Air Pollution Monitoring: Techniques, Reporting Essentials, and PEMS nuances

Here, we examine a few more details regarding air pollution monitoring, from replacing data that is missing to meeting reporting requirements.  We also help with understanding the authorization, difficulties, and data reporting protocols of the revolutionary Predictive Emission Monitoring Systems (PEMS).

Using this guide, professionals in the industry are able to handle downtime associated with equipment leading to other intricacies of reporting and make best use of innovative monitoring systems to ensure precision and compliance in your required environmental monitoring.

Whether exploring backup strategies or embracing PEMS advancements, this text serves as a vital guide to industrial emissions monitoring, fostering accuracy and accountability.  It is a summary of the Alberta CEMS Code, Sections 8 to 10.

8.0 Missing data estimation and temporary replacement

Air pollution monitoring equipment can break down or need maintenance sometimes. We might not have all the data we need when this happens. We can't use this missing data.

Watching the environmentPollution analyzers

Whenever a factory runs, we have to report pollution data, and there are rules about how often. When the main pollution monitoring device doesn't work, we have a few options:

  • There's another certified pollution-monitoring machine that works just like the main one.
  • We can use a spare unit if we have one of the same kind.
  • We might replace the main machine with another one, following certain rules.
  • If it passes some tests, we can use data from an independent pollution monitoring service.
  • We can estimate missing data if none of the above options work, but only up to a certain point.

Some pollution analyzers need specific tests before they can be used as replacements. If we can't do the exact tests specified, we do other tests to make sure the replacements work.  Like these:

  • A backup unit is always working and tested like the main one, so we don't need to repeat certain quality tests.
  • We have to follow certain rules when we use a spare machine or third-party monitoring, and we can only use them for a limited time.
  • Until we're sure these replacement methods work, we have to mark data a certain way.
  • We have to consider the data from these replacement methods unusable if they fail certain tests.

Basically, if the pollution monitoring setup isn't working, we can use backups, spares, replacements, or third-party services temporarily, but we have to be careful to make sure the surrogate data is accurate.

9.0 Reporting air pollution monitoring data 

The purpose of this section is to talk about what information needs to be reported when monitoring factory pollution:

  • Data from pollution monitoring equipment needs to be reported.
  • Factory air quality reports need to be submitted monthly, quarterly, and annually.
  • Data summary: Some data should be electronic.
Keeping the place clean by monitoring pollutionKeep your data clean by reporting it properly

Reports from RATA and CGA:

  • Pollution tests have to be reported, even if they fail.
  • A pollution test or survey must be notified to the authorities.
  • All air pollution monitoring data has to be reported, including valid data, estimated missing data, and out of range data.
  • Data from air pollution monitoring equipment before it's fully certified also needs to be reported.
  • Reporting data electronically requires certain codes.
  • Reports should clearly mark specific information, like incomplete data or when the factory isn't running.
  • Pollution data can be reported dry or wet, and it needs to be consistent.

Data from temperature sensors:

  • Hourly averages of temperature data need to be reported.
  • Report the percent of time the pollution monitoring equipment works right.

Alternative biannual audit:

  • Results from a specific pollution test need to be reported.

Invalid Data:

  • You need to resubmit it if some data is wrong.
  • Reports and information about pollution monitoring have to be made available for inspection by the authorities.

Basically, this section explains what data needs to be reported, how it should be reported, and the rules for sharing pollution monitoring information.

10.0 - PEMS (Predictive Emission Monitoring Systems)

A PEMS is a special air pollution monitoring system.  It estimates pollution levels using sensors and complicated calculations. They don't just guess; they use detailed info.

PEMS Authorization: PEMS are relatively new, and you need permission from the Director. Consult the Director early if you're thinking about using PEMS.

Reporting of empirical dataWith authorization from the director

PEMS collect data from sensors, like fuel levels or temperatures, and use it to estimate pollution indirectly. If things change, the system might need updating.

Limitations on PEMS: They don't just use general emission rates, and they don't just calculate pollution based on a short measurement. Specific PEMS models aren't endorsed by the Director.

Here's how to use PEMS:

  • To use PEMS, you need to give the Director a plan and all the data that went into creating the PEMS model.
  • You can only use PEMS if the Director says it's okay. PEMS must be operated and maintained according to the Director's authorization and the CEMS Code.
  • The PEMS model must have at least three parameters, be based on lots of good-quality data, and meet specific design requirements.

Testing PEMS models: Make sure they work by testing them. They might need to be changed if they don't pass the tests.

Plans: You'll need to submit a detailed plan about how you'll use PEMS, including how you'll handle different situations.  Submit your PEMS plan and data 90 days before you start using it.

When you use PEMS, you have to:

  • Keep the data as you need it.
  • Check your sensors.
  • Make sure you report your data right.
  • Test and maintain according to specific rules.

PEMS data can be used just like other monitoring data.  Your PEMS might need to be updated if things like fuel or process change.

PEMS Data Reporting:

  • Report data as hourly averages using all valid measurements.
  • Reporting Rules: Follow the reporting rules in Section 9.0.
  • Use the codes in the CEMS User Manual to show that you're using PEMS data.

PEMS can be used if they meet pollution standards and are suitable for the job, which the Director decides. Make good PEMS models with these guidelines.

Calvin Consulting Group Ltd. elevates your air quality monitoring.

We are your partner in Continuous Emissions Monitoring System (CEMS) Audits and related consulting services.  During these audits, we provide assistance to ensure compliance with Alberta CEMS Code and Quality Assurance Plans (QAP).

Calvin Consulting can assist with air pollution monitoring equipment failures and temporary replacements.  Ensure accurate data during breakdowns with certified replacements, spares, and independent services.  We ensure compliance with regulatory standards with our meticulous approach.

Learn how to report pollution data seamlessly.  Calvin Consulting simplifies monthly, quarterly, and annual reporting.  Our guidance ensures compliance, including electronic reporting and specific code usage.

A Predictive Emission Monitoring System (PEMS) can unlock the potential of your company's emissions. PEMS authorization, usage plans, and data reporting intricacies are handled by us. Our PEMS models are aligned with Director-approved parameters, ensuring compliance and accuracy.

To ensure precision and compliance in every aspect of air quality monitoring, contact Calvin Consulting Group Ltd. via email at 

Alberta CEMS Code Compliance

Clean air is our Passion...Regulatory Compliance is our Business.

New! Comments

Do you like what you see here? Please let us know in the box below.

Examine a world of air pollution monitoring, which includes data estimation during downtime (when equipment isn't working properly), reporting requirements, and a look at Predictive Emission Monitoring Systems (PEMS).

A guide to environmental monitoring, from replacements to PEMS authorization, ensures accuracy and compliance.

Do you have concerns about air pollution in your area??

Perhaps modelling air pollution will provide the answers to your question.

That is what I do on a full-time basis.  Find out if it is necessary for your project.

Have your Say...

on the StuffintheAir         facebook page

Other topics listed in these guides:

The Stuff-in-the-Air Site Map


See the newsletter chronicle. 

Thank you to my research and writing assistants, ChatGPT and WordTune, as well as Wombo and others for the images.

GPT-4, OpenAI's large-scale language generation model (and others provided by Google and Meta), helped generate this text.  As soon as draft language is generated, the author reviews, edits, and revises it to their own liking and is responsible for the content.