Air quality assessment of Estarreja, an urban industrialized area, in a coastal region of Portugal
Despite the increasing concern given to air quality in urban and industrial areas in recent years, particular emphasis on regulation, control, and reduction of air pollutant emissions is still necessary to fully characterize the chain emissions–air quality–exposure–dose–health effects, for specific sources. The Estarreja region was selected as a case study because it has one of the largest chemical industrial complexes in Portugal that has been recently expanded, together with a growing urban area with an interesting location in the Portuguese coastland and crossed by important road traffic and rail national networks. This work presents the first air quality assessment for the region concerning pollutant emissions and meteorological and air quality monitoring data analysis, over the period 2000–2009. This assessment also includes a detailed investigation and characterization of past air pollution episodes for the most problematic pollutants: ozone and PM10. The contribution of different emission sources and meteorological conditions to these episodes is investigated. The stagnant meteorological conditions associated with local emissions, namely industrial activity and road traffic, are the major contributors to the air quality degradation over the study region. A set of measures to improve air quality—regarding ozone and PM10 levels—is proposed as an air quality management strategy for the study region.
KeywordsIndustry and traffic emissions Air quality Air pollution episodes Ozone Particulate matter
The authors wish to thank the financial support of the PACOPAR. Thanks are extended to the Portuguese Science Foundation for the post doc grant of A. Monteiro (SFRH/BPD/63796/2009) and J. Ferreira (SFRH/BPD/40620/2007). This work was also financed by Fundos FEDER através do Programa Operacional Factores de Competitividade (COMPETE) e por Fundos Nacionais através da FCT no âmbito do projeto INSPIRAR (PTDC/AAC-AMB/103895/2008).
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