Important Facts About Continuous Emission Monitoring

Continuous emission monitoring is used as a method to comply with government-mandated air emission standards, such as the Acid Rain Program that is operated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as other federal or state emission programs. Many businesses use emission monitoring systems to gather, document and record the required emissions data. In the past, this type of monitoring was used to record carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide levels, but now many different emission types can and have to be monitored.

Continuous emission monitoring equipment usually has sample probes, filters, sample lines, calibration gas system, gas conditioning system, and a number of gas analyzers for the specific parameters that are being monitored. Standard monitored emissions include: nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, mercury, hydrogen chloride, volatile organic compounds, airborne particulate matter, and oxygen. Systems for continuous emission monitoring can also assess flue gas opacity, air flow, and moisture.

One common type of continuous emission monitoring equipment is the gas monitoring system. This system takes various readings at different intervals for smoke stack emissions or other gas byproducts. It will sound an alarm when emissions are approaching maximum limits. These important systems help manufacturers maintain their waste gas emissions within the federal government limits.

In the United States, the EPA requires continuous emission monitoring systems to perform data acquisition as well as report the emission data. There are specific measurement requirements for different types of emissions. The EPA requires all monitoring systems to be operating on a continuous basis. The equipment has to be able to sample, evaluate, and record the data several times a day. Regular evaluations of the emission monitoring equipment also have to be documented and recorded. Accuracy of the continuous emission monitoring equipment is extremely important to record and analyze data correctly so as to keep harmful emission levels from contaminating the environment.

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