What is Emissions Testing?
Emissions Testing, otherwise referred to as Stack Sampling or Stack Monitoring, is the experimental process for evaluating the characteristics of industrial waste gas stream emissions into the atmosphere. Materials emitted to the air from these sources can be solid, liquid, or gas; organic or inorganic.
The effluent pollutants emitted to the atmosphere from a source may contain many different pollutant materials. Effluent measurements and sampling procedures follow specific test methods and protocols to ensure representative and accurate emission data. Test methods are pollutant specific, sometimes industry specific and originate from a variety of sources and jurisdictions including, but not limited to:
- U.S. EPA
- Environment Canada
- State Agencies
- Provincial Agencies
- Trade Organizations
Why Obtain Source Emission Data?
There are several reasons for obtaining source emission data on the type and amounts of materials being emitted from industrial stacks:
- to determine if a process unit is in compliance with existing or proposed emission regulations;
- to ascertain the economics of materials or product losses from a source;
- to obtain relevant data which can facilitate the selection and design of control equipment;
- to test the efficiency of installed control equipment;
- to allow control of a process by continuous or frequent observation of one or more constituents in the stack gas stream;
- to provide more accurate data to develop air resources management programs, control regulations and inventories;
- to calibrate continuous monitors.
Source Sampling provides a wealth of important data on the operating parameters and emissions of an industrial source. This information is used as the basis for decisions on a variety of issues. The data taken during a source test experiment must therefore be a precise representation of the source emissions. This task requires a thorough knowledge of the recommended sampling procedure(s) in conjunction with an understanding of process operations. The typical industrial process may have variable source conditions for an array of economic or logistical reasons.
Source Sampling Program
A Program must be designed to prevent process variation from biasing the source sample and to ensure the safety of the field personnel. Consequently, source testing is an endeavor that should be performed only by trained personnel.