Resources for Those New to Emissions Monitoring
Being the new guy (or girl) in any position can be overwhelming, and that is no exception for the continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS) and environmental compliance world. You may find yourself in a situation you didn’t plan on; maybe you are thrust into a new role or job because someone is out sick, or an unfamiliar assignment lands in your lap. Whatever the reason, there are many resources out there for those new to environmental compliance.
Ask Around for CEMS Guidance
Do you have a team of people who are familiar with CEMS and compliance? You’ll learn best from those who have worked at your facility and know its particular ins and outs. Don’t be shy – ask them to give you a hand to determine the best way to approach a challenge. Many of us who have been in this field for a long time enjoy sharing our knowledge and best practices.
Similarly, don’t be afraid to go to your supervisor for help or guidance. Usually, they know about the work that needs to be done in general terms. Maybe they don’t know all the details, but they can always get you started.
Familiarize Yourself with Operating Permits and Compliance Plans
Environmental regulations and operating permits frequently require operating plans to be prepared and written down. For Part 75 CEM systems, facilities are required to prepare Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QAQC) Plans. For other regulatory programs, similar plans are required and are referred to by other names, such as Quality Assurance Plans/Procedures (QAP) for Part 60 or Site-Specific Monitoring Plans (SSMP) for Part 63.
Locate and familiarize yourself with your operating permit and then with the affiliated compliance plants. They will help you understand what is required of you to do today, weekly, monthly and yearly. You can read more about air quality compliance and reporting in this useful article.
Determine Whether Your Facility Has Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)
Well-run facilities frequently will develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to help their employees know what needs to be done, when they are to be performed and how the tasks must be done. Following these procedures will help you get the job done in the proper way and in a consistent manner. Using these procedures helps enhance your chances of being successful.
These plans or procedures are found in many different forms. They can range from hundreds of pages of procedures to simply a checklist of items to verify and tasks to be completed and can include entries into logbooks. In maintenance settings, logbook entries (paper-bound journals or electronic logbooks) are frequently used to keep records on what was found, what action was taken, and what was the final state of the equipment.
These logbooks are a great resource for attacking future issues and problems. Finding a record of past problems and reading about how they were fixed is always helpful.
Educate Yourself on Emissions Monitoring
As previously mentioned, there are thousands of resources out there on emissions monitoring – you just have to look for them. Here are just a few:
- The EPA’s Clean Air Markets Division (CAMD) has a collection of tutorials on how to use the Emissions Collection and Monitoring Plan System (ECMPS) Client tool
- The EPA’s Emissions Monitoring and Reporting page is a good resource for understanding the Acid Rain Program in a general sense
- The Plain English Guide to the Part 75 Rule provides a summary of the 40 CFR Part 75 regulations in laymen’s terms
- ESC Spectrum Senior Regulatory Specialist Jon Konings’ Air Regulations 101 webinar gives an overview of Part 60, Part 63 and Part 75 air regulations
- This webinar series provides useful information on the role of a CEMS data acquisition system (DAS) and best practices for using one.
More Resources on Emissions Monitoring – The Source Emissions Compliance Blog
ESC Spectrum’s The Source Emissions Compliance Blog contains even more resources on emissions monitoring, including explanations and advice regarding federal, state, and local regulations, CEMS best practices, audit checklists, case studies, news, and more. The Source is updated weekly with relevant articles designed to help you stay in the know – like this one on how to avoid RATA Load Analysis errors. Want to suggest a blog topic? Drop us a line.
We’ve Got Your Back – Training and Regulatory Services
ESC Spectrum’s in-person and online training expands your knowledge of our CEMS products, best practices, and industry regulations including Part 75, Part 60, and Part 63 regulations. We offer options tailor-made for your unique learning journey, from free webinars to user group conferences to customized online and on-site CEMS and DAS training.
We have over 50 years of experience helping customers comply with local, state, and federal regulations. We look forward to assisting you with our regulatory services customizable to your individual needs. We are committed to keeping you audit-ready and in compliance. Contact us today for your CEMS regulatory compliance needs.