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U.S. EPA Establishes Air Emission Limitations for Existing Combustion Ignition Engines

04.01.2010

By Andy Bowman, Attorney, Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP

On February 17, 2010, the U.S. EPA issued a final rule regulating hazardous air pollutant (“HAP”) emissions (e.g., formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein, and methanol) from existing diesel-powered stationary reciprocating internal combustion engines (“RICE”). 75 Federal Register 9647 (March 3, 2010). RICE are also known as combustion ignition (“CI”) engines. Typically, RICE are used to generate electricity for compressors and pumps or used as emergency generators to power pumps for flood and fire control.

This is the third set of regulations governing HAP emissions from RICE. In 2004 U.S. EPA established National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (“NESHAP”) for existing, new and reconstructed stationary RICE that have a site rating greater than 500 HP located at major sources of HAP emissions (sources that emit or have potential to emit 10 tons per year (“tpy”) or more of any single HAP or 25 tpy or more of any combination of HAP emissions). In 2008 U.S. EPA promulgated NESHAP for new stationary RICE that are either located at area sources of HAP emissions (an area source is a source that is not a major source) or that have a site rating of less than or equal to 500 HP and are located at a major source of HAP emissions that were constructed or reconstructed after June 12, 2006. These regulations are found at 40 CFR Part 63, Subpart ZZZZ.

U.S. EPA’s latest rule now adds the following two categories of RICE to the coverage of Subpart ZZZZ:

  • Existing stationary RICE less than or equal to 500 HP located at major sources that were constructed or reconstructed before June 12, 2006; and
  • All existing stationary RICE located at area sources that were constructed or reconstructed before June 12, 2006.

The new rule also finalizes emission standards for existing non-emergency RICE greater than 500 HP located at major sources that were constructed or reconstructed before December 19, 2002. Finally, the new rule revises Subpart ZZZZ to address emissions during periods of startup, shutdown and malfunction for all categories of RICE.

RICE subject to the NESHAP must comply with the applicable emission limitations and operating limitations by May 3, 2013. In addition, the rule establishes notification, monitoring, maintenance, reporting, testing and record keeping obligations. The rule is available at: www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/new.html. The new rule becomes effective on May 3, 2010. U.S. EPA plans to promulgate standards for existing spark ignition engines in a separate rulemaking by August 10, 2011.

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