June 5, 2019 by Graham Merrington

A group of colleagues and I, representing Eurometaux, ran a workshop in Rome during May for local and regional regulatory organisations on implementing bioavailability-based approaches for metals compliance assessment under the Water Framework Directive. The meeting was hosted by the Italian Environmental Protection Agency (Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale (ISPRA)). Participants from across Italy received tuition in accounting for bioavailability using EU-wide and importantly Italian data. bio-met was used for the workshop and the appropriate data to use, what to do when outside the applicability ranges of the models and the use of ambient backgrounds were all discussed, in line with the soon to be published EU Guidance. A ‘hands on’ workshop like this one enables the participants to develop their own skills and establish what bioavailability means for them in their local waterbodies. Italy has not started to collect extensive water chemistry data, including DOC that will allow routine use of bioavailability tools.