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Monitoring emissions to air, land and water (MCERTS)

If your business produces potentially harmful emissions and you’re an environmental permit holder you must use the Monitoring Certification Scheme (MCERTS).

You may need an environmental permit if your business activities produce emissions that could pollute the air, water or land. The permit sets out how to monitor your emissions.

You can check if you need an environmental permit here.

MCERTS is the Environment Agency’s Monitoring Certification Scheme for environmental permit holders. The documents below provide a framework for your business to meet the Environment Agency’s quality requirements for emissions monitoring.

MCERTS is used to approve people, instruments and laboratories.

Contact the Environment Agency if you need any help.

Environment Agency

PO Box 544


Rotherham
Yorkshire
S60 1BY

Find an MCERTS accredited laboratory.

Find a list of MCERTS certified instruments and products.

Download the Method Implementation Documents (MIDs) for stack emission monitoring.

Operator Monitoring Assessment (OMA)

Your environmental permit sets out requirements for self-monitoring of emissions to air or discharges water. The Environment Agency checks these requirements using OMA.

Find out how to prepare for your assessment for either emissions to air or discharges to water.

Water and flow monitoring

MCERTS for flow monitoring, water monitoring equipment and accreditation of laboratories that analyse water samples.

  1. MCERTS: competency standard for inspectors
  2. MCERTS: performance standard for organisations undertaking sampling and chemical testing of water
  3. MCERTS: minimum requirements for the self-monitoring of flow
  4. MCERTS: performance standards and test procedures for continuous water monitoring equipment - part 1 automatic sampling equipment
  5. MCERTS: performance standards and test procedures for continuous water monitoring equipment - part 2 on-line monitors
  6. MCERTS: performance standards and test procedures for continuous water monitoring equipment - part 3 water flowmeters
  7. MCERTS: performance standards and test procedures for portable water monitoring equipment
  8. MCERTS: radioanalytical testing of environmental and waste waters

Stack emissions monitoring

  1. MCERTS: performance standard for manual stack emission monitoring organisations
  2. MCERTS: performance standard for laboratories testing samples from stack emissions monitoring
  3. MCERTS: personnel competency standard for manual stack emission monitoring
  4. MCERTS: examination syllabuses for manual stack emission monitoring
  5. MCERTS: performance standards for continuous emission monitoring systems (CEMs) and transportable CEMs
  6. MCERTS: performance standard for handheld emission monitoring systems
  7. MCERTS: performance standards and test procedures for automated dust arrestment plant monitors
  8. MCERTS: performance standards and test procedures for automatic isokinetic samplers

Ambient air monitoring

MCERTS certification of equipment that monitors pollution in the ambient air.

Soil monitoring

Find out how to submit chemical test data on potentially contaminated soils to the Environment Agency.

Data must meet quality requirements set out in the MCERTS standard.

You can submit results from on-site testing using rapid measurement techniques. You must back up these results with suitable MCERTS accredited laboratory analyses.

You must also provide evidence of appropriate quality control and calibration procedures.

Environmental data management software

How to develop, validate and maintain software used for processing data from emissions monitoring.

Monitoring guides

Technical guidance notes and regulatory monitoring quick guides.

  1. RM-QG01: selecting continuous emission monitoring systems (CEMs)
  2. RM-QG02: selecting CEMs for incineration and co-incineration plant falling under Chapter IV of the IED
  3. RM-QG04: monitoring for incinerators and co-incinerators when CEMs are not available
  4. RM-QG10: auditing protocol to assess compliance of reports produced for EN 14181
  5. RM-QG11: manual stack emissions monitoring
  6. M1 sampling requirements for stack emission monitoring
  7. M2 monitoring of stack emissions to air
  8. M3 how to assess monitoring arrangements for emissions to air in permit applications
  9. M4 guidelines for ash sampling and analysis
  10. M5 Monitoring of stack gas emissions from medium combustion plants and specified generators
  11. M8 monitoring ambient air
  12. M9 environmental monitoring of bioaerosols at regulated facilities
  13. M15 monitoring PM10 and PM2.5
  14. M16 monitoring volatile organic compounds in stack gas emissions
  15. M17 monitoring of particulate matter in ambient air around waste facilities
  16. M18 monitoring discharges to water and sewer
  17. M20 quality assurance of continuous emission monitoring systems
  18. M22 measuring stack gas emissions using FTIR instruments
Published 7 April 2014
Last updated 4 October 2018 + show all updates
  1. New document 'M5 Monitoring of stack gas emissions from medium combustion plants and specified generators' added under the list of monitoring guides.
  2. Added link to: 'MCERTS: performance standard for laboratories testing samples from stack emissions monitoring' and 'M9: environmental monitoring of bioaerosols at regulated facilities'.
  3. Text added to clarify quality requirements for chemical test data on potentially contaminated soils.
  4. Added link to MCERTS: manual stack emissions monitoring, guide 11.
  5. First published.