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How does your facility stack up on emissions compliance?

Routine stack testing (also known as a performance test or source test) & air emission monitoring is required to demonstrate compliance with NSPS, NESHAP, and MACT programs. In 2005, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created national stack testing guidelines as part of the Clean Air Act to help state and local air pollution agencies implement its stack testing policies and achieve emission data reporting uniformity across the states.

Conducted by authorized testing [vendors], stack testing is used to determine emission limit compliance for regulated air pollutants or surrogates emitted by a facility such as:

  • Carbon monoxide (CO)
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • Sulfur dioxide (SO2)
  • Nitrogen oxide (NO)
  • Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
  • Oxygen (O2)
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOC)
  • Particulate matter
  • Opacity testing
  • Acid gases

Stack testing is also used to verify the efficiency of a capture system and control devices used to reduce emissions at facilities. Facilities must maintain compliance at all times. The few specific exceptions include periods of startup, shutdown or malfunction, or other circumstances outlined in the guidelines document, which was last updated in 2009.

Stack testing for industrial, commercial & governmental agencies is conducted according to a site-specific plan, and formal testing documentation must be provided to local & federal regulatory agencies upon completion as proof of operational compliance. In addition to emissions compliance, stack testing abnormalities can help identify efficiency issues and steam plant problems.

In December 2011, the EPA proposed changes to the March 2011 Clean Air Act emissions standards for more than 200,000 large and small boilers and incinerators that burn solid waste. Due to changing regulatory requirements, it makes sense to rely on the expertise of stack testing vendors who not only offer on-site mobile laboratories complete with all monitoring equipment for air emissions compliance verification, but are also experts in boiler room and steam plant operations.

Learn more at http://www.epa.gov/airquality/combustion/index.html

Review the Clean Air Act Guidelines here.


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