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Posts Tagged ‘Mercury’

Sample Containers & Preservation for Mercury Analysis in Waters

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

By Tim Crowther, Regional Client Services Manager, ALS Environmental – Canada

**NOTE: The content in this article does not apply to ALS Environmental’s USA locations.**

On August 15, 2013, ALS Canada will begin supplying our clients with borosilicate glass containers with Teflon® lined caps for the collection of total and dissolved mercury in all water samples. Hydrochloric acid (HCl) preservative will also be supplied. Recent literature and ALS experimental test results indicate a glass container with HCl preservation is the most effective method for reducing mercury losses following sample collection. The sample bottle and preservative pictured overpage will be the recommended container for low-level total and dissolved mercury (≥10 ng/L), which were previously collected in a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) ‘plastic’ bottle with nitric acid preservation. HDPE containers are not suitable for ultra-trace level (0.2 – 10 ng/L) mercury analysis. Ultra-trace mercury sampling requires more sample volume, as well as the use of cleaner sample handling and analysis procedures.

The British Columbia Ministry of Environment (BC MoE) will require the use of Teflon® or borosilicate glass containers with HCl preservation for the collection of water samples for mercury analysis effective November 15, 2013. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the Ontario Ministry of Environment have already prescribed the same. Various other agencies are considering similar changes, including the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) and Alberta Environment.

Additionally, ALS recommends that filtration for dissolved mercury analysis be conducted within one hour of sample collection using a suitable in-line filter or 0.45 μm syringe filter supplied by ALS.

Read more about Sample Containers & Preservation for Mercury Analysis in Waters…

New Rule Proposed for Emissions from Sewage Sludge Incinerators

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Sewage Sludge IncineratorThe EPA has proposed new rules directed at emissions from sewage sludge incinerator (SSI) units. SSI units are typically found at wastewater treatment facilities and, according to the EPA, are the sixth-largest source of mercury air emissions in the US. The proposal not only limits mercury emissions, but also sets standard and emission guidelines for eight other pollutants, including lead, cadmium, hydrogen chloride, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, dioxins and furans, nitrogen oxide, and sulfur dioxide. However, mercury is of particular interest because the proposed emission standard is more stringent than the mandates that were set under the Clean Air Act.

Learn more about Mercury emissions from sewage incinerators…

EPA Initiating Rule to Reduce Mercury from Dental Offices

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

EPA Initiating Rule to Reduce Mercury from Dental OfficesRecently, the EPA announced it intends to propose a rule to reduce mercury waste from dental offices. Mercury is a concern to human health because it is considered a persistent bioaccumulative toxic element.

According to the EPA, dental amalgams, or fillings containing mercury, account for 3.7 tons of mercury discharged into US waterways each year.

Read more about Reducing Mercury from Dental Offices

Proposed NPDES Rule Requires ‘Sufficiently Sensitive’ Test Methods

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Sufficiently Sensitive Test Methods

In a Federal Register notice published June 23, the EPA proposed changes to its permitting program under the Clean Water Act (CWA) to ensure the use of sufficiently sensitive analytical methods for monitoring chemical pollutants in discharge water.

Specifically, the new rule affects the CWA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). Its purpose is to specify that applicants and permittees must use analytical methods that are capable of detecting and measuring pollutants at, or below, current water quality criteria.

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New Regulations Proposed for Coal Ash

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Proposed Regulations for Coal Ash

Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the EPA has proposed a rule that would regulate coal combustion residuals (CCR) for the first time.

CCRs, commonly known as coal ash, are residues captured from the combustion of coal at power plants and are typically disposed of at large surface impoundments in liquid (wet or slurried) form and at landfills in solid (dry) form. CCRs are currently considered exempt wastes under an RCRA amendment.

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How to Determine Metals Emissions by EPA Method 29

Monday, April 26th, 2010

By Ed Wallace, Project Chemist, Kelso, WAEPA Method 29

EPA Method 29 measures hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions from stationary sources for mercury and other metals. The Clean Air Act (CAA) requires all major sources to meet HAP emission standards reflecting the application of maximum achievable control technology (MACT). These sources include industrial, commercial, and institutional boilers and process heaters. The other metals to be tested are antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, lead, manganese, nickel, phosphorus, selenium, thallium and zinc.

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Analytical Techniques for MACT Industrial Boilers Emissions Standards

Sunday, February 5th, 2006

On September 13, 2004, the EPA promulgated Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) emissions standards for industrial boilers. Emission limits were established for total selected metals (TSM), mercury (Hg), and hydrochloric acid (HCl). The heat content and moisture content of the fuel is also discussed in the rule. The regulations include site-specific fuel analysis plans to demonstrate compliance. The regulations specify approved procedures for sample collection, sample processing, sample preparation, and chemical analysis. The approved methods are shown in Table 6 of the boiler MACT rule. The regulations also allow the use of equivalent methods and alternative methods. In order to meet site-specific emission limits, equivalent and alternative methods are often used in the fuel analysis plan. When alternative test methods are used a written request seeking approval of its use must be submitted to the EPA. The compliance date for these industrial boilers is September 13, 2007. Compliance can be demonstrated by fuel testing or with stack testing in combination with fuel testing.

This article is divided into two parts: recommended solid fuel testing techniques and recommended stack testing techniques for compliance with boiler MACT regulations.

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