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Chemosphere. 2015 Jul;131:130-8. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2015.03.009. Epub 2015 Mar 29.

Integrated environmental quality monitoring around an underground methane storage station.

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Department of Agricultural Science, University of Bologna, Italy. Electronic address:
Department of Agricultural Science, University of Bologna, Italy.
University of Camerino - Aquila, Italy.
PROGER S.p.A., Italy.
Agronomist, Pescara, Italy.


The study reports an integrated environmental quality monitoring of a 100 km2 area in central Italy mostly occupied by an underground station of methane storage, working since 1982. The nitrogen oxides, ozone and isoprene concentration detached with a network monitoring of passive filters were compared with the results of lichens biomonitoring. Data from the two monitorings were in accordance: there was an inversely correlation between lichen biodiversity index (IBL) and NOx (-0.96) and ozone (-0.80), and a positive correlation between IBL and isoprene (0.67). IBL indicated that the area ranged between medium naturalness and medium alteration status, values fully compatible with the medium-high level of eutrophication, caused by intensive agriculture. Only two areas were in high alteration status, due to their proximity to glass factories and to a quarries area. Despite almost thirty years of activity, the environment quality of the area around the station did not show signs of declining.


Air quality; Biomonitoring; Italy; Lichens; Natural gas

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