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 Stack Testing Basics

 

Stack testing is an essential part of many facilities’ operational compliance, but it can also be a complex, confusing topic. Here at Erthwrks, we help our clients understand and feel comfortable with basic stack testing concepts, procedures and regulations. Here are some of the essential points regarding stack testing for facilities.

 

What Is Stack Testing?

Stack testing is the measurement of environmental pollutants being emitted from a specific emission point such as power plant turbine, natural gas compression engine, RICE, or SI engine. It includes a variety of different methods used to test for specific substances in accordance with title V state permits and federal permits.

 

What Are the Regulatory Requirements for Stack Testing?

Federal regulations may call for one-time stack testing to demonstrate an emission source’s compliance with the facility permits. This testing typically has to be performed within 180 days of the source’s initial startup; in most cases, they should be performed after 60 days from the source’s achievement of its maximum production rate.

 

What Are Some of the Non-Regulatory Reasons to Schedule Stack Testing?

Federal requirements aren’t the only reason a facility might want to conduct stack testing. Testing can also be performed on an as-needed basis to monitor the performance of control devices, to improve the efficiency of a specific process, or to research new processes or systems.

 

How Does Stack Testing Work?

Different types of emissions sources are permitted different emissions levels of various substances. The specific measures and emissions allowances are laid out in 40 CFR 60 Appendix A. To test emissions, samples are taken from the source and then either analyzed in the field or sent on to a laboratory. Each test takes about an hour; it is also performed three times, with the final measure representing the average of the three results. These tests are performed while the sources are being run at 95 percent (or more) of capacity.

 

How Do I Get the Ball Rolling on Stack Testing?

The first step in your stack testing journey is determining whether your facilities must comply with particular stack testing requirements, the applicable window for scheduling such testing, and precisely what will be involved in your stack testing procedures. Contact Erthwrks today to schedule a consultation so we can asses your needs and advise you on what you should do next.