Reducing Compliance Risk: Easy Access to Environmental Data is Critical

Man standing in front of industrial plant

If your source monitoring is anything short of 100% compliant with applicable regulations under the Clean Air Act Amendments you are at risk of notices of violation (NOVs), fines, and other disciplinary action. Reducing this compliance risk starts with proper data collection. Data visibility and ease of access can help your company stay within the guidelines of its operating permit.

This article will address two different paths for data visibility and access: Plant level and Fleet-wide. Both are important to the overall compliance health of any facility and any organization required to monitor emissions at multiple locations.

Plant Level Data Acquisition System (DAS) for Air Compliance

Real-time access to emissions monitoring data tells Operations that they are good to go on the day’s production run. Data collection, validation and averaging for air compliance reporting is a VIM Technologies, Inc. specialty. Since 1992 we have been providing emission monitoring system support through our CEMLink platform. Our systems are designed to assist regulated facilities to stay in compliance through intuitive, easy to use data acquisition systems software and support services.

Real-time Data Collection

The CEMLink 6 data acquisition system starts with real-time, data collection. VIM has partnered with Rockwell Automation using their Logix platform of Allen Bradley programmable logic controllers (PLCs). Through hardwire I/O, Modbus connectivity, OPC protocol and/or EthernetIP, the PLC takes 10-second snapshots of all the devices needed to build the baseline compliance engine of the DAS system. At the PLC level, data validations are assigned at the 1-minute level and then rolled up to create subsequent averages. A 64-bit status word is associated with every average providing invaluable information downstream as data gets validated. Although all this data is transferred real-time to the DAS server, the PLC can store validated averages along with the status word as part of the disaster recovery infrastructure of the system. The following diagram illustrates a secure server implementation integrated with a process control network with business network access to CEMLink 6.

Figure 1: Isolated CEMLink 6 Server supporting CEMS & CPMS Monitoring Systems
Figure 1: Isolated CEMLink 6 Server supporting CEMS & CPMS Monitoring Systems

The DAS server is where the CEMLink 6 User Interface resides. CEMLink 6 can operate on a standard workstation, server, virtual server, or cloud server. Making this decision should involve corporate IT, with determinations for who will be accessing the system and how. VIM can provide uninterrupted remote support if given VPN connectivity.

Fleet-wide Access to Emission Monitoring Data

With fleet-wide access to relevant data, corporate environmental engineers can evaluate big picture performance and analyze data to improve overall performance. Fleet-wide implementation is for those companies that maintain industrial operations that utilize fossil fuels and emit by-products of combustion to the atmosphere. It also applies to those facilities that have sources that fit one or more of the many MACT requirements managed under the NESHAPS program. In fleet-wide applications, CEMLink can satisfy site-specific Title V requirements while supporting corporate standards when it comes to User Interfaces and how compliance data is managed.

DAS Standardization Across Multiple Facilities

DAS standardization, using CEMLink 6, across multiple facilities has many benefits for end-users. While individual plants have the information and alerts they need to respond to real-time events, corporate oversight is achieved through dashboards, data mining activities, and benchmark algorithms to evaluate overall performance. In addition, reports can be compiled by corporate environmental personnel for submittal to the regulators, risk assessment analyses, and process improvement programs. Data access through a common platform is integral to corporate compliance success.

VIM data acquisition solutions may be applied to individual facilities and may also be deployed to support fleet-wide applications satisfying corporate environmental directives.

Connecting Multiple Data Sources for Improved Insight

Many corporate environmental departments use third-party programs to manage overall compliance. CEMLink 6 can tie into these programs so that corporate can include the proper compliance data into their oversight initiatives.

The diagram below provides a conceptual overview of how corporate risk management can access CEMLink data. Using the same environmental compliance data that is being reported locally to the various regulatory authorities is paramount in building a corporate environmental enterprise.

Figure 2: Fleet-wide /Corporate Environmental Enterprise Systems. Examples of data mining and corporate data analyses tools include: Data Lake, Corporate Webpages, Data Aggregation, and Power BI.
Figure 2: Fleet-wide / Corporate Environmental Enterprise Systems. Examples of data mining and corporate data analyses tools include: Data Lake, Corporate Webpages, Data Aggregation, and Power BI.

CEMLink 6: Reduce Risk & Improve Performance

VIM Technologies, Inc. is a leading provider of air emissions data acquisition and reporting systems and compliance support services. Over the course of our history we have provided CEMLink solutions for all types of continuous monitoring systems (CMS) including Stack CEMS, Opacity COMS, PM CEMS and MACT CPMS monitoring serving all industries regulated under the CAAA and the USEPA.

CEMLink 6 has been applied in a wide variety of compliance applications. We have provided compliance partners with services from simple, single source/single fuel applications to fleetwide installations supporting NSPS, Acid Rain and NESHAPS/MACT regulations. Built on state-of-the-art software tools, guided by environmental engineers, supported by superior 24/7/365 service, and implemented in a seamless, cost-effective way – CEMLink 6 is your portal to data transparency. 

Industries We Serve:

In addition, we also support installations in asphalt, printing, glass, pharmaceutical, and building products industries. In fact, any industry with manufacturing processes that are regulated by air emissions would likely be a VIM partner.

CEMLink is the preferred interface tool of environmental engineers nationwide. Backed by an in-house staff of compliance experts, CEMLink was developed in conjunction with end-user driven design directives. It satisfies all the checkboxes when it comes to seamless data collection, compliance accuracy, and intuitive user interface designs. It not only looks great, but it works great.

CEMLink 6 works across many communications platforms and performs best when integrated with other software systems that generate raw data for compliance. As the primary compliance engine for any regulated facility, CEMLink works equally well in single-source applications or when deployed across an entire fleet. Every CEMLink system is custom built and engineered as a site-specific solution. Each CEMLink project starts with a detailed, pre-configuration engineering process, assuring your compliance excellence from the moment you place the order through the first reporting period and throughout the product life cycle going forward. Consider VIM’s EPAS (Environmental Project Assessment Service) when challenged with identifying and engineering your preferred solution.

CEMLink provides data transparency, linking you to your emissions data, real-time and historically, when you need it. A proven solution designed by end-users for end-users. Contact us today for a free consultation and situational analysis of your compliance needs.