Novel tools for an integrated governance of pollution from perfluorinated compounds – lessons from the LIFE PHOENIX project (ITA)

  • 22 april 2021

The LIFE PHOENIX project: a brief synopsis

Co-funded by the EU commission, the LIFE PHOENIX project aimed to build a management framework to deal with the serious PFAS pollution event that occurred in the Veneto Region (north-eastern Italy). The PFAS, emitted for more than 40 years by a production site in the territory, have heavily impacted groundwaters and surface waters used for drinking water production and agricultural irrigation, leaving a legacy that is difficult to manage with a serious risk for exposed populations.

Final networking activities of the LIFE PHOENIX project

As a part of the networking activities with European counterparts, a series of 3 online webinars were held, each focusing on a specific topic or approach. The meetings proved to be excellent opportunities to share experiences with experts and professionals from other countries where similar situations are present.

A first webinar addressed the management of PFAS pollution in the framework of the new Drinking Water Directive. An integrated information system was implemented as a key tool to support the inter-institutional risk assessment process. This tool will serve as a basis for the identification of potential sources of contamination for drinking water catchment areas in the framework of Water Safety Plans.

During the second webinar, the central theme was modelling and monitoring legacy and emerging PFAS pollution at catchment scale. Starting from 3D modelling of the existing groundwater diffusion of PFAS from an industrial contaminated site, possibilities were shown of deriving fore-casting scenarios.

The third and last webinar focused on the impact of PFAS on agricultural soil and plants and the possibillities of phytodepuration as a nature-based solution for PFAS mitigation. During this webinar the results of a three-years field monitoring campaign of PFAS in irrigation waters, agricultural soil and edible and aquatic plants was presented and discussed with the aim of understanding the PFAS diffusion in a real terrestrial environment. In the monitoring plan three constructed wetland were included to assess their capacity to mitigate PFAS pollution in surface waters. Lastly, field data were compared with a greenhouse experiment, and LIFE Phoenix experiences were set against the policy on PFAS in  soil developed in Flanders.

More info

on the LIFE PHOENIX in general and on the 3 webinars in specific can be found on the LIFE PHOENIX website.