PREPAIR - Po regions engaged to policies of air

LIFE15 IPE/IT/000013

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Contact details:

Contact person: Katia RAFFAELLI
Email: ambpiani@regione.emilia-romagna.it

Project description:


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. It is densely populated and heavily industrialised. 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. 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. The transport of pollutants is limited by the Alps, the Apennines and the Dinaric Alps. Pollutants are transported across the Adriatic Sea, which influences the atmospheric circulation and the photochemical processes, the main causes of ozone and secondary PM. Due to the meteorological conditions and the morphologic characteristics of the Po valley, the rural background concentration of pollutants is often high, while a large part of the PM is due to secondary production.

Although, all these Northern regions have started implementing air quality plans over the past decade, these plans have not been succeeded in reducing concentration levels of PM, NO2 and O3 to below the EU limits. Coordinated and large-scale actions should be undertaken in the Po valley area in order to further reduce the levels of background air pollution. All the regions in the Po Basin Board have planned actions to reduce emissions over the coming years.


The PREPAIR LIFE Integrated project aims to implement 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 general objectives 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.


Expected results: The actions proposed will contribute to the improvement of air quality on a wide scale. Other European regions with similar geographical and environmental characteristics will be able to replicate them in their territories.

The PREPAIR LIFE project focuses on four main areas – biomass burning, energy efficiency, transport and agriculture – in line with the Po Basin Agreement and the AQPs. Specific goals are to:

  • Create a network of bike stations of the main cities of the Po Basin and develop cycling infrastructure;
  • Establish permanent infrastructure for sharing air quality and emissions data, including an accessible common database of observed and modelling air quality data;
  • Train public officers and advisors, with the aim of raising awareness and providing technical information to the local authorities to ensure that their plans take into account all types of sustainable transports;
  • Carry out at least one demonstration project to improve quality and usability of the cycle paths and at least one electric vehicle public transport initiative;
  • Promote electric mobility and sustainable driving;
  • Carry out at least three demonstration actions aimed at improving short-range freight transport;
  • Create a common App to promote public transport use at the Po Basin level;
  • Develop innovative processes for the optimisation of freight transport;
  • Increase awareness on the correct use of biomass;
  • Encourage the substitution of domestic heating biomass stoves with high-efficiency and low-emission ones;
  • Carry out training initiatives for the correct maintenance of biomass heating plants;
  • Study wood biomass consumption in order to improve the logistics of its supply in northern Italy;
  • Disseminate best-practices and increase know-how of the installation and maintenance of domestic heating devices, and on energy efficiency;
  • Produce at least one set of guidelines for the use of fertilisers with a high content of urea (reducing ammonia emissions by up to 18%) and at least one tool for the adoption of the best available technologies applicable to livestock rearing (reducing emissions by up to 40%);
  • Provide training on the efficient use of energy in industrial systems;
  • Address operators at the basin level on energy savings in the civil sector; and
  • Produce operative tools and initiatives for increasing the capacity of local administrations on GPP and energy efficiency in public buildings.

In addition to the IP budget, the project will facilitate the coordinated use of €850 408 752 complementary funding from EAFRD, ERDF, regional (Veneto and Emilia Romagna) and Slovenian funds.


Environmental issues addressed:


Air & Noise - Air pollutants


fertiliser‚  Agriculture‚  emission reduction‚  air quality management‚  biomass energy‚  electric vehicle‚  transport planning‚  air quality monitoring‚  mobility

Target EU Legislation

  • Urban Environment
  • COM(2013)913 - "Together towards competitive and resource-efficient urban mobility " (17.12.2013) ...
  • Air
  • COM (2013/0918) - A Clean Air Programme for Europe (18.12.2013)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Regione Emilia-Romagna - Directorate General for Environment and for Soil and Coast Protection
Type of organisation Regional authority
Description Emilia-Romagna Region is a public authority with exclusive competences in many fields of activity, as legally established by the Italian Constitution (art. 117). It has around 3 000 employees and a total budget of some €12 billion. It is organised in directorates working on the sectors of regional competences. The Directorate General for Territory and Environmental Protection has more than 800 employees. It has competences in the fields of air, noise and electromagnetic rehabilitation, among others.
Partners Environmental Protection Agency of Valle d'Aosta, Italy Municipality of Bologna, Italy Veneto Region - Environment Department, Italy Lombardy Region, Italy Piedmont Region - Directorate for Environment, Management and Territory Protection, Italy Friuli Venezia Giulia Autonomous Region - Directorate Central for Energy and Environment, Italy Autonomous Province of Trento, Italy Regional Agency for Environmental Protection and Energy in the Emilia-Romagna Region, Italy Regional Agency for Environment of Veneto, Italy Regional Agency for Environment of Piedmont, Italy Lombardy Regional Agency for Environmental Protection, Italy Environmental Protection Agency of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning - Slovenian Environment Agency, Slovenia Municipality of Milano, Italy City of Torino - The Management Infrastructure and Mobility, Italy ERVET SpA - Emilia-Romagna Territorial Economic Development, Italy Lombardy Foundation for the Environment, Italy


Project reference LIFE15 IPE/IT/000013
Duration 01-FEB-2017 to 31-JAN -2024
Total budget 16,625,439.00 €
EU contribution 9,974,624.00 €
Project location Piemonte(Italia) Valle d'Aosta(Italia) Liguria(Italia) Lombardia(Italia) Trentino-Alto Adige(Italia) Veneto(Italia) Friuli-Venezia Giulia(Italia) Emilia-Romagna(Italia) Toscana(Italia) Umbria(Italia) Marche(Italia) Lazio(Italia) Campania(Italia) Abruzzo(Italia) Molise(Italia) Puglia(Italia) Basilicata(Italia) Calabria(Italia) Sicilia(Italia) Sardegna(Italia) Pomurska(Slovenia Slovenija) Podravska(Slovenia Slovenija) Koroska(Slovenia Slovenija) Savinjska(Slovenia Slovenija) Zasavska(Slovenia Slovenija) Spodnjeposavska(Slovenia Slovenija) Gorenjska(Slovenia Slovenija) Notranjsko-kraska(Slovenia Slovenija) Goriska(Slovenia Slovenija) Obalno-kraska(Slovenia Slovenija) Jugovzhodna Slovenija(Slovenia Slovenija) Osrednjeslovenska(Slovenia Slovenija) Extra-Regio(Slovenia Slovenija) Associated Slovenia (SLO)(Slovenia Slovenija)


Read more:

Leaflet "You've got air: PREPAIR: Po Regions Engaged to Po ...
Project web site Project's website (Italian version)
Project web site - 2 Project's Facebook page


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version