of source apportionment to investigate temporal changes in the source contribution. This will allow to stake holders the adoptation of effective control strategies. The project aims to propose and demonstrate to Regional and National Policy makers appropriate and cost effective measures that ensure better air quality in urban areas. One of the core tasks of the project is to endorse Public awareness, so that policies can be positively adopted by the public. The outcome will be communicated by an active dissemination Programme to the citizens and their active participation will be promoted.

The project has the following objectives:

  • Determine the source contribution of the emission sources and identify those that are responsible for the PM limit values exceedances.
  • Quantitatively evaluate the effect of air quality mitigation measures already used and will be used by national authorities
  • Develop and propose effective air mitigation measures for South European countries
  • Allow the adaptation of control strategies capable of reducing exposure levels in South European countries
  • Assist National and Regional authorities to implement the “Thematic strategy on Air Pollution” and to formulate air quality action plans in the framework of Directive 2008/50/EC
  • Support effective policy making by the use of a communication strategy plan.
  • Act as a catalyst for the allocation of local, national funds to the implementation of air mitigation strategies

The project expects to achieve a reduction of PM10 and PM2.5 levels, by applying effective air mitigation strategies appropriate for Southern Europe. The mitigation strategies developed will be appropriate for Southern Europe but they could also be adapted by other regions in Europe that can not meet the EU limit values concerning PM concentration levels.