Environmental compliance monitoring before the year 2000 focused on facility boundary monitoring (stacks and water discharge). Around 2000, regulations began focusing within the facility to process monitoring. The monitoring periods also decreased from days to minutes, which increased data collection requirements. Add to this increased public and customer focus on sustainability, and you have a huge data collection and manipulation challenge. The "holy grail" today is to certify regulatory compliance and respond to customer sustainability questions using real-time information at a low cost. Relying on manual processes increases the risk of producing inconsistent reports. The manual processes used in the past are also too slow and error-prone. International Paper began addressing the challenge through the MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology) projects in 2000. These projects leveraged our recently installed PI System infrastructure for data collection, filtering and calculations. The success of the MACT projects led people to ask us to replace the manually maintained 80-tab Excel spreadsheets used compliance monitoring. The CEMR (Consolidated Environmental Monitoring and Reporting) system standardized (AEI) Air Emission Inventory, TRI (Toxic Release Inventory), Green House Gas and Sustainability Reporting for all US paper mills. It is also the basis for PSD (Prevention of Significant Deterioration) calculations and EPA ICR (Information Collection Requests). We are approaching a one-stop shop for most compliance needs based on real-time data.
Richard M. Smith Jr.
Rick Smith has been working for International Paper in various process control and information technology roles since graduating from the University of Florida in 1983. After stints in process control and advanced supervisory control, he has spent most of the last 10 years focusing on manufacturing information systems for environmental compliance monitoring and reporting.