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Monitoring emissions to air, land and water (MCERTS)

Business emissions to air, land and water are regulated under strict European and UK laws, to protect the environment and human health.

If your company needs to comply with these laws you will need a permission from us to operate. This permission usually comes in the form of a permit, which usually requires you to monitor your emissions.

Businesses either monitor their emissions all the time, known as continuous monitoring, or at times defined in their permit, known as spot tests or periodic monitoring. In both cases they must meet our quality requirements.

MCERTS is the Environment Agency’s Monitoring Certification Scheme. It provides the framework for businesses to meet our quality requirements. If you comply with MCERTS we can have confidence in the monitoring of emissions to the environment.

MCERTS is used to approve instruments, people and laboratories.

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)

Water monitoring

  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

Emissions to air

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

Soil monitoring

When you submit chemical test data on potentially contaminated soils to the Environment Agency it must meet the quality requirements set out in the MCERTS standard. You can also submit results from on-site testing using rapid measurement techniques but the results must be backed up by suitable MCERTS accredited laboratory analyses. You must provide evidence of appropriate quality control and calibration procedures.

Data management

Monitoring 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. Monitoring discharges to water and sewer: M18 guidance note
  17. M20 quality assurance of continuous emission monitoring systems
  18. M21 stationary source emissions
  19. 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.