Keywords: air pollution, air quality management, environmental impact assessment, model evaluation, regulatory dispersion model
Setting up a regulatory frame for atmospheric dispersion modelling in Italy: needs, actors and ongoing activities
The need for regulatory models for predicting the impact of atmospheric emissions, both for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) studies and in the frame of Air Quality Management Plans (AQMP), is well known to the Italian technical-scientific community, and is acknowledged also by decision makers. Some specific features of the Italian territory, e.g. complex orography, land-sea discontinuity and very low wind-speed, make it very difficult to propose simple semi-empirical models originally conceived for homogeneous and stationary conditions. Moreover, for some pollutants like nitrogen dioxide, ozone and fine particulates, physical-chemical processes also need to be considered. This situation, shared with several other countries, particularly of the Mediterranean area, makes it very challenging to combine reliability with simplicity. This paper describes the activities that are being undertaken in Italy for setting up a national system for atmospheric dispersion regulatory models, taking into account the above mentioned issues.