How to Make Quarterly Reports Easier

Do you usually wait until the end of the quarter to begin generating your quality assurance and hourly emission files? Learn how to improve your Quarterly Report submission process with a few simple suggestions from our Senior Regulatory Specialist.
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How to Make Quarterly Reports Easier

What Are Quarterly Reports?

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “emissions data must be reported each quarter electronically, beginning either at the date and hour of provisional certification when all certification tests have been completed or the date and hour of the certification deadline specified in the rule, whichever comes first.”

 

The electronic quarterly reports are then submitted to the EPA’s Clean Air Markets Division (CAMD) using the EPA’s software tool known as the Emission Collection and Monitoring Plan System (ECMPS) Client Tool. The EPA recently introduced a few updated to ECMPS; for more information on what this update will mean for your facility, watch this webinar led by Senior Regulatory Specialist John Konings

How Can I Improve My Quarterly Reports Process?

Do you usually wait until the end of the quarter to begin generating your quality assurance and hourly emission files? Do you wish there were a process to make it go more smoothly? Instead of waiting, we strongly recommend generating and evaluating the electronic data reporting (EDR) files more frequently. The QA and emissions EDR files should be generated several times throughout the calendar year.

 

This process involves breaking up the calendar quarter into smaller and more manageable pieces to catch problems early when they are easier to manage. The regulations only require the submission of a clean EDR file in the approved EPA format within the 30 days following the completion of each calendar quarter.

 

When evaluating an emissions file for a time range less than a full calendar quarter, you will receive an error message from ECMPS for the dates not included. You can ignore these messages. For example, if you generate a file for only April, and the ECMPS says you did not include records for May and June — that’s okay. Just focus on any errors for the records in April.

ESC Spectrum’s Recommendations for Quarterly Reports

To make Quarterly Reports easier for your facility, here are some best practices to consider when planning for your emissions data submissions:

Review your in-house procedures to prepare and follow a site-specific procedure, which helps lead to consistent and successful results.

Be sure you have access to ECMPS through the Client Tool. Each time you open the client tool, it will attempt to sync up with the EPA’s host computer network to ensure that your software version is up to date.

For the month or any period you will review, look over the daily operating reports for any error messages and data values associated with these reports.

  • Examples of some of these reports include the Average Data Report, Daily Calibration Report, Alarm Report, Downtime Report, Excess Emissions Report, etc.
  • Do the data values look average or typical? Besides using these reports, sometimes looking at a graph in StackVision of load (MWs or steam flow), concentrations of NO2, CO2, SO2 or flow rates can be helpful.
  • If similar operating conditions (load or stream flow) are roughly duplicated, then approximately the same emission concentrations and reading should be recorded.

Evaluate the QA records for your unit. The QA file generally has the data and results for any linearities or RATAs performed so far in that quarter. So, if linearity or RATA has not been performed, the file will be empty. You should still generate a QA file and run it through ECMPS to ensure you are not carrying over any strange error messages from the last quarter. While processing the QA file, any error messages generated from the ECMPS must be addressed and corrected in StackVision. 

If the reports look good and you think they are ready, generate a QA EDR file (Tools > Part 75 > XML EDR). Generate a QA file and save it to a known location. 

Open up ECMPS to import the generated QA file and evaluate it. If the Evaluation Report shows one or more errors, you will need to address those in StackVision, correct the QA records, and re-generate a new file. Re-import the QA file and re-evaluate in ECMPS. Continue this process until there are no errors found in the QA file. ECMPS cannot evaluate an emissions file accurately until the QA file is clean. 

When the Evaluation Report comes back with no errors for the QA file, you are ready to generate an emissions file. Repeat steps #5 and #6 until the evaluation report from ECMPS is now clean for the date range included. 

How Can ESC Spectrum Help?

Staying current on regulations, requirements, and reporting methods is time-consuming. However, our Reporting analysts are standing by to help. By remotely accessing your data, our Reporting experts can generate an EDR, clean data, troubleshoot errors, and prepare files for submission to the EPA through ECMPS.

 

Contact us today to learn more about how our Reporting Team can help with your Quarterly Reports.

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