Electronic Reporting Tool (ERT)

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Introduction

Version 5.0, released October 2014, updated June 8, 2017

The ERT is used to electronically create stationary source sampling test plans and reports.  The ERT will calculate the test results from data imported or hand-entered and includes supporting documentation to create a complete electronic report for submittal to the regulatory agency.

Affected industrial facilities are required to use the Electronic Reporting Tool (ERT) to generate files containing emissions source test data. The facilities will submit these files to CDX using CEDRI. The submission files are stored in the CDX CROMERR archive and become available to submitters and authorized reviewers immediately upon submission.  After 60 days, the files will be available to the public in WebFIRE.

The ERT provides a format that:

  • Highlights the need to document the key information and procedures required by the existing EPA Federal Test Methods;
  • Facilitates coordination among the source, the test contractor, and the regulatory agency in planning and preparing for the emissions test;
  • Provides for consistent criteria to quantitatively characterize the quality of the data collected during the emissions test;
  • Standardizes the reports; and
  • Provides for future capabilities to electronically exchange information in the reports with facility, State or Federal data systems.

Announcements about the ERT will be made available on the CHIEF Listserv. Notices are sent directly to a member's email address.

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Installation, Program Files and User's Guide

ERT version 5.0 has been updated

ERT Version 5.0 Program Files - June 8, 2017 (EXE 7.8 MB). This version of the program requires either MS Access 2007 SP2, MS Access 2010, MS Access 2013 or MS Access 2010 Runtime. Download the EXE file to your hard drive, running the file will extract the manual and the database to a folder that you select. It will overwrite the existing files. If you do not have MS Access 2007, 2010 or 2013, download and install MS Access 2010 Runtime. Running the ERT application (ERT5.accdb) will open the program with MS Access.

Example ERT Project Data Sets (PDS) and field data import files

Two example Project Data Sets are available for use as examples of comprehensive data entry and documentation. The file Method_29-30B_Example_Data_2014 (ZIP 19 M) contains a populated Project Data Set example of single and paired train manual test methods. A second Project Data Set which is unpopulated is provided for users to test the importing of field data. Included in the ZIP file are two spreadsheet files and two XML files for use in demonstrating importing the point and header field data. The file RATA_DATA_Demo_08-27-2012 (ZIP 19 M) contains a populated Project Data Set example of instrumental test methods and the performance specifications for those test methods. Updated October 2014.

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ERT Field and Header Data Import Spreadsheets and XML Schema

Who should use this spreadsheet or XML schema?

Companies that perform stationary source emissions tests using test methods that are supported by ERT such as US EPA Methods 1 through 5 or EPA Method 30B should consider using the following spreadsheets/schema. These tests require the measurement and documentation of different parameters at multiple points across each emission measurement location. Some companies document this information in spreadsheets that they have programmed to assist them in calculating proper equipment operation(s) and preparation of that information for a test report. Other companies have sampling equipment with electronic sensors, controls, and software programs to perform much of the data collection and documentation. The equipment used by the latter individuals export the collected information in a variety of formats for calculations and report preparation.

The ERT has the ability to import stack test data for manual test methods from either a specially formatted spreadsheet or from an XML file complying with an established Schema (available through a link in the next paragraph). We have prepared two properly formatted spreadsheet templates which companies may use to import this field and header data into the ERT. These are intended to reduce the effort associated with field data entry into the ERT and improve the reliability of data transcription. The document, Requirements for modifying a spreadsheet for ERT import (3 pp, 25 K, About PDF), describes how to merge the ERT point and header data spreadsheet template with a proprietary corporate field data spreadsheet so you can use the import function into the ERT.

The spreadsheet ERT data entry template, includes instructions (XLT 361 K) is for importing the common point and header data when a single sample train is used for each test run. The spreadsheet ERT Method 30B data entry template, includes instructions (XLT 361 K) is for importing similar data when dual sample trains are used for each test run. We also have two XML Schema for ERT field data which are alternatives to the spreadsheet templates. Equipment vendors would be the most likely users of the Schema to program their equipment to generate XML files that the ERT can import. The Schema ERT Single Sampler Manual Method XML Schema (XSD 17 K) is used to describe the format of an export file for single sample train equipment.

