The need to refer to an independent laboratory on questions of air pollution monitoring led to the creation of the European Reference Laboratory for Air Pollution (ERLAP) of the JRC in 1994. ERLAP contributes to the correct development and implementation of Air Quality Directives in Europe.
The highly specialised laboratory works on the harmonisation and standardisation of measurement techniques, carries out measurement campaigns in areas of particular interest, analyses the chemical composition of toxic and carcinogenic compounds in air pollution, and develops reference and equivalent measurement methods to provide support to the European Commission’s air quality policy.
The JRC's facilities for monitoring greenhouse gases (GHG) include three installations which are part of the Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) initiative of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), which is dedicated to high precision monitoring of GHG concentrations and fluxes over a long timeframe.
The JRC's Institute for Environment and Sustainability currently manages two tower installations, one in Ispra and one in San Rossore (Pisa) to continuously measure fluxes of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and a whole set of ancillary meteorological and soil parameters.
Measurements of fluxes of GHGs in San Rossore, a park with a typical Mediterranean pine forest, began in 1998. The site is designed for the long-term monitoring of the ecosystem budget of carbon and GHGs. Due to the large size and uniformity of the forest and the favourable wind circulation (sea breeze), the measurements of turbulent fluxes at the site are of high quality and qualify the station as one of the most reliable for the estimation of net ecosystem productivity. The data series produced so far are included in the European Fluxes Database Cluster  and FLUXNET , and have been used in a series of synthesis papers dealing with the trends and inter-annual variability of the ecosystem carbon budget.
The tower to measure ecosystem fluxes at the JRC's Ispra site was set up in 2012 in a small forest that has been unmanaged since the 1960s. Facilitated by the good infrastructure and proximity to the JRC laboratories, fluxes of traditional GHGs and biosphere-atmosphere exchanges of other gases such as ozone and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are monitored and studied.
Operational since late 2007, the GHG monitoring station can be characterised as a semi-rural valley station. It is the only low-altitude measurement site for GHGs close to the highly industrialised and densely populated Po Valley area of northern Italy. The station is an important complement to the European monitoring network, which is still relatively sparse in southern Europe. In particular, it provides valuable information on GHG emissions from the Po Valley area. In addition to the use of these measurements for the inverse modelling of GHG emissions, parallel Radon (222Rn) measurements were added in 2008 in order to allow model-independent estimates of regional GHG emissions.
More information: http://abc-is.jrc.ec.europa.eu/ 
A monitoring station for continuous high-accuracy measurements of the concentrations of the greenhouse gases (GHGs) CO2, CH4, N2O, SF6, and CO has been established by the JRC's Institute for Environment and Sustainability at the Ispra site.
The JRC runs one of only two stations in Italy that measure air pollution within the framework of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe's European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (UNECE-EMEP).
The JRC EMEP Monitoring Station monitors concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3) and secondary aerosol precursors (SO2, NOx) as well as particulate matter (PM). Daily aerosol samples are collected on quartz fibre filters to determine PM2.5 concentrations and chemical compositions. Quartz samples are collected on a weekly basis for the same analyses of PM10. Rainwater samples are also collected to assess the aerosol-wet deposition. The aerosol measurement programme has been enhanced to turn the JRC-EMEP station into a super-station where all the parameters needed to understand the interplay of ozone and aerosol with solar radiation are measured. As such, aerosol size distribution (in the range 8 nm - 10 µm), and aerosol absorption and scattering coefficients are continuously monitored. The vertical profiling of aerosols is carried out using a LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) laser beam, and seasonal campaigns are conducted to determine aerosol hygroscopicity with an HTDMA (Hygroscopic Tandem Differential Mobility Analyser). Other measurements using different types of filters or artifact-free samplers are carried out during specific periods to assess the validity of the EMEP-recommended sampling methods.