• Best practice in emission monitoring of both source and ambient air
  • Mike Smith , STA Equipment Suppliers Group officer and Service manager at Enviro Technology Services

Air Monitoring

Best practice in emission monitoring of both source and ambient air

Jul 05 2021

Since its inception, the Source Testing Association (STA) has worked tirelessly to promote best practice in the emissions monitoring industry and to continuously raise the quality – and hence value – of collected data. Never was this more important than in the early days of emissions monitoring following the introduction of The Environmental Protection Act (1990) and the emissions monitoring industry which exploded from it. Of course, environmental issues have come into ever sharper focus over the years since The Act came along and subsequent legislation has compelled the use of ever improving techniques to ensure ever improving data quality. The STA has remained a fount of information, knowledge and expertise in all matters pertaining to emissions monitoring and the data collected by the appropriate and consistent application of monitoring technology throughout - and when it comes to measurement hardware, the STA’s Equipment Suppliers Group (ESG) steps to the forefront. 

Without physical monitoring equipment making physical measurements, there’d be no data. Fundamental measurement is not just a means to demonstrate compliance but underpins mathematical modelling too, so is definitely here to stay. The ESG therefore exists to disseminate information and expertise in all things relating to the physical measurement of emissions – both source and ambient. 

Equipment supply is international and the group seeks to bring together product news from the whole supplier community including how its equipment – or equipment under development - meets existing or forthcoming Standards. It’s also a forum for bringing the very latest technology into sharp focus. For example, having been a part of the emissions monitoring industry since the 1980s, I’ve seen some tremendous innovations introduced to improve existing techniques. For me, the introduction of lasers to spectroscopic analysis of sampled gas streams probably ranks among the finest of step changes in new technology; as does blue LEDs with smaller wavelengths and hence improved detail resolution.  And so on it goes with equipment improvements, incrementally mostly, but every so often a new technology is incorporated into an analytical technique and bam – everything steps up a gear. Of course when innovative equipment capability greatly exceeds the monitoring Standard requirements of the day, a new one will soon follow to mandate use of the improved technique. 

Of course, if you’re in the market to buy emissions monitoring equipment, you’ll want to get the biggest ‘bang for your buck’ by investing in the latest certified equipment. While the STA won’t promote one supplier’s product over another, it will provide information on which techniques meet existing or upcoming Standards and legislation and with both UKAS and The Environment Agency as STA members, you can be sure that all information will be as up to date as it can be.

You can keep up with the latest emissions monitoring hardware innovations by joining the STA and following the Equipment Suppliers Group. For more information visit the STA website.

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