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2022 Fall Richmond Smoke School

2022 Fall Richmond Smoke School

Tuesday, September 6, 2022
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM (EDT)

Event Details

The VTCA Smoke Schools are designed to produce qualified observers who can make plume opacity determinations that are accurate and minimally affected by variable field conditions.

Compliance Assurance Associates, Inc. will conduct the smoke schools in accordance with EPA Reference Method 9, offering attendees who meet the qualification requirements with official certification to conduct visible emissions evaluations.  Compliance Assurance’s training meets or exceeds EPA requirements, and the requirements of each State environmental agency, including Virginia.  The certificates are valid nationwide. 

The workshop consists of an optional online half day classroom lecture and a half day Method 9 field-testing and certification.  The classroom lecture is now held online.   The online classroom portion is a self-paced lecture that will take about two hours and needs to be completed prior to the field session.  Compliance will  email participants a link to the classroom  lecture after you sign up for the training.

Attendees will take the Method 9 certification field test and earn a certificate in one day.  EPA recommends the lecture for all new attendees.  You are required to retake the field test every six months to maintain Method 9 certification.  For all field-testing participants, it is strongly suggested that you  wear a mask and follow social distancing requirements during the field-testing session.  Also, each participant will be required to bring their own mobile device or their own clipboard and pen for testing purposes.

Each test consists of opacity readings of 25 white plumes and 25 black plumes.  Attendees will know the fundamentals required for reading opacity before each portion of the test.  Testing methods and equipment meet or exceed EPA requirements.

Registration Fees

Online Class & Field Session

VTCA Member - $275.00
Non-Members - $300.00

Field Session Only

VTCA Member - $250.00
Non-Members - $265.00

Download Registration Form PDF

Registration Deadline:  Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Online Classroom Program Includes:

  • History, theory, and methods for evaluating visible emissions;
  • Sources of visible emissions;
  • Air pollution meteorology;
  • Field operations;
  • Legal concepts;
  • Testing procedures;
  • Focus is on how to make reading legally defensible.

Field Activities Include:

  • Presentation of opacity standards to familiarize applicants with the characteristics of those standards and to teach applicants to recognize the standards and determine opacities of stationary plumes. 
  • Practice runs of readings.  These runs allow feedback to the student and assist in the learning process.  Each participant can evaluate their own performance and adjust their readings as needed. 
  • Qualification runs.  Applicants must meet the following criteria for each run: 50 readings (25 white, 25 black); randomly presented values (from 0-100% opacity); pass on both white and black sets on the same test; average error rate of 7.5% or less; and no error greater than 15% opacity will be accepted.

Please contact VTCA’s Dana Morris or Rob Lanham with questions.

VTCA reserves the right to cancel this course due to low attendance.

Cancellation Policy

We will be unable to accommodate refunds for cancellations within two weeks of the class you are attendingSubstitutions will be accepted within three business days of the class.