ECMPS 2.0 Re-Engineering: Key Takeaways

In this article, we outline all of the latest updates with the ECMPS 2.0 tool for submitting monitoring plans, QA data, and emissions data.
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ECMPS 2.0 Re-Engineering

The Emissions Collection and Monitoring Plan System (ECMPS) is a desktop tool that sources must use to submit monitoring plans, QA data, and emissions data to the EPA to comply with the Acid Rain Program (ARP), Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), and the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS)

 

In December 2021, the EPA released ECMPS 2.0 in beta form to allow industry users to begin testing and learning the new application, with the goal of switching to ECMPS 2.0 by 2024. With the ECMPS 2.0 re-engineering initiative, there have been many concerns regarding what reporting will look like for users once the re-engineering has been completed. Read along to find out what information will be most relevant to your facility after ECMPS 2.0 is fully released.

Key Changes for Reporters

The regulatory data reporting requirements and structure are not changing as part of this reengineering; however, the reporting format is changing from the current XML format to a JSON file format. The reason behind this change is to reduce file sizes and increase efficiency for data loading purposes, which becomes more important when using a web-based reporting platform.

The ECMPS 2.0 platform allows for functionality that’s a hybrid of the prior shared and stand-alone desktop versions. The EPA specifically asks beta users to evaluate the beta to ensure it meets their workflow needs and to provide feedback to the EPA.

ECMPS 2.0 and the CAMD Business System (CBS) are transitioning to CDX user management. This will provide consistent login and profile management processes across EPA applications (e.g., ECMPS, GHG Reporting Program, CEDRI) and enhanced security.

The Future of LMEs in ECMPS 2.0

Many users have expressed concerns about whether the EPA will include the ability to create Low Mass Emission (LME) monitoring method emissions files in ECMPS 2.0. According to their website, the “current ECMPS 2.0 development timeline does not include plans for LME functionality within the application due to Central Data Exchange (CDX) and Cross-Media Electronic Reporting Rule (CROMERR) limitations. The EPA is currently investigating the possibility of providing this functionality outside the application. However, the EPA does encourage affected sources to explore options during this time. 

 

In summary, the LME generation functionality in ECMPS 2.0 remains uncertain, and the new tool will be able to handle LME files generated outside of ECMPS 2.0. 

New EPA Re-Engineering Page & Newsletter

The EPA released the ECMPS 2.0 reengineering website in November, along with a newsletter. The site also includes frequently asked questions and webinar recordings. Moving forward, the EPA will transition ECMPS 2.0 content and updates this website and away from the existing ECMPS support site. 

ECMPS 2.0 Beta Updates

The EPA published several functionality updates to the beta site in recent weeks. The site itself has changed, and the ECMPS 2.0 Beta now includes import and export functionality for monitoring plans, the beginnings of quality and certification test records data, and the export of historical data. 

Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) 2024

The EPA will release the draft ECMPS 2.0 instructions that include the proposed red line strikethrough changes to support the MATS 2024 data reporting changes. These instructions are due in December of 2022 and are available for comment and review.

 

Upon completion of the ECMPS 2.0 core monitoring plan, QA, and emissions beta functionality in early 2023, the EPA will begin updating the beta throughout 2023 with MATS 2024 changes for testing and feedback.

2023 – 2024 Activities

Completion of the ECMPS 1.0 functionality. Close out of MATS 2024 draft reporting instructions. MATS 2024 reporting implementation.

Look for EPA communication and outreach to begin in earnest. EPA will host a number of webinars, outreach, documentation, etc. to support and bolster beta testing.

ECMPS 2.0 begins to stabilize, and documentation and key transition dates are finalized.

  • January 2023 Q4 emissions reporting period proceeds as normal using ECMPS 1.0
  • March and February are the transition period
  • April 2024 Q1 emissions, monitoring plan, and quality assurance test data are submitted using ECMPS 2.0 and CDX login. Resubmission of prior data will be submitted using the JSON file format and ECMPS 2.0

How Can ESC Spectrum Support You During the ECMPS Transition Time?

ESC Spectrum is currently adapting our two Data Acquisition Systems (DAS), StackVision and Prism, to embrace the upcoming reporting file format changes. Currently, ECMPS is able to evaluate XML formatted files generated by either ECMPS or from a DAS used by a CEM system operator. 

 

During ECMPS 2.0 re-engineering’s dedicated beta testing periods, the StackVision and Prism Data Acquisition Systems will be updated to allow them to generate quality assurance and certification files, along with hourly emission files, both in the existing XML format and the new JSON format files. The intent is to generate both types of files and evaluate them separately, using their respective evaluation tools. The goal behind this comparison is to make sure ECMPS 2.0 can evaluate the JSON file and determine that it is evaluated to the same degree as an XML file in ECMPS. 

 

Our Regulatory Services Team is a great resource for any inquiries you may have regarding ECMPS or air regulations. The Source Blog also has other posts like How to Avoid Errors With the Right ECMPS Evaluation Selections and our Definitive Guide to Air Emissions Regulations.

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