Project title: Particulates Monitoring, Modelling and Management (PM3)

Project start date: 01/01/2011

Project end date: 31/12/2013

Total Project duration (in months): 36 months

Total budget: € 1,294,871.00 

Project objectives:

The Competent Authorities have and are undertaking significant dust monitoring and management efforts as well as several projects to support air quality management and data collection. Due to the large spatial and temporal variability of measured PM10 concentrations, as well as potentially significant PM inputs from transboundary movements, however, added efforts as well as innovative data collection and modelling tools are required in order to facilitate the preparation of effective and efficient dust management plans.

The project’s overall objective is to support the Competent Authorities in preparing cost effective and efficient particulate matter management. For this purpose, state of the art now casting, forecasting and scenario analysis software will be applied. New and innovative data collection and processing methods as well as a robust stakeholder participation process will be introduced in order to support the application of the models. The present data collection activities will be supported through the project by remote sensing techniques. These will be developed, calibrated and applied and will provide data for a potentially much denser grid than possible with ground stations. Further, this method can produce data at various elevations thus greatly enhancing source apportionment and air quality modelling.

Source identification will be achieved through oryctological analysis and backtracking techniques. The current monitoring network supported with the additional data produced through remote sensing methods will be able to provide the necessary information in order to derive accurate and verified results on PM10 source apportionment, which constitutes one of the main objectives of the project.

Transboundary input of particulates further complicates the issue of source apportionment as well as preparing effective dust management plans. Therefore regional modelling will be implemented through the project in order to quantify this aspect.
Based on the produced derived information, various management scenarios will be defined, and the analysis models will subsequently be defined which will incorporate the necessary technical and regulatory information but which will also incorporate socioeconomic factors into the decision making process.

The scenario development and analysis activities will utilise the existing modelling capacities of the Department of Labour Inspection, while additional road canyon PM modelling capacities will be introduced and applied.
In order to facilitate the incorporation of socioeconomic factors, a robust stakeholder participation process will be implemented aiming to define economic and social goals and constraints.

In summary the project’s general goals are to facilitate effective and efficient dust management improve the monitoring and source apportionment capacities, to provide reliable estimates of transboundary contribution to measured concentrations as well as to prepare a source specific dust management plan.
Although one of the main objectives of the project is to prepare a Dust Management Plan, the project goes well beyond this task and the requirements of Directive 2008/50/EC.

Specific objectives include:

  • Enhance data collection and processing capacities through the integration of remote sensing technologies to the existing monitoring network
  • Develop, implement and verify a methodology for particulate matter source identification and apportionment, and the quantification of the relative contributions of long-range and local sources as well as of natural and man-made source. Improving Street Canyon dust production modelling constitutes a sub target of this objective.
  • Improve public and stakeholder (major emitters) information and involvement by both web-based and 3G mobile phone technology;
  • Produce a dust management plan. Associating source fractions with direct and indirect control options is expected to greatly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of measures.
  • Demonstrate the developed approach and set of tools (best practice) that are also appropriate to other Southern European countries with similar semi-arid climate conducive to high levels of wind entrainment of particulates.

A key objective of the proposal is to add elements of sustainable development and explicit environmental criteria to the overall objectives of the Lisbon Strategy;

  • To contribute to the development and demonstration of innovative policy support tools, technologies and methods in support of 2008/50/EC and related environmental directives such as IPPC 96/61/EC, and COM/2007/0844;
  • To contribute to the consolidation of the knowledge base and institutional capabilities of the competent authorities for the development, assessment, monitoring and evaluation of environmental policy;
  • To support the design and implementation of effective and cost efficient approaches to air quality assessment and management, controlling pressures and minimizing impacts, population exposure and public health impacts together with effective public and stakeholder involvement.

Actions and means involved:

  • Establish a baseline of air quality and regulatory compliance from historical air quality data for reference and a benchmark for the quantitative assessment of improvements.
  • Determine local versus long range imports by combining monitoring data analysis (directional dependency) supported by long-range transport modelling (EMEP European emission data), remote sensing for large-scale synoptic observations (aerosol optical density) , and mineralogical analysis of dust;
  • For local/national sources, determine the “natural” component (2008/50/EC, § 20), and non-combustion based contributions (unpaved roads, mining, construction) as well as industrial and traffic generated components (e.g., inner city hot spots, dust re-suspension from paved and unpaved roads);
  • Identify a range of control measures based on this source apportionment including indirect (land use, vegetation, activity control) management options;
  • Design cost efficient (not entailing disproportionate costs, 2008/50/EC §16) emission control strategies (regulatory compliance, economic costs, public health criteria); this will be compiled in a dust management plan for Cyprus.
  • Monitor compliance, and in the long run, improvements, supported by 5 day forecasts including population exposure and estimated health effects, data assimilation and model validation tools (RS data) and public information e.g., information and alert thresholds; document improvement and best practice for other applications;
  • Develop dissemination and communication strategies for the public and stakeholders, (combining classical methods with Web2.0 and 3G mobile phone technology).

These actions will be based on the integration of a range of innovative components, including remote sensing (satellite imagery of aerosol optical properties), chemical analysis of dust sample for source attribution, a range of simulation and optimization models for scenario analysis and the design of cost efficient control strategies and advanced communication technology for the active involvement of stakeholders (major emitters) as well as the information of the public (including both web based information as well as personalized SMS information services on a subscription basis for sensitive target groups) designed to both minimize exposure and raise awareness for control strategies.

The tools to be used for this integrated approach are largely based on results of the EUREKA projects E!1388 and E!3266 (both involving ESS GmbH and ATLANTIS Ltd., associated beneficiaries of the current proposal) that developed model and web-based air quality assessment and management tools  ranging from continental (EMEP) to local scales including multi-criteria emission control optimization.

This project is supported by the European Commission under the LIFE+ Environment and Governance Programme.

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