Getting Started in SSAS

Date Posted: 6-21-2013

The TNI Stationary Source Audit Sample (SSAS) Program is now underway, and we have received many questions regarding how to participate.  If you represent a Facility, Laboratory, Stack Tester, or Regulator involved in Stationary Source testing, the following information is for you.

What is the TNI SSAS Program?
EPA formerly operated an audit sample program in which audit samples were made available to monitor performance of stationary source emissions testing.  EPA has since restructured that program and established requirements for a new privatized program to take its place.  TNI, acting as a Voluntary Consensus Standards Body, adopted standards for a new privatized program, called the TNI SSAS Program.  These standards, which may be obtained here, define the minimum requirements for the accreditation of providers of audit samples and lay out the steps that are required of Facilities, Stack Testers, Laboratories, and Regulators, to obtain, collect, analyze, report, and review audit samples.  As a part of the TNI SSAS Program, TNI also operates a Central Database where audit sample results are collected.

Does TNI provide audit samples?
No, TNI's role is limited to maintaining the TNI SSAS Standards and the Central Database.  Audit samples are manufactured by Approved Audit Sample Providers (list here) and may be ordered from them.

What is the Central Database?
In accordance with the EPA Final Rule for restructuring of the audit sample program, TNI created a Central Database in which to collect the results of all audit sample analyses.  The data in the Central Database will be used by TNI and Audit Sample Provider Accreditors to monitor performance over the course of the SSAS Program.  Regulators and other participants will also be able to use the Central Database to conduct statistical queries on the data.  The Central Database does not store the results of stack samples; it is for audit sample results only.

How is data submitted to the Central Database?
Audit Sample Providers (currently, ERA and Sigma-Aldrich RTC) will upload results to the Central Database through a secure online form.

As a Stack Tester, Laboratory, or Regulator, what do I need to know?
In order for a Provider to submit audit sample results to the Central Database, they need to use unique IDs, assigned by TNI, to represent the Stack Tester, Laboratory, and Regulatory Agency involved with the audit sample.  An ID is a unique code that will be permanently associated with your organization in the TNI SSAS Program.

How do I receive an ID for the TNI SSAS Program?
Simply visit the online form and answer a few basic questions about your organization.  You should receive an e-mail response with your assigned ID within 48 hours.  Audit Sample Providers will ask for your assigned TNI ID when placing an order, so it is best to obtain your ID in advance.  Note that the ID is specific to an organization, not an individual; you do not need an ID for an employee.

I represent a Laboratory and we already have a TNI Code in LAMS (e.g., TNI01234).  Is that my ID for the TNI SSAS Program?
No.  The ID assigned by TNI to your Laboratory for SSAS is unique.  TNI Codes from LAMS cannot be used.  Likewise, EPA IDs are also not applicable to SSAS.

I represent a Facility undergoing Stack Testing.  Do I need an ID?
No.  Only Stack Testers, Laboratories, and Regulators must obtain IDs from TNI.

How can I see the data that has been submitted to the Central Database?
To see data in the Central Database, you must have a secure user account.  At this time, user accounts are being granted only to Regulatory Agencies.  Early in 2014, it is anticipated that user accounts will be available for Stack Testers and Laboratories as well.  Note that having a user account is optional; you are not required to have a user account in order to participate in the TNI SSAS Program.  To request a user account, click here.

I have a question about SSAS that was not answered here.  Where can I get help?
General information about the TNI SSAS Program, including links to the Standards, current information about audit sample availability, the SSAS Table (containing the methods, analytes, and acceptance criteria used in the TNI SSAS Program), and a Frequently Asked Questions document may all be found at the TNI SSAS Home Page.  If you have a question that is not answered there, please submit your question using the Contact TNI form.  Be sure to indicate that your question concerns SSAS.

Thank you for your involvement in making the TNI SSAS Program a success!