NPL is the national verification agency for certifying air monitoring equipment

This ruling is applicable to Manual & Online Continuous Monitoring Equipment used for Emission Monitoring and Ambient Air Monitoring

Sanjaya K. Mishra (

According to the latest notification issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) vide SO 3023(E) dated 22nd August 2019, National Physical Laboratory (NPL), which is governed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) will become the national verification and certification agency for the instruments and equipment used for air emission monitoring and ambient air quality monitoring.

Some experts from the domain say this is a very important and landmark notification on quality check of all Air quality monitoring in India. If it is properly implemented there will be a lot of improvement in our Air Quality data. NPL is given very big responsibility and this can make very much visible change. We hope that there will be a qualitative improvement in the development of air quality data.

20190822 MoEF&CC-NPL-OCEMS-Manual Equipment

NPL shall develop methods, infrastructure, etc. to do the work. It has a National certification body represented by Director NPL, Director, NEERI and Member Secretary, CPCB. The second level body will be the technical committee. Regarding method, NPL will only use internationally accepted methods. Accreditation under ISO 17025 is required for testing and ISO 17065 is required for certification. Right now NPL is prepared for manual samplers and infrastructure for CEMS are under development. The collaboration with NPL UK is the key partner to make it a success and internationally accepted. With this notification, it is anticipated that now monitoring instruments quality will improve in terms of the reliability and repeatability in results.

CSIR- NPL is expected to do the Certification, Validation and Equipment Calibration in step1. And, in step 2, the Quality Assurance in field i.e. installation, validation and auditing will be another challenge for which National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accredited laboratories & institutions like CSIR- National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), even SPCB capabilities and accreditation specific to these areas will be next challenging step.

Some experts are of the view that “Time limit of not more than one month should be stipulated for NPL to verify and certify any equipment brought to it. Otherwise, labs will say that we have submitted the equipment and waiting for NPL certificate.”

Some experts are of the view that it is evident from the notification that all the equipment including manual systems needs to be tested and certified by CSIR-NPL. Buyers need to know this fact. Expenditure will shot up. Although not evident, Assessors/Auditors may impose conditions to labs/users to get the existing one certified or obtain new equipment. However, it doesn’t deliberate on the calibration part. This may ameliorate the quality of the monitoring equipment. Hopefully, new openings for young & vibrant scientists anticipated. Nevertheless, the pollution norms must be implemented strictly and honestly by enforcement agencies.

This article was published in the 39th Issue of Enviro Annotations

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Author: Enviro Annotations

Environmental Weekly Newspaper

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