A measure of responsibility

The Analytical Science Group of the National Physical Laboratory introduces Em-Certs 2004, and discusses the regulatory drivers that underpin the event

Em-Certs 2004 is a major national event for organisations involved with industrial emissions and ambient air monitoring. It is organised and sponsored by the UK Source Testing Association (STA), the Environment Agency (EA) of England and Wales and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL).

The Conference will provide an arena for discussing the requirements of recently published EU legislation and reviewing new EN standards currently being prepared, particularly in the context of ensuring that high-quality measurement results are produced. There is also the opportunity to discuss some of the measurement techniques, which may become important for future industrial process monitoring. Presentations will cover:

  • EU directives, UK regulations and the requirements for their implementation,
  • CEN standards published and under preparation for stack emissions monitoring, particularly those relating to improving the quality, comparability, and measurement uncertainty (accuracy) of the results,
  • emission inventories and emissions trading,
  • advanced automated measurement techniques that may improve the efficiency of industrial monitoring. Potential impacts

    A range of important new European Union (EU) regulatory and standardisation activities are now reaching fruition. It is vital to understand these and to gain a unique insight into their potential impacts on your organisation. The EU directives include those covering waste incineration (the WID replaces the earlier Hazardous Waste Incineration Directive), and the Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD). The WID and LCPD must be incorporated into UK legislation and in addition, the EU's Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive will be translated into the UK Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations. Em-Certs 2004 will therefore enable detailed discussions on the requirements and implementation of such directives.

    These directives state specifically which industrial pollutants are to be measured and reported, and aim to improve significantly the quality of such measurements whilst ensuring results are harmonised and uniform across the EU. The directives specify that measurement techniques given in CEN standards (where available) must be used, and that the results obtained must have defined measurement uncertainties (accuracy).

    Annex IV, for example, of the Waste Incineration Directive (2000/76/EC) gives emission limit values for specific pollutants. In Annex III it is also specified that automated measurement systems, calibrated against standard reference measurement methods (SRMs), will be required to measure the range of emitted pollutants, and moreover that the 95 per cent confidence intervals of the 'individual' measured results shall not exceed certain specified values (e.g. ± 20 per cent for SO2).

    These directives therefore require considerably greater rigour for the measurements than was needed previously. As a result, a number of new CEN standards, and related documents, have been or are being drafted that specify, interpret, and define in detail, how the directives' measurement requirements should be achieved, and the quality assurance and quality control measures that must also be implemented to meet their uncertainty requirements. The main CEN standards drafted to improve the measurement uncertainty, and international and national comparability of emission measurement results obtained in the EU include:

  • stationary source emissions - quality assurance of automated measuring systems (discussed at a previous STA workshop),
  • reference measurement methods for (low concentration) particulate emissions,
  • reference measurement methods for SO2, NOx, H2O, CO and O2 emissions,
  • strategy for emission monitoring - requirements to ensure the quality of monitoring carried out by the personnel of test laboratories,
  • European scheme for the certification and approval of automated monitoring systems.

    These new documents are interlinked and seek to define the quality of the complete measurement infrastructure. There are also EN standards already published (e.g. the BS EN 12619 & BS EN 13526 measurement methods for the monitoring of total organic compound emissions), and these also need to be seen as part of this quality infrastructure. In addition, certain 'overarching' standards form part of this overall structure, for example ISO EN 14156 provides broad requirements for testing procedures for the type-approval of automated measuring systems. This in turn is compatible with modern statistical procedures for determining measurement uncertainties (i.e. ISO Guide to the Uncertainty of Measurement 1993 ENV 13005).

    Essential information

    Measurements required by EU directives, such as those described above, provide essential information to improve the validity of international emissions inventories. The current status of these, and their implications for national and international emissions trading, will be discussed at the conference.

    These EU directives and the related EN standards also give guidelines for the development and extension of automated technologies. This enables more cost-effective measurements to be performed. This is especially important for the manufacturing sector where cost savings and/or efficiency benefits are sought and effected through further or better measurements of their processes and emissions to the environment. Instrumentation such as fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and mass spectroscopy now have capabilities for automated multi-species, on-line measurements of gases and vapours - both within the manufacturing process and at emission sources. The progressive applications of such instrumentation will continue to develop in the future. This instrumentation needs to be considered in the context of the EU and CEN requirements as well as for their broader applications, and the advantages and limitations of current on-line multi-species analysers will be illustrated at the Conference through industrial case studies.

    The role of the National Physical Laboratory (as the UK's national standards laboratory) in the above, arises from its involvement in the Valid Analytical (VAM) Programme which is part of the DTI's National Measurement System (NMS). The NMS programmes provide the technical and organisational infrastructure that ensures a consistent and internationally-recognised basis for measurements in the UK. NPL's responsibilities in the VAM programme include a number of research, development, and national and international knowledge transfer activities that are related to the Em-Certs conference.

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