RAPTP — Rutgers Air Pollution Training Program

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Visible Emissions Evaluation Certification

EPA Reference Method 9 provides for the visual estimation of smoke opacity from stationary source. Participants in this three-day course will be instructed in the proper procedures for using Method 9 in practical field situations.

A mobile smoke machine is used to generate both black and white plumes over the full range of opacities and against varying backgrounds. Field-training sessions are conducted to develop the student's ability to visually judge smoke opacity accurately. After achieving a skill level which meets the specific requirements of accuracy, the student is qualified as a smoke reader.

Classroom instruction is also provided in the practical aspects of opacity reading, including observer viewing requirements, data recording, and report writing.

Course Agenda

  • First Day
    • Source of Visible Emissions
    • Principles of Combustion
    • Reading and Recording Techniques
    • Effects of Meteorology
    • Current Legal Requirements
  • Second Day
    • Review and Discussion
    • Field Training -Black Smoke
    • Field Training -White Smoke
    • Observer Testing and Qualification
  • Third Day
    • Field Training -Black Smoke
    • Field Training -White Smoke
    • Observer Testing and Qualification

Visible Emissions Evaluation Recertification

This one-day course provides the periodic retraining necessary to maintain an observer's qualification to read smoke under current federal standards. It is designed for those who have been certified within the past three years and is run concurrently with the final day of a certification course or as a stand-alone course.

Both courses have been attended by New Jersey enforcement officials, EPA personnel, and representatives of private firms from throughout the nation.

Training courses in Visible Emissions Evaluation have been offered by the Department of Environmental Sciences, Cook College, Rutgers University since 1964. These courses are part of an official training program of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.