T3 EH&S Planning and Implementation Services

- Visible Emissions Monitoring System (VEMS) Software


Many regulations require facilities to regularly test and record visible emissions-related parameters in order to demonstrate compliance. Manually gathering this information can be an unwieldy and time-consuming task for environmental staff.

T3, a division of Trinity Consultants, streamlines the entire process with the Visible Emissions Monitoring System (VEMS™). As one of T3’s Pocket Solutions, VEMS runs on a handheld Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) device utilizing the Windows Mobile operating system platform. VEMS allows users to accurately and quickly record essential visible emissions data onsite and then upload the information to an accompanying database on a desktop or networked computer. VEMS provides important advantages over cumbersome paper-based systems, including:

  • Reduced time and effort associated with recordkeeping and reporting
  • Minimized risk of human error
  • Easy transfer to database applications for storage and/or printing in various formats
  • Automated calculations for determination of the presence of visible water vapor in the plume
  • Ability to conduct multiple source inspections simultaneously, reducing overall staff time requirements
  • Improved accuracy and consistency of recorded data

VEMS automates and simplifies recordkeeping and reporting required under U.S. EPA’s Reference Test Methods 9, 22, Performance Testing, and user-defined VE inspection methods for visual determination of emissions from stationary sources. Required records include the presence of visible emissions, quantification of visible emissions (opacity), and information such as emission location, approximate wind direction, estimated wind speed, sky condition, and plume background. VEMS is designed to record and store the required field data, eliminating the need for hand-written data sheets.

On the desktop
The database application stores the source information for subsequent printing and reporting, and can link to new or existing data management systems. The source-specific information stored in the database includes user data, type of observation required for each piece of equipment, all required visible emissions testing data, and digital photographs of the various sources being observed.

On the handheld
Once downloaded to the handheld device, the equipment specific information is used to prompt the user for the required observation information to be completed, including all pertinent parameters.

With VEMS, users can track observations back to particular individuals. The system provides a completion indication, letting the user know whether an observation is complete or incomplete, with a user name and date of original input. The system also provides a pass/fail rating for Method 22 testing and alerts the user if a Method 22 test result triggers a subsequent Method 9 test.

The application’s straightforward, intuitive interface requires little training. Clear, concise field data forms are presented on a minimal number of screens. Testing time and data entry error are minimized through the use of simple drop down lists, check boxes, and buttons. In addition, an alarm sounds at 15-second intervals during a Method 9 test, improving the accuracy of results over the traditional stopwatch method.

T3 works closely with your facility to implement VEMS. First, your organization’s environmental staff compiles emissions data and information about the equipment to be observed, and we visit the site to photograph this equipment. We then organize and integrate the data and photos into VEMS. Finally, we provide thorough on-site training for the environmental staff who will work with VEMS.

For over 30 years, Trinity Consultants has assisted industrial facilities nationwide with a wide variety of regulatory compliance and environmental management issues. T3 was launched in 1995, focusing on the specialized area of EH&S management solutions. Today T3 is an industry leader specializing in developing and implementing automated compliance solutions. With this powerful combination of regulatory and technical expertise, we provide turnkey solutions that streamline our clients’ compliance-related practices. In every way, T3 is committed to helping you achieve the highest standards – of business performance, and environmental responsibility.

  • Navigation via drop-down lists, check boxes, and buttons
  • Capability to track observations back to particular individuals
  • Easy-to-use interface with concise data forms on a minimal number of screens
  • Standard observation and summary reports
  • Automatic completion indication with a user name and date of original input
  • Alarm alerts at 15 second intervals during Method 9 testing
  • Source confirmation via equipment photographs
  • Ability to use a network located database
  • Ability to group sources, specify regularly scheduled backup interval/frequency, and test multiple sources simultaneously
  • Ability to set source testing frequencies, including automatic monitoring reduction following successful test completion, and scheduling/selection functionality
  • Optional ruggedized PDA case made of durable rubber or plastic

  • Minimizes user error
  • Facilitates communication and accountability within the environmental staff
  • Requires minimal user training and provides maximum efficiency
  • Summarizes observation results for manager review and possible submittal to the regulatory authority
  • Facilitates project tracking
  • Improves accuracy of test results and helps automate the process
  • Improved accuracy and minimized user training time
  • Enables multiple users
  • Facilitates efficient distribution and completion of inspections
  • Improved regulatory compliance, and ease of use
  • Protects the VEMS device from spills and bumps

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