In order to protect either the health of citizens and the environment, the legislation establishes a series of limit values, target values, information and alert thresholds and critical levels of different pollutants, mainly in air and water.
For this reason, AEMET has set up the Spanish EMEP/VAG/CAMP network, which is dedicated to monitoring the chemical composition of the atmosphere at a regional scale and far from pollution sources.
What is the EMEP/VAG/CAMP Network?
The objective of the EMEP/VAG/CAMP network is to provide information on the background and deposition concentrations of the air pollutants included in the Reference Regulation (RD 102/2011), as well as their transport and air flows.
The bottom and deposition networks monitor the presence of pollutants in areas where there is no natural source of contamination, and establish the minimum baseline values that represent a “clean” atmosphere.
This network covers the whole of the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands, with stations at several key points.
For its part, the State Meteorological Agency, which is responsible for managing the EMEP/VAG/CAMP network, will implement a quality control and assurance system to ensure the completeness, consistency, transparency, comparability and reliability of the results obtained in this network.
The standard program of measures for the Network stations is as follows:
- Data from automatic flow analyzers that work in continous
- Ozone (O3)
- Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
- Nitrogen monoxide (NO)
- Meteorological Data
- Wind direction and speed, global radiation, pressure, temperature, humidity and precipitation.
- Daily precipitation analysis data: sulfate, nitrate, ammonium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, chloride, hydrogen and potassium ions, pH and conductivity.
- Data from semi-automatic collectors, daily samples of:
- PM10 particles
- PM2.5 particles
- Sulfates in PM10 particles
- Nitrates in PM10 particles
- Gases + Aerosols
- Nitrogen oxides
And here is where Envira’s key role comes into play.
Low pollutant concentrations, poor communications and electrical problems: a real challenge
To overcome these challenges, ENVIRA has provided the following technical solutions and resources:
Low pollutant concentrations
The solution to overcome a low pollutant concentration measurement was the implementation of high sensitivity and low range monitoring systems, which allow the stable measure of low concentrations of contaminants.
To overcome the problem of poor communications, directional antennas were installed at some stations to improve data reception and transmission.
In addition, backup recording systems – owned by ENVIRA – were installed in parallel with those of AEMET to ensure the integrity of the recordings and data transmission in case of failure or loss of communication of the latter.
ENVIRA’s backup procurement systems have also made it possible to maintain service in the event of electrical problems and failure of the main procurement systems.
The completion of this project was possible thanks to ENVIRA’s strategic collaboration with other companies, which allows us to respond immediately to any incident anywhere in the AEMET network.
Conclusion on the EMEP/VAG/CAMP network project for AEMET managed by Envira
Equipping part of the EMEP/VAG/CAMP network in the field of air quality far from polluting sources (EMEP programme), which is the responsibility of AEMET, was a great opportunity and a challenge in itself, as it involved rural or natural sites with poor connectivity, electricity supply problems and pollutants in very low concentrations, in many cases at the limit of quantification of the equipment.
However, the technological solutions provided by Envira to overcome these challenges proved to be satisfactory and therefore this project can be considered a success story.