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Smoke School: Visible Emissions Evaluators

How to obtain a certificate to evaluate visible emissions from stationary sources.

As set forth in: 40 CFR -- Protection of Environment, Chapter 1 -- Environmental Protection Agency, Subchapter C -- Air Programs, Part 51 -- Requirements for Preparation, Adoption, and Submittal of Implementation Plans, Subpart I -- Review of New Sources and Modifications, each state accepting delegation of authority to prevent interference of attainment of National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and the prevention of significant deterioration of air quality shall do so by placing legally enforceable procedures in its State Implementation Plan (SIP). One such procedure and its applicability is found in the Texas SIP in Title 30 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 111 Exit the TCEQ -- control of air pollution from visible emissions and particulate matter. This procedure is called Method 9 -- Visual Determination of Opacity of Emissions from Stationary Sources, and is found in 40 CFR 60, Appendix A. All stationary sources with the potential for emitting visible emissions are required by their permits to be read at prescribed times by certified Visible Emissions Evaluators.

Training & Licensing

All new students are required to attend the classroom lecture session before attempting field certification. If records support previous attendance at an approved classroom lecture session then the student does not need to attend again, but may do so if a refresher is desired. Students who have attended a classroom lecture session will have also met the requirements for being trained in Method 22- the Fugitive Emissions method.

All new students must take one complete test run for training before being allowed to take a test run for certification. The student does not have to make a passing score on the training run, but must complete it and hand it in to the field instructor before being allowed to take the second run for actual certification. A student making a passing score on the training run cannot use it to claim certification.

Notice: Provider Requirements are Now in the Rules

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) promulgated new and revised rules on September 27, 2007 which affect many licensing programs. One of these new rules stipulates the requirements that VE training providers must meet to obtain and retain approval for training/certifications in Texas. This means VE providers will no longer need a contract to train and certify VE students in Texas.

The current TCEQ regulatory guidance document RG-373: "Approval of Training for Occupational Licensing", has been revised to reflect the new and revised rules covering "Operator Licensing and Registration". Please review the URL below to become acquainted with the newly adopted Chapter 30 rules. Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 30, Subchapter L: Visible Emissions Evaluator Training and Certification, Rules 30.500 - 30.508. Exit the TCEQ An application form has been developed within RG-373 that all training providers, including VE providers, will submit to apply for training approval.

Please go to this link RG-373 to download the document and the application.

All present providers and those wishing to become providers will have to apply for training approval under these new rules beginning January 2008.

NOTE:The TCEQ has based its approval of the following providers on their proposed ability to delivery VE training/licensing using accepted standards and practices. The TCEQ will perform on-site audits to ensure that quality services are delivered. If attendees feel that services have not been delivered or have any complaints about the instructors' methods of delivery, please contact the TCEQ at 512/239-6300.

Visible Emission Evaluator Training Providers

1. Compliance Assurance Associates, Inc
Telephone: 901-381-9960
Fax number: 901-381-9958
Contact: Arthur Eberle, President
Exit the TCEQ

2. Eastern Technical Associates (ETA).
Located at: 3302 Anvil Place, Raleigh, NC 27603
Mailing address is:
Eastern Technical Associates
PO Box 1009
Garner, NC 27529-1009
Phone number: 919-878-3188
Fax number: 919-872-5199
Exit the TCEQ

3. Opacity Consultants, LLC (OC)
Contact Person: Curtis Donatelli
Phone number: 919-902-8602
Exit the

4. Opaque Smoke School L.L.C.
Contact Person: Anthony Ferro
Located at: 12908 Larsen, Overland Park, KS 66213-3467
Phone number: 913-825-3644
Fax number: 913-825-1292


Please be aware that the Visible Emission Evaluator certification expires after six months; in order to maintain the certification, a Visible Emission Evaluator must subsequently pass the required field testing conducted by one of the approved providers every six months.