MCERTS equipment can play key role in LA monitoring

The forthcoming MCERTS 2005 Conference and Exhibition* will provide local authority environmental health officers and other regulators with an update on current technical and legislative issues and the opportunity to assess new technology on show at the Burton-on-Trent venue. LAWE runs the rule over new and developed equipment used in monitoring both ambient and in-situ air quality and emissions.

The MCERTS scheme has evolved against the background of the PPC Regulations, which introduced three separate, but linked, systems of pollution control:

  • Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC), which covers installations known as A (1) installations, which are regulated by the Environment Agency;
  • Local Authority Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (LA-IPPC) which covers installations known as A(2) installations, which are regulated by local authorities;
  • and, Local authority Pollution Prevention and Control (LAPPC), which covers installations known as Part B installations, also regulated by local authorities. There are some 17,000 Part B installations.

    The MCERTS scheme was established by the Environment Agency to deliver quality environmental measurements. The scheme provides for the product certification of instruments, the competency certification of personnel, and the accreditation of organisations based on international standards.

    MCERTS advice

    Specific advice is available from DEFRA and the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) relating to the use of MCERTS in the regulation of Part B Processes. This is available at



    In summary, this guidance states that MCERTS accreditation is not compulsory in the authorisation of Part B Processes either for the monitoring equipment or the monitoring staff. However, there are a number of circumstances in which MCERTS accreditation may be necessary. For example, the DEFRA guidance says that “if the difference in cost between a ‘fit for purpose’ unaccredited CEM and an MCERTS-accredited instrument was negligible, it would generally be reasonable to expect the operator to opt for the latter when installing a new CEM or replacing an existing one”. In addition, “if there are cases where the uncertainties of existing CEMs are not known or have not been quantified, local authorities should require such quantification to be undertaken by the operator so as to be able to judge the instrument’s suitability. If this is not feasible or not carried out, it should be replaced with an instrument with known tolerances.”

    Further guidance exists with relation to the use of qualified monitoring staff –

    “DEFRA/WAG consider that use of MCERTS-certified personnel is desirable, but that each case should be judged on its merits”.

    A view from the industry is that, in considering this guidance, it is difficult to envisage circumstances where non-accredited monitoring equipment would be suitable. In order to demonstrate that an instrument is fit for purpose it is necessary to prove that it is appropriate technology, and that it is capable of providing data that is reliable and representative and of sufficient accuracy. An MCERTS certificate would go a long way to achieve this.

    Latest technology

    At MCERTS 2005 Air Monitors Ltd is showing for the first time in the UK the new airpointer ambient air monitor. The system is stated to be the world’s smallest air quality station using “reference method” technology and state-of-the-art communications, using the internet via GPRS or ADSL connection. Small enough to be mounted on a lamppost, wall or fence it can transmit high quality information back to an internet browser anywhere in the world, from anywhere in the world.

    Ashtead Technology Rental is featuring some of the latest air quality monitoring instrumentation available for rent, including what is claimed as the only MCERTS certified portable FID on the market – the Bernath 3006 FID, the MIRAN SapphiRe and a selection of portable PIDs, and toxic gas detectors.

    The importance of good sample gas conditioning for extractive gas analysers cannot be over emphasised, says Brunswick Instrumentation which is showing the latest products and techniques from Perma Pure of the USA. The new GASS sampling system, using Nafion drying, is a standalone unit providing a complete solution for sample streams which are hot, wet, acidic and dusty.

    Other products on show include a range of dust monitors from Dynoptics and a new range of gas monitors from the DETCON Corp.

    Casella ETi is featuring its new comprehensive range of portable and fixed analysers, including applications for research, process control and emissions monitoring.

    SICK (UK) Ltd is exhibiting the latest in MCERT approved emissions monitoring systems and analysers: MCS100E – multi-component gas analysis system; Eurofid – Total VOC monitor

    SIDOR – Extractive NDIR single component gas analyser; Combi-flange – Multi-analyser for dust, flow, pressure and temperature; RM230 – Scatter light dust monitor; and the GM700 – Laser based gas analyser for O2 and NH3.

    Signal Group Ltd, the UK manufacturer of reference method gas analysers for emissions and air quality monitoring, is launching its new model 3000CH4 methane only FID and model 320 methane/non-methane cutter at the MCERTS 2005 event. The 320 Cutter is designed to attach to existing FIDs (eg Signal’s model 3030PM or 3010), to allow the measurement of methane and non-methane hydrocarbons. The Model 3000CH4 allows the measurement of methane only in hydrocarbon streams and when used in conjunction with a standard 3000 can give simultaneous methane and non-methane hydrocarbon measurement.

    Testo Ltd is showcasing the new Testo 335 – a highly versatile gas analyser for measuring emissions from industrial combustion systems such as stationary engines, power plants and many process applications. The new analyser combines new technology and smart features for the very best in portable emissions analysis.

    Thermo Electron Corporation – Air Quality now offers one of the widest ranges of instruments and systems for ambient air, continuous emissions and industrial hygiene monitoring. With the recent acquisition of Rupprecht & Patashnick Inc(R&P), Thermo has further enhanced its coverage of particulate monitoring to match its extensive gas analysis product lines.

    MCERTS 2005 will see the first UK showing of its Gas Analysers, both for AQM and CEM applications, featuring enhanced data storage new iSeries and remote communication capability via modem or network connection.

    Turnkey Instruments has developed a range of environmental monitors including Topas, Osiris and DustMate. Each monitor will simultaneously measure TSP, PM10, PM2.5 or reporting in WorkPlace Mode measuring inhalable, respirable or thoracic levels.

    *For further information and a registration form, visit

    MCERTS 2005, Conference, Exhibition and Workshops,

    12-13 October 2005 Bretby Conference Centre.

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