Inderscience Publishers

Regulatory atmospheric short and medium range dispersion models in Italy

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Since the (partial) acceptance in Italy of the EU Directive 85/337/EEC concerning environmental impact assessment procedures, there has been a rapid growth in the use of atmospheric dispersion simulation tools, which are also being used in air-quality management plans. This paper describes the state of the art in the development and application in Italy of the short and medium range atmospheric models, limiting the analysis to deterministic and to inert (or linear chemistry) pollutants models. A number of software packages capable of describing the concentration and dose field using analytical solutions of the advection diffusion equation exist, and they have been thoroughly used and compared with a number of field data. Among these, a brief description of DIMULA (ENEA), APC-2 (ENEL), AMETISTA (ANPA), KAPPAG (CNR) and MRBT is given. A puff model (AVACTA) is also described that takes into account the spatial and temporal variability of average wind and turbulence for rough terrain, since it was partly developed in Italy where it is extensively applied. More recently, efforts have been made by different groups in the development and assessment of Lagrangian particle models for complex terrain. They are based on the solution of the Langevin equation and are usually coupled with the output of 3-D prognostic or diagnostic flow models for the calculation of particle trajectories. Descriptions are given of ARCO (ANPA), SPRAY (ENEL-CNR) and MONTECARLO (JRC-Ispra) together with a comparison of their results with some short and mesoscale field experiments. There is at present no list of officially approved models for regulatory purposes in Italy, The recent decision to establish the Italian Environment Agency (ANPA) indicates that this important issue will soon be considered.

Keywords: air pollution, Italy, regulatory models, atmospheric dispersion models, environmental impact assessment, modelling, environmental pollution, puff models

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