AIR TRITIA: Czech, Slovak & Polish air pollution experts on AIR TRITIA Kick-off Conference

(OSTRAVA, 19. 10. 2017) Representatives of partner cities, regions and institutions met in the Central Mining Institute in Katowice on 17th October  2017 for Kick-off Conference of project AIR TRIITA. 

project partner at Kick-off Conference

Check out photos from the conference on our facebook page.

The conference was opened by the CEO of Central Mining Institute (GIG), professor Stanislaw Prusek, who expressed personal interest in the project, appreciated its practical use and gave the floor to dr. Małgorzata Wysocka, who compered the rest of the Conference. This was followed by representatives of the public administration (the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic, representatives of the Silesian Voivodeship and the Žilina Region) who expressed an interest in active cooperating on project outputs.

Representatives of the lead partner, VŠB - Technical University of Ostrava (VSB), Associate Professor Petr Jančík and MSc. Irena Pavlíková presented VŠB projects in the field of air quality management: AIR SILESIA, AIR PROGRES CZECHO-SLOVAKIA and Air Quality Management System for the city of Olomouc. Those outputs are also used for the AIR TRITIA project. They also presented the role of VŠB in the project, which consists in the creation of information spatial databases (geographic database, traffic database, domestic boilers database, industrial sources database, epidemiologic database), model of air pollution generated by computing power IT4Innovations supercomputer center, health risks, biomonitoring of mosses through a nuclear reactor. VŠB will develop one of the main outputs of the project - Air Quality Management System (AQMS), a tool designed primarily for the needs of public administration. It will also be accessible to the public. In the final phase of the project, the college staff will propose specific measures to improve air quality, form and evaluate possible scenarios of development within the proposed strategies.

For the ACCENDO Research and Development Center, Dr. Vladislav Bízek, described in detail the overview of European legislation and national legislation, which has been elaborated in the project. ACCENDO also includes a demographic and socio-economic database, a socio-economic study (a population distribution study based on socio-economic characteristics, including analysis of long-term settlement changes - population aging, migratory trends), epidemiological study (assessment of population deployment with regard to health status, respiratory tract, circulatory system diseases and cancer), study on the causes of air pollution (a summary of current knowledge of the causes of air pollution in the TRITIA region and 5 cities, including mapping of air quality improvement measures that are being implemented), analysis of current EU-funded projects. ACCENDO is also the creator of one of the main outputs of the project - Air Quality Management Strategy for TRITIA (technical, legislative and other proposals with a strong focus on joint approach and international cooperation between the different parts of the TRITIA region in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland) strategies for 5 partner cities, namely Ostrava, Opava, Opole, Rybnik and Žilina. They will also include measures to quantify the impact of the measure, including an assessment of its effectiveness.

 The European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation TRITIA (EGTC TRITIA), represented by the director, Mgr. Martha Sláviková, was formed on the basis of agreement of 4 regions on the Czech-Slovak-Polish border (Silesian and Opole Voivodship, Moravian-Silesian Region and Žilina Region), which are also associated partners of the project. The EGTC TRITIA acts as an organizer in the project, providing, above all, synergy and communication with regions in the creation of project outputs. In her presentation, the director presented the project partners and their basic characteristics.

 Head of modelling section of the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management (IMWM) of Krakow, Leszek Ośródka, explained to the participants the basic principles of air pollution behaviour and movement, depending on meteorological conditions, its modelling and assumed behaviour. In addition to the meteorological database, it is just a predictive warning system based on the principles presented as one of the main outputs of Dr. Ośródka. The system will highlight critical pollutants in the air and can be used on both computers and mobile phones. Users of the system will be representatives of the public administration and general public.

 The Central Mining Institute (GIG) was represented by dr. Krystian Skubacz, who presented details of the measurement and status of three major sources of pollution in the region - industrial sources, local furnaces and transport pollution. Within the project, GIG will be responsible for measuring isotope distribution for dust remissions and particle size distribution (particle size granulometry) to verify the accuracy of the air pollution model.

 From Žilina University in Žilina, Dr. Dušan Jandačka, explained to the participants what types of pollutants exist, what their impacts on human health and the environment are, how we can measure them and how to further process the results. The role of the university in the project lies above all in the creation of the TRITIA region transport model and detailed transport models for partner cities, which will allow the transport pollution factor to be included in the resulting pollution model.

 At the end of the conference, the city representatives introduced the issues they are dealing with in air pollution, describing the steps they are taking to prevent and communicate their expectations from engaging in the project. Each of the partner cities has its specific problems: in Rybnik, especially the local boilers, Ostrava is suffering from industrial activities, in Žilina there is heavy traffic, Opava, which belongs to the less polluted cities, is disadvantaged by its geographic location on the border with Poland, and finally Opole, which must face all three types of pollution sources in a small way.

 The cities fight pollution through various ways - boilers with better combustion, information campaigns, promotion of low emission public transport, electric cars, low emission zones, cycling (biking, bicycle sharing), bypasses, street dusting, green planting and measures leading to the investigation energy in public buildings.

 The cities are hoping to gain experience from abroad, to unify and systemize strategies across borders, to respond to crisis situations and to address the pollution problem in the long term by means of proposed measures, the active use of air quality management tools, and last but not least, a conceptual solution to the pollution problem throughout the affected region.

 The project has been running for 3 years from June this year (2017) until May 2020 and is supported by Interreg Central Europe, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), amounting to 2.2 million euros, the entire project budget is 2.6 million euros. The project is going to run information campaigns, "Healthy Air Info Days" will be held for the general public, an Atlas mapping pollution in the region will be published, and a specialized monograph summarizing the outputs of the project will be also published.