Supporting municipalities in the Malopolska and Silesia regions in Poland
In the LIFE IP Malopolska project, VITO was one of the partners that set up a transboundary emissions and air quality modelling system for the PM polluted hotspot area covering southern Poland and parts of the Czech Republic and the Slovak republic. The inter-regional air quality modelling which VITO coordinated was a collaborative process aimed to strengthen the capacities of the regions in emission and air quality modelling. The new scientific evidence underpinned the air quality plans being prepared to reduce the impact of emissions from residential heating across the region.
The tasks were performed in collaboration with the region of Malopolska and their local knowledge partners in the region: the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute. The focus of the modelling was primarily on PM, a transboundary pollutant, but NO2 was also modelled.
VITO’s air quality spatial mapping model was used to prepare the reference year (2015) air pollutant maps for the transboundary region. The maps presented well the variation in PM concentrations across the four regions, highlighting the significant hotspots and exceedences at that time, across most of Malopolska and Silesia (Krakow and Katowice agglomerations; Jastrzębie Zdrój city).
In a close collaboration process led by VITO together with the Czech Hydrometeorological institute, the participating regions prepared new local reference year regional emission inventories in which the residential emissions where updated and harmonized. This led to the first harmonized transboundary emissions inventory covering all the regions. Several emission reduction scenarios were then agreed based on the degree in which their proposed measures could be implemented.
Further to the modelling by the Czech and Slovak partners, it was learned that significant measures (in legislation and enforcement, and modernization of buildings) would be required in the Malopolska region to reduce the impact of residential heating, even if measures were also taken in the adjoining areas (Silesia, Czech Republic and Slovakia), albeit to a lesser degree. The required measures were subsequently set down in the new air quality plan for the Małopolska Region, and each other region also updated their air quality plans and policies as appropriate. Thanks to these actions, significant PM reductions have already been measured in the area in recent years.
Traffic emissions and air quality modelling tool for Krakow
Within the project, VITO was also requested to develop a web-based traffic emissions and air quality modelling tool for the Municipality of Krakow, Transport System Division. The goal thereof, to assess the impact of their transport plans on the air quality in Krakow and its surroundings. Ensuring that the quality of air in Krakow is given a high priority when evaluating which transport management plans are best applied.
Year: 2016 – 2023
Project partners: Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic, Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute, Municipality of Krakow