The Schema ERT Dual Sampler Manual Method XML Schema (XSD 18 K) is used to describe the format of an export file for dual sample train equipment. Either the spreadsheet or the XML file may be used to import the test data to ERT thus significantly reducing time, and effort. The spreadsheet has the capability to import the header and point data for up to nine test runs for a single test method and location. Files complying with the XML Schema can import an unlimited number of test runs. Updated October, 2014.

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ERT User's Guide, Updated June 8, 2017

The  Users Guide (PDF) (158 pp, 7.9 M, About PDFhas been expanded and updated to support the increased capabilities of ERT version 5. To assist the user to quickly locate the specific area of interest, the Table of Contents and the Table of Figures include "Hot Links" to the applicable page for that topic and the training videos. We have also prepared a comprehensive set of videos addressing individual ERT use areas. The videos are available on the ERT Training and Webinars webpage.

Please read the Update History (31 pp, 255 K, About PDF) to keep track of changes and corrections in the program. The document includes technical information about changes from versions 3 to 4, 4.1 and the recent changes in version 5.0.

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Submitting ERT Files to CDX/CEDRI

The Compliance and Emissions Data Reporting Interface (CEDRI) instructions for registering and accessing CEDRI are in the CDX/CEDRI User Guide (PDF)(110 pp, 4.5 M, About PDF). CDX (Central Data Exchange) support is available Monday through Friday (except on holidays) from 8:00am to 6:00pm (ET). The phone number is 888-890-1995.

EPA now requires by regulation a number of industries to perform emissions performance tests and to electronically submit such emissions test data to EPA. Please see the list of Promulgated Regulations with Electronic Data Reporting Requirements (PDF)(2 pp, 147 K, About PDF).

Before attempting to register for CDX/CEDRI please read important information about the CDX registration process.

The Central Data Exchange (http://cdx.epa.gov/epa_home.asp) is the point of entry of emissions performance data reports to EPA. It provides capabilities for submitters to submit and access their data electronically and enables OAR to effectively manage the incoming data.

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WebFIRE Import Spreadsheets

Spreadsheet template for importing test data to WebFIRE and test quality rating tool for Regulatory Agencies

Who should use this spreadsheet?

EPA's emissions factors development procedures begin with source emissions data that has been quality assured using a set of objective review questions that assess the quality of the process, control device and measurement data collected during an emissions test and reported in the ERT file. Emissions data collected after January 1, 2012 using test methods already adapted to the ERT format include the requisite data to enter EPA’s emissions factor development process. However, not all source emissions data can be documented in the ERT.  

In order to allow non-ERT documented data to enter the emissions factor development process, we have developed a spreadsheet tool for companies, associations, and agencies to provide EPA with emissions data collected prior to January 1, 2012 or that is infeasible to document in the ERT. This spreadsheet has a structured format which organizes the basic source emission information used for emissions factor development including supplementary information for more detailed characterization of the source and the measurements.

The spreadsheet also includes a two part check sheet that is identical to the one in the ERT for assessing the information in the supplied emissions test report. The first part of the check sheet is for use by the provider of the test data and is used to document the presence of supporting documentation needed to assess the representativeness, accuracy and precision of the information in the test report. A numeric quality rating is determined for each test report based upon the answers to these questions. As with the ERT completeness and quality assessment, this quality rating by the report supplier can be adjusted based on responses from an independent regulatory agency using the second part of the check sheet. The second part of the check sheet provides for a more thorough and detailed assessment of information in the test report. Companies, associations and agencies should use the following spreadsheet template to submit their input to WebFIRE.

WebFIRE Template and Test Quality Rating Tool (including instructions) (XLS 64 K). Updated April 2015.

The spreadsheet allows source test data to be added to WebFIRE electronically. In addition to the completed WebFIRE spreadsheet template file, an electronic copy (PDF) copy of the entire report documenting the source test must be provided. The source test must include documentation supporting affirmative responses in the WebFIRE spreadsheet fields (columns).

Send the files to EPA on CD or DVD to the following address:

US EPA
Group Leader
Measurement Policy Group, OAQPS
Mail Code D243-05
RTP, NC 27711

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Email your comments to Theresa Lowe at lowe.theresa@epa.gov. We will update this software and the User's Guide periodically as reviewers identify easily to accommodate expansion, enhancement or corrections in the application.