Annual Boiler Tuning and Testing Communication
The purpose of this communication is to provide an advanced notification of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) required testing activities.
The Merck Cherokee facility here in Riverside operates two steam boilers. To ensure that the boilers continue to operate as efficiently as possible, each boiler undergoes annual tuning and testing by third party vendors. The tuning is conducted by a technician who ensures that each of the boilers are adjusted and maintained per the manufacturer’s recommendations. The PA DEP requires that the emissions monitoring system for each of these boilers is tested on an annual basis. This testing is called a Relative Accuracy Testing Audit (RATA). The RATA requires installation of certified emission monitoring instruments on our boilers. The testing is conducted for each boiler while it operates at a low, medium and high steam load. Separate tests are completed for each boiler while operating on both natural gas and fuel oil.
During tuning and testing, the boiler generates considerably more steam compared to normal operating conditions. The venting of the excess steam can most likely be heard in the Riverside community. This is especially true when the boilers are being tested at the higher steam loads.
The tuning and testing is conducted during normal daytime business hours and scheduled during winter months to reduce the potential to cause major interruptions to the community’s outdoor activities. At this time, the boiler tuning is scheduled for January 2, 2018 and the testing is scheduled for the week of February 12, 2018.
Thank you in advance for your understanding regarding Merck’s fulfillment of these regulatory obligations. Should you have any questions or would like additional information, please feel free to contact Frank McKee, Safety & Environmental Specialist, at 570-271-2184.
Safety & Environmental Director
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Street Department 570-275-5338
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