4 The record articles

RICE MACT Update – U.S. EPA Finalized Amendments to the RICE MACT Late on January 14, 2013

Posted: January 21st, 2013

Author: All4 Staff 

U.S. EPA finalized proposed amendments to 40 CFR Part 63, Subpart ZZZZ – National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Stationary Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines, the so called RICE MACT, late on Monday, January 14, 2013.  Taking advantage of a last minute extension granted on December 14, 2012, U.S. EPA snuck the finalized rule in just under the wire posed by the 30-day extension.  In their final rulemaking, U.S. EPA addressed petitions for reconsideration, legal challenges, and new technical information submitted by stakeholders, including industry and environmental groups, brought to the attention of U.S. EPA after publication of the August 2010 standards.  The final amendments affect the following:

  • Stationary spark ignition (SI) RICE at area sources with capacities greater than 500 HP.
  • Engines located in remote areas of Alaska.
  • Engines scheduled to be replaced in the next few years due to State or local rules.
  • Engines installed in 2006 (certain subgroups).
  • Engines located on offshore vessels on the outer continental shelf, specifically stationary compression ignition (CI) RICE.
  • Emergency engines.

The finalized RICE MACT includes the controversial provisions expanding the duration that emergency engines can operate under demand response programs from 15 to 100 hours per year.  Engines used in such a capacity will need to collect and submit an annual report including the location, dates, and times of such operation.  The finalized rule expands the situations in which an emergency engine can operate in a non-emergency situation (for up to 100 hours per year) to include the following:

  • Maintenance and testing.
  • Emergency demand response for Energy Emergency Alert Level 2 situations [i.e., situations when there is at least a five (5) percent or more change in voltage].
  • Heading off potential voltage collapse, or line overloads, that could result in local or regional power disruption (for up to 50 of the available 100 hours per year).

Proponents of such provisions tout the electric grid stabilization impacts of the expanded “bank” of demand response operating hours.  Opponents of the provisions point instead to the perceived potential for increased emissions associated with the expanded demand response operation of uncontrolled diesel generators. 

A copy of the pre-publication notice of this action can be found here, and a copy of U.S. EPA’s Fact Sheet on the finalized rule can be found here.  Question pertaining to the finalized RICE MACT rules should be directed to Ron Harding at (610) 933-5246 ext. 19 or rharding@all4inc.com.


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