EMS Blog

Understanding the EPA Certification Process for Opacity Monitors

Most people do not understand the USEPA certification process.  They think that the EPA approves monitors for regulation compliance.  This is not the case; the USEPA does not approve monitors or manufacturers.  Not every source requires Opacity Monitors to be certified, only those found in the Code of Federal Register “40 CFR Part 60-Standard of Performance for New Stationary Sources”.  A facility who is required by the Federal, State or Local regulatory agency to monitor smoke with a monitor capable of meeting the 40 CFR 60, Appendix B, Specification 1 for Opacity Monitors must purchase a system certified by the manufacturer.

Factory Certification:

Each monitor is tested by the manufacturer to the exact specification of where the monitor will be installed, i.e., stack exit I.D., Path Length I.D. and Flange to Flange distance.  If the results of the testing prove compliance, a “Manufactureres Factory Certification of Conformance” document is issued to the purchaser for the specific COMS (Continuous Opacity Monitoring System).  This completes the “Factory Certification” portion of the system’s certification.

Field Certification:

When the system is installed at the site (location) specified in the factory testing, further tests must be completed.  These tests are called “Field Certification Tests” and “Operational Test Period”.  If the COMS meet the required tests, a Manufacturers Field Certification of Conformance report is then generated by the manufacturer to complete the certification process.  The unit must be re-certified if it e(an existing system) is moved or the stack installation changes.

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