Standard reference methods are essential for the effective measurement and control of air pollution. Such standards are developed at National, European and world-wide level.
The robustness and fitness for purpose of these standards is a function of the accumulated expertise and experience of the people who work together in committee to produce them. Where internationally-derived standards are binding on the UK, as European (CEN) standards are, it is particularly important that they should recognise UK interests and sensitivities. BSI manages the UK input to new standards via its technical committees and the UK experts that they nominate to CEN and ISO working groups.
Standards are developed in Europe by Comité European de Normalisation (CEN) and internationally by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
European Standards (ENs) are based on a consensus, which reflects the economic and social interests of 33 CEN Member countries channelled through their National Standardisation Organisations. Most standards are initiated by industry. Other standardisation projects can come from consumers, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) or associations, or even European legislators.
ISO International Standards ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality. For business, they are strategic tools that reduce costs by minimising waste and errors, and increasing productivity. They help companies to access new markets, level the playing field for developing countries and facilitate free and fair global trade.
Selection of standards for emission monitoring
With the increasing requirement for the installation of continuous emission monitoring systems (CEMS) it is important that capital investment is protected and that instrumentation gives reliable, meaningful and repeatable data. Fitting EN15267 approved equipment is one element, but it is extremely important that the system is verified. The verification process requires the use of standard reference methods to underpin the data.
Standard reference methods are essential for the effective measurement and control of air pollution. Such standards are developed at National, European and world-wide level. The robustness and fitness for purpose of these standards is a function of the accumulated expertise and experience of the people who work together in committee to produce them.
“standard reference methods are essential for the effective measurement and control of air pollution”
ISO standards are accepted on a case by case principle; it is not mandatory for a member country in the European Union (EU) to adopt a standard.
“the robustness and fitness for purpose of these standards is a function of the accumulated expertise and experience of the people who work together in committee to produce them”
CEN standards must be implemented by member states of the EU. If a conflicting standard is in existence, then this must be withdrawn.
Understanding how standards numbers work
Figure 1 shows how standards are adopted in the UK and published by the British Standards Institute (BSI).
- Should a standard be developed for example in the UK by BSI it will be prefixed by BS, e.g. BS 3841-1:1994 Determination of smoke emission from manufactured solid fuels for domestic use.
- When a standard is developed and published by CEN it is prefixed with EN and when introduced in the UK it will become a BS EN document, e.g. BS EN 1911:2010 Stationary source emissions – Determination of mass concentration of gaseous chlorides expressed as HCl and as stated above any conflicting standard must be removed. A standard can be developed by CEN or ISO under a joint agreement and then it is published by CEN and ISO with a prefix EN ISO and in the UK it then becomes an BS EN ISO prefix e.g. BS EN ISO 23210:2009 Stationary source emissions – Determination of PM10/PM2.5 mass concentration in flue gas.
- When a standard is developed by ISO it is prefixed ISO and should this be adopted in the UK it becomes BS ISO, e.g. BS ISO 25597:2015 Stationary source emissions – Test method for determining PM10/PM2.5 mass in stack gases using cyclone samplers and sample dilution.
The intended application of the standard method must always be taken into account; for example, a CEN method may be less suitable than another less-rigorously validated standard method if the application is not one for which the CEN method was developed.
The standards bodies have various technical committees that are responsible for the development of the standards. For emission to air the CEN committee is CEN TC 264 and for ISO is ISO TC 146 SC1.
“for emission to air the CEN committee is CEN TC 264 and for ISO is ISO TC 146 SC1”
The Environment Agency recognises that European and International standards may need supplementing by Method Implementation Documents (MIDs) to ensure they are being implemented consistently. They have established the Monitoring Certification Scheme: MCERTS to deliver quality environmental measurements. Organisations wishing to include a standard in their schedule of MCERTS accreditation shall follow the requirements of the standard and, where available, the associated MID.
It may not be necessary to produce a MID for every standard but where required they will be used to supplement standards called up by Technical Guidance Note M2. MIDs provide details on how the preferred standards shall be used for regulatory monitoring.
MIDs are produced in collaboration with the Source Testing Association (STA) and its members.