LIFE PHOENIX - Perfluorinated compounds HOlistic ENvironmental Interistitutional eXperience

LIFE16 ENV/IT/000488

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Contact details:

Contact person: Vanessa Groppi
Tel: 390412791665
Fax: 390412791355
Email: sanitapubblica.ambiente@regione.veneto.it

Project description:


Water pollution occurs when water bodies are contaminated by wastewater that is discharged without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds. The direct or indirect discharge of substances into the aquatic environment leads to potential hazards to human health and aquatic ecosystems, and damages or interferes with legitimate uses of water. Among contaminants of emerging concern, of particular interest, are Persistent Mobile Organic Contaminants (PMOC). These are highly polar compounds likely to persist in the water cycle (e.g. in drinking and irrigation water), which degrade very slowly and are very mobile in an aqueous medium, including water in biological tissues. Exposure to PMOC, with particular reference to PerFluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS), can lead to serious health effects, which in many cases cannot be adequately assessed because of a lack of both monitoring data and knowledge about eco-toxicological properties. The abovementioned problem takes a high priority in European policy-making and is addressed by the Water Framework Directive.


The LIFE PHOENIX project aims to demonstrate how a new interinstitutional governance system, supported by innovative forecast tools based on ongoing monitoring, can more effectively and efficiently manage the risks related to the diffusion of Persistent Mobile Organic Contaminants (PMOC) – with a particular focus on PerFluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS). This system will help avoid, or at least reduce, public expenditure on damage caused by PMOC, which represents a major threat to public health through drinking and irrigation water. Project actions will involve impact assessment through monitoring, development of forecast modelling instruments, early warning tools, and mitigation measures. These actions will contribute to the implementation of the Water Framework Directive, including its objectives to promote sustainable water-use and pollution-control measures, and also to some of the objectives of the Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Water Resources.

Specific project objectives are to:

  • Create a Permanent Regional Commission for PFAS supported by a Multidisciplinary Experts’ Panel in order to implement policy measures and actions to prevent or limit problems related to PMOC;
  • Prepare guidelines on how to address problems related to PMOC and risk prevention;
  • Provide well-timed and innovative environmental tools for the estimation of PMOC distribution and risks (e.g. early-warning tools), based on thorough and multidisciplinary data collection, to provide datasets and analyses in support of ongoing monitoring and risk assessment;
  • Propose mitigation strategies based on innovative technological and natural solutions; and
  • Transfer the project approach and solutions to other geographical contexts characterised by episodes of similar environmental contamination.
  • Expected results: The expected results of the LIFE PHOENIX project are the following:

  • Development of a complete integrated and interinstitutional system for the knowledge and management of environmental pollution events related to PMOC, and more specifically PFAS, which is continuously updated by expert groups and supports a Permanent Regional Commission for PFAS;
  • Guidelines related to contamination from PMOC and risk prevention;
  • Implementation of a statistical system that provides comprehensive information to expert groups;
  • Improvement in water quality through the implementation of a pilot-scale plant able to treat 9 000 m3 of drinking water;
  • Implementation of an early warning and integrated forecast system to support health/environmental risk assessment related to PMOC, in particular PFAS;
  • Proposed mitigation strategies for PMOC; and
  • Raised awareness of stakeholders and the general public about the importance of water quality preservation.



Environmental issues addressed:


Water - Water quality improvement


pollutant monitoring‚  monitoring‚  water quality improvement‚  drinking water‚  pollutant elimination‚  water pollution

Target EU Legislation

  • Water
  • Directive 98/83 - Quality of water intended for human consumption (03.11.1998)
  • Directive 2000/60 - Framework for Community action in the field of water policy (23.10.2000)
  • Directive 2006/118 - Protection of groundwater against pollution and deterioration (12.12.2006)
  • COM(2012)673 -"A Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources"
  • Chemicals & Hazardous substances
  • "Regulation 1272/2008 - Classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (amend ...

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Regione del Veneto
Type of organisation Regional authority
Description Veneto Region is a public administration responsible for the definition and implementation of policies in many fields, including those for reaching water quality targets. The Veneto Region produces Water Quality Plans and applies quality targets defined by the Water Framework Directive and the Drinking Water Directive. Currently, Regional Action Plans for water quality are in force, which contain numerous measures concerning the main pollution sources in the regional territory.
Partners CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE-ISTITUTO DI RICERCA SULLE ACQUE, Italy Università degli Studi di Padova, Italy ARPAV - Agenzia Regionale per la Prevenzione e la Protezione Ambientale del Veneto, Italy


Project reference LIFE16 ENV/IT/000488
Duration 01-SEP-2017 to 31-MAR -2021
Total budget 2,176,493.00 €
EU contribution 1,264,369.00 €
Project location Veneto(Italia)


Read more:

Project web site Project website


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