Assessment of the Air Quality Plan

The Małopolska Region begins work on updating its Air Quality Plan (AQP). A workshop for Ecomanagers was held on 7 December at the Polish Aviation Museum in Krakow. The aim of the meeting was to summarise the effects of the activities implemented as part of the Air Quality Plan, to present the results of the programme’s evaluation research, and to develop concepts and solutions to update the programme. Deputy Marshal Józef Gawron participated in the meeting.

Assessment of the current AQP

Guests of the meeting were a monitor of the LIFE project, representative of NEEMO – monitoring institution for LIFE projects, representives of Regional Inspector of Environmental Protection and an economist, researcher of social policy issues.

In the first part of the meeting, the Deputy Director of the Environment Department summarised the effects of the implementation of the current AQP. He highlighted, among other things, the effects of anti-smog activities in the Region related to the replacement of out-of-class boilers and inspection of furnaces. Since the adoption of the anti-smog resolution for Małopolska, almost 73,000 inefficient solid fuel boilers have been replaced between January 2017 and the end of June 2022. Importantly, the average number of replaced boilers in LIFE project partner municipalities with Ecomanagers is almost three times higher than for other municipalities. Most replacements are in: Kraków (98% of replaced boilers), Skawina (49%), Zabierzów (48%).

Then a representative of the company ‘EU-CONSULT’presented an assessment of the effectiveness of the current AQP. This analysis was conducted for the purposes of updating the document. The study draws on, among other things, the results of a survey of entities such as municipalities, district authorities, scientific units or companies. Opinions on the main problems and challenges will allow corrective measures to be properly targeted.

Dedicated workshops

The second part of the meeting was a workshop. An important step in the process of assessing the Air Quality Plan is to make use of the experience of the Ecomanagers in implementing tasks under the LIFE project. The opinions of staff involved in air protection activities provide invaluable assistance in the evaluation of the Plan.

Workshop participants were divided into 8 groups. Each team took on the challenge of developing solutions that could improve activities in areas related to improving air quality. Among the topics were the municipality’s clean air measures, monitoring the effects of the Air Quality or the short-term action plan.

The high level of involvement of the participants allowed a lot of ideas to be successfully developed, which were then presented at the forum. Each group also proposed one change they felt should be included in the new AQP. A subsequent vote allowed the proposals to be ranked, and these will be analysed for implementation in the latest version of the Air Quality Plan.