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What you need to know about NY Rule 222

Posted: September 14th, 2020

Authors: Trisha V. 

The State of New York (NY) has been updating its regulations pertaining to distributed generation (DG) sources in recent years in response to the state trying to meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). In 2016, the State passed the Distributed Generation Source rule (the rule) for all DG sources in NY known as Rule 222. For reference, a DG source is one that is classified as an economic dispatch source as defined under the rule as “A distributed generation source intended to provide electricity for general use to a building, structure, or collection of structures in place of electricity supplied by the distribution utilities. Demand response and price-responsive generation sources are considered economic dispatch sources. Economic dispatch sources do not include emergency generators or distributed generation sources that provide electricity to power equipment or structures not served by distribution utilities.”  That rule placed nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) limitations on DG sources 200 horsepower (hp) and greater in the New York City (NYC) metro area and on sources 400 hp and greater in the rest of the state. While NOx emission limits varied by source type, as highlighted below, only PM emissions from DG sources firing diesel fuel were regulated with a PM emissions limit of 0.30 grams per brake horsepower-hour or an air pollution control device requirement to remove 85% or more of the PM from the exhaust stream.

The 2016 rule set forth a 2.3 grams per brake horsepower-hour NOx limit for economic dispatch reciprocating engines firing distillate oil and a 1.5 grams per brake horsepower-hour limit for economic dispatch reciprocating engines firing natural gas.  In addition, those DG sources were to be registered or permitted as necessary and perform stack air emissions tests to demonstrate compliance by May 1, 2017.  There was also a limitation that prevented maintenance and testing during the hours of 1pm to 8pm during the ozone season of May 1 through September 30.  DG sources were expected to comply with the limits by May 1, 2017.

The rule was challenged in the Supreme Court of the County of Albany by seeking a preliminary injunction on March 1, 2017.  As a part of those proceedings, the parties agreed to stay the implementation and enforcement of the rule pending the Court’s decision.  As a result, the State promulgated a new Distributed Generation rule to replace the older rule that addresses only DG sources that meet the following criteria:

  • Located in the NYC metro area (emissions limits for the rest of the state are no longer included).
  • Located at a facility where the potential to emit for NOx is less than the major source threshold of 25 tons per year (tpy).
  • Rated 200 hp or greater.
  • Enrolled in demand response programs or price-responsive generation sources.

These sources must obtain a registration/permit if required and notify the New York Department of Environmental Protection (NYDEP) of the intent to operate as a DG source by March 15, 2021 or 30 days prior to operating as an economic dispatch source, whichever is later.  The new rule removes the PM requirement set forth in the 2016 rule and focuses on regulating NOx emissions.  Effective May 1, 2021, owners/operators of DG sources must meet revised NOx limits, which are lower than the 2016 rule limits for engines older than model year 2000.

Effective May 1, 2021, owners or operators of economic dispatch sources subject to this Part must comply with the following requirements:

(1) combustion turbines firing natural gas: must be of model year 2000 or newer or must have a NOx emission rate less than or equal to 2.96 pounds per megawatt-hour as certified in writing by a professional engineer;

(2) combustion turbines firing oil: must be of model year 2000 or newer or must have a NOx emission rate less than or equal to 2.96 pounds per megawatt-hour as certified in writing by a professional engineer;

(3) compression-ignition engines: must be of model year 2000 or newer or must have a NOx emission rate less than or equal to 2.96 pounds per megawatt-hour as certified in writing by a professional engineer;

(4) lean-burn engines: must be of model year 2000 or newer or must have a NOx emission rate less than or equal to 2.96 pounds per megawatt-hour as certified in writing by a professional engineer; or

(5) rich-burn engines: must be equipped with three-way catalyst emission controls.

In addition, the new rule sets forth even more stringent standards for compression-ignition engines firing distillate oil and spark ignition engines firing natural gas beginning May 1, 2025 with lower NOx limitations and the removal of the model year method of compliance:

(1) combustion turbines firing natural gas: 25 parts per million on a dry volume basis corrected to 15 percent oxygen;

(2) combustion turbines firing oil: 42 parts per million on a dry volume basis corrected to 15 percent oxygen;

(3) spark ignition engines firing natural gas: 1.0 grams per brake horsepower-hour;

(4) compression-ignition engines firing distillate oil (solely or in combination with other fuels) with nameplate ratings less than 750 horsepower: 0.30 grams per brake horsepower-hour; or

(5) compression-ignition engines firing distillate oil (solely or in combination with other fuels) with nameplate ratings greater than or equal to 750 horsepower: 0.50 grams per brake horsepower-hour.

Under the new rule, emissions testing is required to demonstrate compliance with the emissions limits that take effect May 1, 2025.  Engines participating in DR programs on or after May 1, 2025, must submit test reports demonstrating compliance with the standards prior to operating.

With this recent change, many DG sources will need to add air pollution control equipment in order to meet the more stringent NOx emission limitations for spark ignition and compression ignition engines firing distillate oil or natural gas.  In some cases, it may be necessary to install new, cleaner engines to comply, as pollution control devices installed to comply with the 2016 rule may not be able to meet the new rule limits.  In addition, there are registration and permitting requirements as well as recordkeeping requirements for these sources.  To find out more about this rule or get assistance in determining how your facility is affected by the rule, please contact Trisha Victor with ALL4 at tvictor@ALL4inc.com or 571-325-0517.

 

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