Air Quality Assessment
ARPA Lazio, the regional environmental agency operates several air quality monitoring sites
in the Lazio Region, including Rome. The Rome monitoring network consists of 13 monitoring
stations classified as four different types: A,B,C and D. Type A are usually located in areas
not directly affected by traffic sources such as parks or green areas. They monitor pollutants
such as CO, SO2, NOx, NO, BTX, PM10 and O3. Type B are located in areas with heavy traffic
conditions. They monitor CO, NOx, BTX, PM10 and O3. Type C are located in residential areas.
They monitor CO, NOx and BTX. Type D are located outside the urban area, almost in the countryside.
They monitor O3 and NOx, and are devoted to the control of photochemical pollution.
The monitoring network acquires concentration data every hour. Data are sent to the Regional
Environmental Protection Agency (ARPA) for validation and delivered to the Environmental Department
of the Municipality of Rome that is responsible for data collecting, storing and delivering.
Moreover the Municipality of Rome carries out campaigns with diffusion tubes. These campaigns
last one week and are distributed across the whole urban area, during different periods of the year.
Monitoring tubes are usually located in secondary streets, to provide information on background
concentrations. They last one week and are distributed in different periods of the year. BTX, NO2
are measured plus O3 in summer time.
From the analysis of the current air situation, it is evident that traffic is mainly responsible
for the high pollutant concentrations. Traffic is the main source of CO, C6H6 and PM10 concentrations.
High concentrations are recorded next to heavy traffic areas, whilst background concentrations do not
exceed the limits. SO2 concentrations are below limits and quality objectives as industrial activity
has ceased to be a dominant source of air pollution.
In the Rome Metropolitan area air quality indicators for particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide are
sometimes beyond the limits set in the EU directives on air quality, while Benzene is generally not a problem.
In the pictures, the PM10 and NO2 situation in the monitoring sites is shown. Industrial emissions have
steadily decreased over recent decades and previous modelling exercises show that management of transport
related emissions may be a key factor in achieving compliance with the EU directives.