Innovation: Implementation Of An Air Quality Modelling And Forecast System In Romania

Last update: 30.08.2013
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urban planning‚ modelling‚ emission reduction‚ air quality monitoring‚ traffic emission‚
Atmospheric pollution is an important challenge for all the European Members, since there is clear evidence of its dangerous consequences both on health and environment. Atmospheric pollution is a complex problem, since it is an extended phenomenon, generated by many activities, such as rising industrial and energy production, burning fossil fuels, increasing traffic, heating, etc. For more than 40 years, EU has been implementing directives to tackle air pollutants.

The Ambient Air Quality directive insists on the need to institute targets regarding ambient air quality in the European Union; evaluate ambient air quality in all the member States of the European Union, based on common methods and criteria; obtain adequate information which are then given to the public through various means; maintain ambient air quality where it is good or otherwise improve it. The European Union's Directives have been integrated into Romanian legislation; the necessary administrative structure has been established and has begun to work; the Romanian Government has adopted on July 2005 a National Strategy concerning the Climate Change, a coordinated and concentrated effort through the years 2005 – 2007 and preparing adaptation to the possible effects of climate change until 2013.


The ROMAIR LIFE+ project aims at helping the Romanian authorities to improve public health and quality of life, with a comprehensive air quality modelling and forecasting system. The system implemented provides the authorities with complementary tools for air quality management enabling operational air quality forecasting as well as strategic planning for the study of future emission reduction scenarios.

Long term air quality objectives in Romania
- Elimination of 50% of high ozone episodes (values above 180 µg/m3) observed over Romania.
- Reduction of 30% of the number of high NO2 episodes in Bucharest.
- A reduction in the quantity of GHG gases emitted by the country, thus reducing the impact on climate change.
The approach chosen by ROMAIR is fully in line with the European Unions perspective and priorities, and allows the Romanian authorities to tackle increasing atmospheric pollution.

The outcome of the project is summarised below:

- A complete emission inventory for Romania, inserted in a Geographical information System, and processed for the air quality modelling system
- Implementation and configuration of a meteorological model and an air quality model for both primary and secondary pollutants set up for 3 different domains: European, National (Romania) and Regional scale (Bucharest region). The system is operated on a daily basis, and in forecast mode, with Web display of results made available to the public on internet
- Identification of critical areas and critical pollutants with a due consideration to secondary pollutants like O3 and Particulate Matter
- Comparison of model output with measurements of meteorological parameters and observations at air quality stations belonging to the Romanian air quality network. Organisation of field experiments for model validation.
- Study of the impact of scenarios for reduction of pollutant emissions derived from National and Bucharest Action Plans for emission reduction.
- Assessment of the impact of Climate change on air quality, due to the evolution of meteorological conditions above Romania.

The project was carried out during 30 months, from January 2010 to June 2012, and consisted of three major phases:

1) A first phase of data collection of emissions and other data necessary for modelling of pollutant dispersion took place during the first year. In the framework of this phase, industrial and diffuse emissions were processed, as well as emissions resulting from traffic. A geographical information system (GIS) was put into practice and was intensively used throughout this step.

2) A second phase of implementation and validation of the meteorological and dispersion forecast models was carried out during the second year. Field experiments with monitoring tools (mobile monitoring station, aerosol and wind Lidar) allowed fine tuning and calibration of the air quality forecast system.

3) A phase of scenario development was finally organised during the last year of the ROMAIR project. The scenario study has enabled the elaboration of strategic planning of air quality for Romania.
The ROMAIR LIFE+ project has provided Romania and the Bucharest Region with a complete and reliable air quality monitoring and forecast system, similar to the systems used daily in other places in Europe, thus leading to a better mastering of air quality. Such an approach is fully in line with European Unions perspective and priorities, allowing the Romanian authorities to tackle increasing atmospheric pollution.

Through a French-Romanian cooperation and with the financial support of the European Union (ROMAIR LIFE+ project), ARIA Technologies has installed an air quality forecasting system at the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) in Romania which is now operational and issuing daily reports to inform on the dispersion of criteria pollutants.

One of ROMAIRs objectives was to have a significant impact on the awareness of atmospheric pollution by a large audience. Therefore, a wide panel of communication and dissemination tools has been implemented all along the project, such as a web portal with direct information on pollution and air quality matters as well as best practices; leaflets and brochures; training sessions and conferences, etc.

The long-term environmental benefits of the project correspond to the improvement of air quality over the territory of Romania, with the related consequences on health for its inhabitants, leading to a situation where EU Air Quality directives are followed. With the ROMAIR air quality decision support system, the public authorities have access to quantitative information on the consequences of different action plans for improving air quality.
Forecast Visualized On Google Earth (romair Website)
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This innovation is the result of the project

Title: Implementation Of An Air Quality Modelling And Forecast System In Romania


01.01.2010 to 30.06.2012

completed project

Organisations and people involved in this eco-innovation.

Please click on an entry to view all contact details.


Field: Scientific research and development, Engineering (France)

Role in project: Project Coordination

Contact person: Mr. MOUSSAFIR Jacques


Phone: +33-1 46 08 68 60



Field: Other service activities, Scientific research and development (France)

Role in project: Associated partner

Contact person: Ms. CLUZEL Elodie


Phone: +33-01 44 69 99 80



Field: Private and public administration, Scientific research and development, Human health (Romania)

Role in project: Associated partner

Contact person: Ms. LUPU Corina


Phone: +40-021-2071101



Field: Scientific research and development, Engineering (Romania)

Role in project: Associated partner

Contact person: Mr. IONESCU Vladimir


Phone: +40-213200354