The Auditing Branch performs two core functions:
- Auditing of Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS) that are required to be installed to monitor the emissions from facilities; and
- Auditing of ambient monitoring systems (both sampling and continuous monitors) to ensure data collected are valid.
Some facilities are required to install CEMS to ensure that the source or sources monitored do not exceed the allowed permitted emissions limit. Installing and operating a CEMS is a complex and expensive undertaking. As a result of these permitting requirements, the Bureau of Air Quality Planning approves the location and operation of these monitors and reviews and evaluates the validity of the data collected to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, that the information can be used to support compliance determinations.
Ambient Monitoring Auditing
Monitoring of the quality of the ambient air is performed by the Bureau's Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Branch. To provide an independent verification of the validity of the ambient data collected, the Auditing Branch conducts independent audits of the various state-operated monitoring sites throughout the state. In addition, the Auditing Branch also reviews monitoring Quality Assurance Project Plans (QAPPs)/Protocols from facilities that conduct monitoring to support air quality permitting applications. These QAPPs ensure that the facility's data collection methodology will be acceptable to the Air Bureaus for the permitting process.