Change is in the air


The EPA’s Protocol Gas Verification Program (PGVP) has been evolving over the past few years, and is due to be finalized this year.

Specialty gas companies produce EPA Protocol gases to calibrate continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS). However, the EPA noted in 2008 when it initially launched the program that the accuracy of protocol gases it audited was actually declining – a situation that could have affected results from continuous emissions monitoring (CEM) and led to inaccurate figures for pollution. A major specialty gas company that said that the PGVP had not been properly promulgated also challenged the EPA. As a result the program was withdrawn for further revisions, the results of which are now on the table. The minimum competency requirements for air emission testing bodies (AETB) have also been re-evaluated.

The changes now underway involve upgrades to the rules and requirements for creating and using EPA protocol gases – the ultimate goal is to optimize EPA Protocol gases’ accuracy. This will give the best possible data, which in turn can be used to operate emissions trading programs. The EPA’s proposals to amend its PGVP and minimum competency requirements for air emission testing have now been on the table for several months – a final ruling is due soon.

When the PGVP comes into force, amendments to 40 CFR Parts 72 and 75 will be the first major change to the EPA Protocol program since 1998. Both EPA Protocol gas manufacturers and those in the business of emissions testing will be affected.

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