Monitoring of the air quality in
brownfields subject to remediation

Veneto Region focused its Pilot Action on the Porto Marghera Industrial Area. In the implementation of the activities, Veneto Region was supported by ARPAV - Regional Environmental Agency

  • Characteristics of the brownfield:
    Despite its decline, the industrial site of Porto Marghera is still active and remains an economic node of the Venetian and Veneto Region area, with 841 economic activities and 10.480 employees  
    • Since 1998 (Law n. 426/1998) it is declared "Remediation Site of National Interest" because of its potential impact on the environment, due to its surface extension and risk posed by contaminants
    • Size: 1828 ha
    • Location: on the edge of the Venice lagoon
    • Ownership: 35% public, 65% private

  • Main issues/problems:
    • Specific contamination of soil and groundwater deriving from the former petrochemical production
    • Sanitary risk posed by contamination: in particular, potential impacts on population due to the presence of 9 factories using dangerous substances
    • Serious hazard for Venice lagoon due to pollution of groundwater of the site
    • In 49% of the total area the remediation projects have been approved by relevant public authorities but have been completed only in 14% of the area (241 ha)
    • Fragmentation of the governance process in different levels of competence – national, regional, local
    • Intrinsic complexity of the clean-up and administrative procedures
    • Progressive crisis of the industrial production in the site

  • Goals and needs:
    The whole pilot action and related investments aim to put in place a system to monitor the air quality in Porto Marghera in order to define the specific soil-gas reference levels in sites subject to remediation.

  • Activities, achievements and results:

    The implemented activities allowed to put in place a system to monitor the air quality in the interested area, to define the the specific soil-gas reference levels.
    A preliminary evaluation of the air quality of the Porto Marghera site was conducted, through the systematization of existing data. 
    Then, after the design of the monitoring activities necessary to define the contribute of the soil gas to the air pollution, the related equipment (flux chamber, gas analyzers ect.) were acquired and the suitable sites were identified.
    For the monitoring activities, the innovative MLE - Multiple line of evidence” approach was adopted: since it allows to distinguish the the subsurface sources contribution to air pollution from contributions related to other sources (like anthropogenic background levels or productive cycles), it has several advantages in comparison with a more traditional approach, because it enables to better calibrate remediation interventions.
    In practice, three measurement campaigns for a total of six days over 2018 were carried out.
    A surveillance committee was also established for the evaluation and the control of the monitoring system. 

  • Meeting with stakeholders and a Pilot Action Event were organized in cooperation with the City of Venice and the Port of Venice to discuss and acquire feedback on the Pilot Action.