Preparing for a Successful Stack Test
A successful stack test begins long before your favorite stack testing company arrives at your facility. In fact, a successful stack test begins before you choose a stack testing company! When you are planning for your test, the first thing to do is define the objectives of your test. In other words, identify WHY you are doing this test. A three-run compliance test is easy. But a multi-method diagnostic test may not be. Then, be sure your stack tester understands the objectives as well. The better they understand what you are trying to accomplish, the better prepared they can be to help you achieve your objective. Once you have communicated the project objectives to the stack testers, let them figure out HOW the work is going to get done – what methods and sampling strategies will provide you with the best data. They are the experts! Let them do that work for you.
Once you’ve chosen your testing company and have awarded a contract, it’s time to start coordinating how this work is going to be done. Often, this requires a site visit by your stack tester. Other times, this can all be done remotely. It’s important to iron out exactly when and how the test is going to be executed. When is safety training offered at your facility? Who is responsible for providing power? Tasks such as safety training and hooking up power can take almost as long as the actual tests and not being ready can lead to costly delays.
Additionally, US EPA has recently expanded (and will continue to expand) requirements related to the Electronic Reporting Tool (ERT). The ERT is used by facilities to report the results of compliance emission tests to both state and federal regulatory agencies. Most stack testing companies will prepare your ERT submission file for you, but you may need to provide some additional information to them for the submission to go smoothly.
It may sound cliché, but you’ve probably noticed that communication is key. Keeping an open line of communication with your stack tester when you are soliciting proposals, when you are planning for a test, when you are executing a test, and when you are reporting results can make your life much easier and result in a well-executed test.
CleanAir has prepared a general checklist for conducting a successful stack test. Get your copy by clicking the link below.