Lombardy EPA Obtorto Collo Data and Anti-pollution Policies Fallacies

Andrea Trentini


ARPA Lombardia EPA maintains pollution monitoring stations since 1999. Measured data is “somewhat” available through ARPA’s website. “Somewhat” because a CAPTCHA protected download request form must be filled up for every combination of (station, pollutant, timeframe < 1 yr). I.e., citizens wanting the whole dataset should complete thousands requests by hand. In 2003 Lombardia government decided to ban classes of vehicles due to a supposed air pollution increase. The author searched for data to counteract that decision - air pollution is in fact almost constantly decreasing since the seventies - found about ARPA’s overcomplicated download procedure and downloaded some of the data, just the amount needed to argument against the ban. He also decided to set up an automated system to overcome that difficulty for future purposes. The system is working since 2005. The whole set of collected data has been published (i.e., “freed”) on the author’s website, thus implementing the title’s obtorto collo (from latin, it means “reluctantly”, “unwillingly”) data from ARPA.


open data; public accountancy; particulate matter; anti-pollution policies; web scraping

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.20368/1971-8829/919

Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society | ISSN (online) 1971 - 8829 | ISSN (paper) 1826 - 6223 © 2017 Je-LKS - Italian e-Learning Association (SIe-L).