Continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS)


What is CEMS?

Continuous emission monitoring system (CEMS) is a real time air and water pollution monitoring system. It is a system that comprises of sampling, conditioning, and analytical   components and software that is designed to provide direct, real time, continuous measurements of pollution by analyzing representative samples of air and water. It is an important tool for pollution monitoring, control and reporting. The system ensures data accuracy, higher monitoring frequency, minimal manual intervention, firm regulatory monitoring and better transparency to strengthen the pollution control regime.


The Continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS) is an important initiative taken by Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF&CC) and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in order to strengthen pollution control regime in India.

This is the first approach government has taken to implement CEMS in India. Following activities has been taken in this direction.

• Pilot scale particulate matters (PM) emission trading scheme (ETS) programme in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu- February, 2011: Under this project,     CEMS was installed for PM emission monitoring in a selected group of industries. Once the CEMS installation gets implemented successfully, PM emission trading was to be initiated. For this project, a guideline for CEMS device selection and implementation was also published by CPCB in November 2013. Till date, the project has been struggling in implementation of CEMS and assessing its performance. Therefore, the programme has not reached the level that emission trading can be started.

• CPCB’s directions to mandate installation of CEMS- February, 2014 : The direction makes installation of real-time monitoring of air emission and/or effluent quality mandatory for 17 categories of highly polluting industries and other common pollution control facilities such as CETPs, Common bio-medical treatment facility, Common hazardous waste treatment facilities, Municipal solid waste treatment facilities and other industries as mandated by CPCB/SPCBs/PCCs.

The deadline for implementation was initially kept as 31st March 2015 which was extended couple of times until the final deadline of 30th June 2016. In two years of time from the date of direction, by March 2016, nearly 80 per cent of 2,700 industries had installed the CEMS.

• CPCB’s direction to Ganga basin SPCB/PCCs for instructing industries to install CEMS- February 2014: Under this direction CPCB has directed the SPCBs/PCCs to get installed effluent/water CEMS in the industries located in Ganga basin. In November, 2014, a guideline has also been published for installation and operation of effluent/water CEMS. The initiative is seen as one of the initiative closely aligned with the Clean Ganga mission.

• A draft notification for real-time monitoring of emissions and effluents discharge- April 2015. To formulate the regulation, the government had issued a draft notification which carried various provisions for installation, calibration, data collection, data transfer, and compliance for CEMS installation in industries. The draft was much debated among stakeholders due to its shortcomings. As of now, the draft notification has been kept on hold and being improved by the government.

However most of the industries have already installed the system, successful implementation needs some basic infrastructure- guidelines, protocols, certification system, lab empanelment systems which are missing till date.

What CSE is doing?

Understanding the CEMS as a potential tool for improvement in environmental regime of the country, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) supports this initiative and is working closely with CPCB, State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) and other stakeholders to help successful implementation of CEMS in India.

Chronology of events organized by CSE on CEMS in India:


Time schedule

Workshop on “Continuous Emission Monitoring System”

July, 2015

Roundtable meet on “Continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS) in India- challenges and way ahead”

February, 2016

International Conference on “Continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS)- International Experience”

March , 2016

CEMS Expert Committee introductory Meet

May, 2016

Survey of Implementation status of CEMS in India

June-August, 2016

First article on CEMS in India

August, 2016

First Training on CEMS for Regulators on “Continuous Emission Monitoring System: From Understanding to Implementation”

August, 2016

Regulators‘ Training cum Exposure Visit on CEMS in Germany


September, 2016

Stakeholder Meeting on "Draft guidelines for CEMS and strategy for implementation in India"

November, 2016

Guidance manual on CEMS

November, 2016

Meeting with Environmental Regulators on Status and strategy for CEMS implementation to expedite compliance with the new monitoring requirements

November, 2016

Report on Need of Certification System for CEMS in India

December 2016

Report on Need of Laboratory Accreditation System for CEMS in India

Upcoming Events

Time schedule

Short Term Training Programme on CEMS for regulators from Southern States

January 2017

For detail, please contact the undersigned

Sanjeev K. Kanchan 
Programme Manager | Environmental Governance- Industry
Centre for Science and Environment | 41, Tughlakabad Institutional Area, New Delhi-110062 
Phone: 011-29956110, 29955124-25, Extn.-266
Fax: 011-29955879