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.
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.
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.
The CSE's initiatives can be accessed from the list of events given below.
Chronology of events organized by CSE on CEMS in India