Accreditation for Air Emissions Monitoring Contractors

Monitoring of Stack Emissions at EPA Licensed Sites

In order to ensure the generation of consistent high quality and robust stationary source emissions monitoring data from EPA licensed sites, the EPA has specified minimum acceptable criteria on this monitoring from January 1 2014 as follows:  

  • Contracted Monitoring: From January 1 2014, the EPA requires that where periodic (i.e. not continuous emissions monitoring) monitoring of stack gas is carried out at EPA licensed (IPPC and Waste) sites, the work is completed by an ISO17025 accredited organisation (to include the relevant pollutants within the scope of accreditation).
  • Monitoring by In-House Teams: Where monitoring work is carried out by in-house teams, the team/organisation is not required to hold ISO17025 accreditation, but must meet criteria specified by the Agency in order to be permitted to continue carrying out the monitoring work as required by the IPPC/waste licence, and may be subject to audits to assess the adequacy of the monitoring.

 Further information is contained in the EPA Policy Document:

 The policy covers:

  • Accreditation requirements 
  • Scope of accreditation

Companies providing services for periodic monitoring of emissions to air can seek accreditation under the ISO 17025 standard (with the additional required specified in CEN TS 15675).  The Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB) should be contacted for further information on accreditation and to commence the accreditation process.  Accreditation involves an independent assessment of compliance with these standards and is therefore considered to be a suitable demonstration of the competence of a contractor which undertakes emissions monitoring, including:

  • The taking of representative samples of emissions and subsequent laboratory analysis for gases and for particulate species;
  • The determination of reference quantities such as temperature, pressure and oxygen;
  • The use of portable instruments in the field.

The use of accredited contractors should provide a higher level of confidence to the licensee and the Agency in the reported results, and the Agency encourages the use of accredited contractors where possible.  In the future it is possible that the use of accredited contractors for monitoring of emissions to air may become a mandatory requirement at EPA licensed sites.

In relation to accreditation for monitoring contractors, some people may be familiar with the UK MCERTS accreditation scheme.  This is equivalent to accreditation to ISO 17025/TS 15675.

 

Irish Monitoring contractors have recently received accreditation from the Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB) to the ISO17025 Standard for air emissions monitoring. Please ensure that the contractor you intend to use holds ISO17025 accreditation for the parameters you require to be monitored by checking their schedule of accreditation at the links below.

The details of the new ISO17025 accredited air emissions monitoring contractors are as follows:

The Agency will no longer accept monitoring results from a monitoring contractor (on behalf of a Licensee) who does not hold accreditation to the ISO17025 standard for the parameters listed in the first paragraph above.

There are also Irish-based contractors holding the UK MCERTS ISO17025 accreditation for air emissions monitoring. These contractors satisfy the Agency's accreditation criteria for those pollutants which are included in their scope of accreditation. Their details are as follows:

  • Telephone: (041) 9845440
    Fitz Scientific's schedule of Accreditation can be viewed here

For clarity the EPA does not and will not require that contractors hold MCERTS certification for stack monitoring. MCERTS is a UK Environment Agency application of ISO17025 in the specific field of air emissions measurement and is not a requirement in Ireland. There are a number of UK stack testing companies who operate in Ireland and the EPA will normally accept results from UK MCERTS ISO17025 accredited organisations and also those ISO17025 accredited organisations from other jurisdictions based on the following proviso:

That such organisations hold the appropiate scope of accreditation for the parameters listed in the first paragraph above and provided that they carry out monitoring in compliance with the requirements of relevant EPA guidance including monitoring guidance notes AG1 and AG2 (and this must be stated in their reports).

If licencees have any concerns about the status of contractors accredited outside of Ireland then please contact the Office of Environmental Enforcement.