Edie explains: MCERTS

The Environment Agencies Monitoring Certification Scheme (MCERTS) is designed to ensure that potential polluters are monitoring their emissions effectively. But how exactly does the Scheme work?

What is MCERTS?

MCERTS is the Environment Agency’s (EA) Monitoring Certification Scheme which provides the framework for businesses to meet regulators’ performance specifications and monitor their emissions to the environment.

If your company needs to comply with Environmental Permitting Regulations (England and Wales) 2010 (EPRs), you will need a permission, usually in the form of a permit, from the EA to operate. This permit usually requires you to monitor your company’s emissions.

The MCERTS scheme assists companies in compliance with the European directives, which are the objectives each Member State must achieve to control and reduce pollution.

What are Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 (EPR)?

EPRs are the main laws for regulating industrial emissions. The 2010 Regulations were introduced to replace the 2007 Regulations, which combined the Pollution Prevention and Control and Waste Management Licensing regulations.

The regulations now include water discharge and groundwater activities, radioactive matter and provision for a number of Directives, including the Mining Waste Directive.

Which businesses need to be regulated?

Schedule 1 of EPR 2010 lists almost every industrial activity and applies a threshold to each which dictates if and how your company’s activity needs to be regulated.

The Government lists the nine types of facilities which need regulating: an installation; a mobile plant; a waste operation; a mining waste operation; a radioactive substances activity; a water discharge activity; a groundwater activity; a small waste incineration plant; a solvent emission activity.

How often should emissions be monitored?

Companies can choose between continuous or periodic monitoring.

Compliance is achieved following completion of a Site Inspection and a Management System Audit. Sira Certification Service (Sira) is the MCERTS certification body and provides certification of equipment, personnel and inspection services.

Once issued, the MCERTS conformance certificate will cover your site for five years, but companies will need to take demonstrable actions to keep up their monitoring performance during that time.

Who is your business regulated by?

The activities listed in the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 are divided into three parts: A1, A2 and B.

– Part A1 activities are administered by the Environment Agency and regulate emissions to air, land, and water and consider issues such as noise, waste and energy efficiency.

– Part A2 activities are administered by the local authority and consider the same issues as A1.

– Part B activities are administered by the local authority but only regulate emissions to the air.

Part A1 and A2 processes tend to be the larger, more complex industrial activities.

Find out more…

– Performance Standards and Test Procedures for Environmental Data Management Software

– Defra core guidance for the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010

– Defra website – Environmental Permitting

– Environment Agency – Environmental permitting

– Schedule 1 of EPR 2010

Lois Vallely

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