Supporting the mission monitoring industry

Background

The Source Testing Association (STA) was established in 1995 and was set up as a non-profit making organisation serving the emission monitoring industry. Over the years it has built up to a corporate membership of approx. 200 companies from process operators, regulators, equipment suppliers and test laboratories with increasing interest from overseas companies.

Membership is open to any company that have an interest in emission monitoring. The membership covers all employees within the company.

The STA also has a subsidiary Water Monitoring Association (WMA) which has the same aims of the STA but relating to water activities.

The STA is committed to the advancement of the science and practice of emission monitoring and to develop and maintain a high quality of service to customers.

Its aims and objectives are to:

      • contribute to the development of industry standards, codes, safety procedures and operating principles;
      • encourage the personal and professional development of practicing source testers and students;
      • maintain a body of current sampling knowledge;
      • assist in maintenance of a high level of ethical conduct;
      • seek co-operative endeavours with other professional organisations, institutions and regulatory bodies, nationally and internationally, that are engaged in source emissions testing.

The Association offers a package of benefits to its members which include:

  • Technical advice relating to emission monitoring
  • Conference and exhibition opportunities
  • Seminars and training on a variety of related activities
  • Representation on National, European and International standards organisations
  • Training in relation to many aspects of emission monitoring
  • Liaison with regulators, UK and International, many of whom are members.

Clients can be assured that members will offer:

  • The most appropriate protocols and methods
  • Sampling and analysis equipment that is fit for purpose
  • Qualified and suitably experienced personnel

Structure

The STA membership elects, every two years, officers that take responsibility of the various task groups within the STA.

STA Chairman

Mark Elliott - Element Materials Technology Environmental UK Ltd

STA Chairman Elect

Stewart Davies - Viridor

Stack Emission Monitoring (Quality and Technical)

Chairman          Kevin Blakley - NPL (Quality)/ Kevin Blakley - NPL (Technical)

Process Operators Task Group

Chairman           Paul Firth - Tarmac

Health and Safety Task Group

Chairman           Stuart Rowbotham - Envea

Equipment Suppliers Task Group

Chairman           Andy Curtis

Stack Testing Task Group

Chairman           TBA

Small Business Task Group

Chairman           Roger Brown - OES

Publicity Task Group

Chairman           Marcus Pattison - International Environmental Technology

Each task group meets at various times during the year to discuss and provide guidance to the industry the function of each group is as follows;

Stack Emission Monitoring

Technical task group

Technical aspects relating to emission monitoring including:

  • Methodology
  • Standards
  • Permitting
  • Equipment

Whenever it is requested by the membership specific technical guidance is written and is can be found in the member's area of the website. There are currently 37 documents covering topics such as:

  • Testing Incinerators
  • Calculating delta H
  • Chemical resistance data
  • Oxygen correction on WID related processes.

BSI involves the STA where new national or international standards for stack sampling are being developed and reviewed. At the very least the members of the Task Group are given the opportunity to comment at the draft stage. Often the STA sends representatives to the meetings and sometimes organises and runs the committees.

Technical Transfer Seminars are organised on pertinent topics.

Quality task group

The Quality task group specifically addresses those issues relating to improving the value and reliability of the results we provide to our customers as stack testers. The topics routinely discussed include proficiency testing (PT) schemes, relevant CEN standards and EA method implementation documents, EN 14181 guidance, calibration techniques and the availability of calibration gases.  In addition to a large number of stack testing companies, UKAS, EA, process operators and gas supply companies also attend the meetings, enabling issues and topics raised by members to be addressed in the meetings.

The Quality Task Group is active in producing guidance for members, including the STA Guide to the calculation of uncertainty, and the example uncertainty calculation spreadsheets. Members also have the opportunity to input in to EA guidance and CEN and ISO standards.  Technical Transfer Seminars are organised on specific topics, including the perennial favourite – uncertainty.

In addition the Quality and Technical groups also undertake specific projects, often with EA or DIUS support, to investigate particular issues related to stack testing methods.

Process Operators task group

The Process Operators Task Group generally meet three times a year in conjunction with the other groups to review developments in legislation and standards and to share practical experience of continuous monitoring, quality assurance and related issues, such as permitting and reporting.   

Health & Safety task group

The safety of those undertaking stack emission monitoring has always been a driving force within the Source Testing Association and the Health and Safety Task Group is the focus of this work. Since its inception those involved in this group have strived to produce guidance to the industry on safe working practices and the implementation of safety legislation.   

One of the most recognised publications of this group is the Risk Assessment Guide for Industrial Emission Monitoring, commonly known as the Yellow Book. Its adoption as the safety guide for the industry has resulted in its inclusion in the EA guidance and MCERTS scheme and it has remained a clear and concise guide to the potential dangers of the work we do. Its annual revisions has kept it up to date with the ever changing legislation whilst the group has strived to keep it as a simple and practical guide for those up the stack as well as a useful resource for managers, salesmen and process operators.

During the regular meetings, the task group members review changes to existing legislation and proposed new legislation and where necessary advise the STA members as to the potential implications of such legislation. Such advice is often provided as guidance notes published on the website. Accidents in the industry and in related industries are discussed and if lessons can be learnt then these are communicated through bulletins on the website or as e-mails.     

Training of stack testers has become a fundamental role of the STA and not more so than through the long established safety training course. It has become a safety passport for stack testers incorporating the experiences and knowledge of many of the stack testers who have contributed to the health and safety task group. The task group will continue to feed into this essential training.  

We have been fortunate in recent years that there have no serious accidents in the UK stack testing industry. This is a trend we all hope will continue but we must not be complacent. The work undertaken on stacks is ever more vital and demanding. The risks are always present and as new staff enter the industry the lessons learnt by more experienced staff must not be lost. The Health and Safety Task Group provides an invaluable resource to the industry to help keep our focus on the serious issue of the safety of those involved in this work.

Equipment suppliers task group

Representing the manufacturers and distributors of particulate and gas CEMs, portable instrumentation, sampling equipment and calibration gas suppliers, the group focuses on being a focal point on regulatory, certification and standards issues relevant to emissions monitoring with particular focus on technical issues. The equipment suppliers group provides a technical input into UK regulatory consultations related to emissions monitoring, the MCERTS certification process, European and MID standards and is a forum for resolving issues common across equipment suppliers

Small business task group

Small businesses are innovative, enterprising and flexible. According to the Federation of Small Businesses, they account for 51% of private sector turnover, 59% of the private sector work force and 60% of all commercial innovations.

The STA Small Businesses Task Force (SBTG) was formed to monitor developments in our industry, and to represent the interests of smaller companies at meetings of the other STA Task Groups.

Our principal objectives are:

  • To promote the interests of members
  • To protect members’ business
  • To identify the continuously changing needs of members

The cost of accreditation to EN ISO/IEC 17025 and the MCERTS Performance Standard is a significant burden for small businesses; however most have achieved certification to both standards and our members are to be commended for their efforts.

The Associations headquarters are based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire with meeting rooms, library and administration offices.

The Administration is operated by DRC Consultancy Services who provide the manpower and infrastructure for the day to day operation of the association and operate the membership support.STA offer to its member’s telephone and email support on any questions relating to emission monitoring and aims to respond within 8 hours. This web site has a public area and a dedicated member’s only area where all the main STA guidance notes and documentation is kept.