Real-time pollution monitoring is an important initiative to strengthen the pollution control and compliance enforcement regime in India. The initiative took off with directions issued by the Central Pollution Control Board in February 2014. CPCB mandated the installation of Continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS) for real-time pollution monitoring of stack emissions and Continuous Effluent Quality Monitoring System (CEQMS) for effluent quality monitoring in 17 categories of highly polluting industries, Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs), Common Biomedical Waste and Common Hazardous Waste Incinerators and Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) in India. Real time monitoring of effluent was also mandated in grossly polluting industries (GPIs). In August 2018, CPCB also mandated installation of CEMS for industries that use boilers. After this, most of the industries in the above-mentioned categories got the aforementioned systems installed for real time monitoring systems as per the stated directions. However, due to the hasty and unplanned installation of the CEMS and CEQMS systems, all the relevant stakeholders such as industries, CEMS manufacturers, data service providers, state pollution control boards (SPCBs), pollution control committees (PCCs), and other regulators have faced and are still facing a lot of difficulties in the implementation of this direction, especially in aspects such as technology selection, instrument installation and instrument running and operations.
To conquer this problem to some extent, CSE has taken initiative and developed a handbook for corrective maintenance and audit of CEMS and CEQMS. This report is the first of a kind document in India that would be looking at auditing of the CEMS and CEQMS, which encompasses a more holistic approach for the overall management of the technology and makes it more viable as a compliance monitoring and enforcement tool. This audit report will help, to a large extent, in the successful implementation of CEMS and CEQMS in India by providing guidance to pollution control officials and environment professionals from the industries and third party auditors, in carrying out proper inspections of installations of continuous monitors, selecting suitable technologies, inspecting and assuring proper calibration of the system, checking the operation and maintenance of continuous monitors, and assessing the gaps (if any) in the implementation of CEMS and CEQMS.
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