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Norwegian-Polish collaboration on atmospheric pollution deposition is completed

This week, Norwegian research institute NILU and Polish CIEP finalized their collaboration on setting up a new atmospheric deposition monitoring network in Poland. 

In October 2020, the Polish Chief Inspectorate of Environmental Protection (CIEP, in Polish GIOŚ) and NILU joined forces to create a Polish network for monitoring of deposition of hazardous substances in the air.  The network is needed to satisfy the different international reporting obligations Poland has committed to. The work comprised of evaluating the existing monitoring networks, and designing an atmospheric deposition network complying with all the quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) and assessment requirements throughout Poland. In addition, CIEP with the support of NILU developed a solution to show the measurements and assessment of atmospheric deposition in Poland to the public via the CIEP Air Quality website.

“This new atmospheric deposition measurement network and webpage are the key results of our joint project,” says Research Director Dr Cristina Guerreiro from NILU.

Important environmental monitoring and visualization

The partners in the project “Strengthening the assessment of atmospheric deposition in Poland based on Norwegian experiences” met for their final project conference last week.

Among the results from the project, 19 modern rainfall collectors are operating at different locations in Poland. The content of persistent organic compounds in precipitation will be tested at stations in Granica near Warsaw and in the Karkonosze Mountains.

One of NILU’s tasks in the project was to support the visualization and make available atmospheric deposition data via the CIEP Air Quality website.

At the conference, CIEP presented this new web module devoted to the topic of atmospheric precipitation chemistry. There, citizens can find atmospheric deposition data, locations of measurement stations, the results of atmospheric deposition measurements, and more.

Sharing knowledge and experience

Dr Guerreiro explains that during the conference, NILU scientists gave several presentations on the results of the different tasks they have been working on with their Polish partners.

One of the tasks was about the revision and optimization of deposition measurements in Poland. Norway has some of the world’s longest time series of high-quality atmospheric observations, and NILU has supported several countries in the monitoring and assessment of atmospheric deposition for many decades both as Chemical Coordinating Centre of EMEP and through its European Topic Center work for the European Environmental Agency. Thus, NILU scientists could use their experience to give guidance on how to improve and strengthen the assessment of atmospheric deposition.

In her presentation, Dr Wenche Aas stressed the importance of the Polish monitoring data and results in a European perspective.

Another project task was to optimize the quality assurance/quality control system (QA/QC) for wet deposition measurements in Poland. The task was led by Dr Helene Lunder Halvorsen, and it included discussions on methodologies and procedures for the measurement of chemistry precipitation based on NILU’s expertise and experience in this field. During the project, NILU and CIEP also set up a training workshop on chemical analysis of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and mercury in precipitation in Warsaw.

Dr Joana Soares was responsible for the task of reviewing and recommending techniques for atmospheric deposition assessment for their Polish partners. This task included a review of the methods being used for the assessment of atmospheric deposition, and a recommendation of assessments on the use of various statistical and modelling techniques.

Collaboration and cooperation

The final conference was attended by many distinguished guests, including representatives of the Polish Ministry of Climate and Environment, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway, the Polish National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, SWH Polish Waters and NILU.

“We thank our Polish partner for the very fruitful collaboration, which also included very useful sharing of knowledge,” concludes Dr Guerreiro.

Acting CEO Aasmund Fahre Vik from NILU gave an introductory presentation at the closing project conference. Photo: Cristina Guerreiro, NILU