Environmental Laboratory

What is the MCERTS Scheme?

Oct 25 2014 Comments 0

The MCERTS scheme is the Environment Agency’s Monitoring Certification Scheme. In layman’s terms, it is a set of guidelines which allow companies and businesses to comply with the required standard of monitoring systems when measuring the output of harmful toxins which their plants or production facilities emit.

All businesses must assess the level of pollutants that their facilities generate on a regular basis. This can either be conducted continually, which is preferable, or at periodic intervals, which is often more common due to its reduced costs and other related complications. Regardless of which type of assessment occurs, businesses must ensure that the processes, equipment and individuals involved in the monitoring process are up to the required standard. MCERTS acts as a framework to allow them to do this.

Why Must Businesses Monitor their Emissions?

The emission of harmful gases into the Earth’s atmosphere – particularly carbon dioxide – has crept more and more into the public consciousness, as governments and officiating bodies wake up to the reality of climate change. In a bid to curb the irreparable damage being done to our planet, restrictions and regulations have been put in place to try to reduce harmful emissions.

The EU has set a target for its member states to reduce their carbon emissions by 30% in the coming years. In order to reach this goal, it is necessary to implement a series of measures aimed at reducing pollution and making plants and installations safer places – both for those who work on-site and for those who live in the surrounding area.

This is encouraged by the deployment of the Best Available Technique (BAT), which is the process which will result in the least pollution of the environment, without imposing itself unreasonably on the financial constraints of the company involved. The use of BATs were reinforced by the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) of 2011, which sought to provide a guideline for how companies can reduce their emissions. MCERTS is a more detailed scheme which allows these companies to live up to the guidelines by monitoring their emissions effectively.

What are the Facets of the MCERTS scheme?

As discussed more thoroughly in the article, Improving Environmental Safety Through Responsible Monitoring, MCERTS covers a variety of topics applicable to the accurate and efficient monitoring of emissions. Some of these include:

  • The efficacy of all types of systems, including Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS), Continuous Ambient Monitoring Sytems (CAMS) and Portable Emissions Monitoring Systems (PEMS)
  • The reliability and accessibility of the Data Acquisition and Reporting System (DARS)
  • Certified measurement ranges of instruments
  • Calibration and maintenance of instruments
  • Suppliers of required equipment
  • Quality control of personnel involved in monitoring processes
  • Levels of maintenance and support

MCERTS is operated by Sira on behalf of the Environmental Agency in the UK. More information about exact practices, personnel and equipment can be reached at the UK governmental MCERTS page

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