Tic-Toc: T-Minus 45 Days and Counting – Is Your RICE Impacted by the Upcoming Compliance Deadlines?
Posted: March 20th, 2013Author: All4 Staff
Have you ever slept in past your alarm and gotten to work later than you should have? No one likes to start off the day with that unwanted stress. Let’s pretend that your first day of work is the closest compliance deadline for the Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engine (RICE) Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) Rule, which is on May 3, 2013. Consider this blog as your alarm clock that will “wake you up” early enough so that you “get to work on time” (i.e., have enough time to determine how your RICE is affected by the RICE MACT and to get ready for the compliance deadlines). If you ignore it or “hit the snooze” (i.e., read it and put it off to the side), the deadlines will sneak up on you and you will not “wake-up” until it is too late.
If you are still reading, you are off to a good start. The vast majority of RICE operated at industrial and non-industrial facilities alike are emergency RICE (i.e., emergency generators, emergency water pumps, emergency RICE used to turn kilns, etc.) With the RICE MACT Rule deadlines looming, the million-dollar question is Does the RICE MACT Rule (i.e., 40 CFR, Part 63, Subpart ZZZZ) apply to the emergency RICE at your facility? Let’s go turn the lights on and pour a bowl of cereal while becoming acquainted with how an emergency RICE might be affected by the RICE MACT.
If we want to answer this question logically, we should start by looking at the definition of a stationary combustion engine, as defined by the RICE MACT Rule, since the RICE MACT Rule only impacts stationary RICE:
Stationary RICE means any Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engine which uses reciprocating motion to convert heat energy into mechanical work and which is not mobile. A Stationary RICE differs from a mobile RICE in that a stationary RICE is not a non-road engine as defined at 40 CFR §1068.3, and is not used to propel a motor vehicle or a vehicle used solely for competition.
RICE can be either Compression Ignition (CI), or Spark Ignition (SI). An example of a CI RICE would be one that fires diesel fuel, whereas an example of an SI RICE would be one that fires natural gas.
Now that your cereal bowl is empty, it is time to take a shower and get dressed for work, but first, we need to be careful that the water is not too hot. It is critical to take precaution with how the rule defines “emergency.” You might consider your RICE to be an “emergency” RICE, but it could qualify as a “non-emergency” RICE in accordance with the wording provided in the rule.
Emergency stationary RICE means any stationary internal combustion engine whose operation is limited to emergency situations and required testing and maintenance.
An emergency stationary RICE will typically be used to generate electricity for a facility to power important operating equipment during the loss of primary power at the facility that is beyond the control of the owner/operator of the facility or during times of maintenance. Emergency RICE may also be operated periodically in order to verify their operational status. The rule also states:
Any operation other than emergency operation, maintenance and testing, and operation in non-emergency situations for 50 hours per year, as described in paragraphs §63.6640(f)(1)(i) through (iii), is prohibited. If you do not operate the engine according to the requirements in paragraphs (f)(1)(i) through (iii) of this section, the engine will not be considered an emergency engine under this subpart and will need to meet all requirements for non-emergency engines.
Sections §63.6640(f)(1)(i) through (iii) include some specific requirements that are described below:
(i) “There is no time limit on the use of emergency stationary RICE in emergency situations.” This is as simple as it sounds. As long as you are running the emergency RICE in emergency situations, you can operate it for an unlimited amount of hours.
(ii) “You may operate your emergency stationary RICE for the purpose of maintenance checks and readiness testing, provided that the tests are recommended by Federal, State or local government, the manufacturer, the vendor, or the insurance company associated with the engine.” There is, however, a 100 hour/year limit on the amount of time that readiness testing and maintenance checks are performed.
(iii) “You may operate your emergency stationary RICE up to 50 hours per year in non-emergency situations.” However, there are some restrictions to this statement, such as:
- The 50 hours of non-emergency operations count towards the 100 hours per year provided for maintenance and testing as described in paragraph (ii).
- The 50 hours per year for non-emergency situations cannot be used for peak shaving or to generate income for a facility to supply power to an electric grid or otherwise supply power as part of a financial arrangement with another entity; except that owners and operators may operate the emergency engine for a maximum of 15 hours per year as part of a demand response program if the regional transmission organization or equivalent balancing authority and transmission operator has determined there are emergency conditions that could lead to a potential electrical blackout, such as unusually low frequency, equipment overload, capacity or energy deficiency, or unacceptable voltage level.
- The engine may not be operated for more than 30 minutes prior to the time when the emergency condition is expected to occur, and the engine operation must be terminated immediately after the facility is notified that the emergency condition is no longer imminent.
- The 15 hours per year of demand response operation count as part of the 50 hours of operation per year provided for non-emergency situations.
As you are brushing your teeth, it is important to note that in addition to the RICE MACT rule, your emergency RICE might also be subject to one (1) of the two (2) RICE NSPS rules (40 CFR Part 60, Subparts IIII and JJJJ), depending on the type of RICE operated at your facility:
- Engines less than 500 Hp:
- A new or reconstructed stationary RICE located at an area source.
- A new or reconstructed 2 stroke lean burn (SLB) stationary RICE located at a major source of HAP emissions.
- A new or reconstructed 4SLB stationary RICE with a site rating of less than 250 brake HP located at a major source of HAP emissions.
- A new or reconstructed spark ignition 4 stroke rich burn (4SRB) stationary RICE located at a major source of HAP emissions.
- A new or reconstructed stationary RICE located at a major source of HAP emissions which combusts landfill or digester gas equivalent to 10 percent or more of the gross heat input on an annual basis.
- A new or reconstructed emergency stationary RICE located at a major source of HAP emissions.
- A new or reconstructed limited use stationary RICE located at a major source of HAP emissions.
- A new or reconstructed compression ignition (CI) stationary RICE located at a major source of HAP emissions.
- Engines greater than 500 Hp:
- A new or reconstructed stationary RICE located at an area source.
One thing to note, if this is the first you’ve heard regarding the RICE regulations, is that an emergency RICE cannot be subject to BOTH Subpart IIII and Subpart JJJJ because each of these subparts is engine ignition type-specific. For instance, 40 CFR Part 60, Subpart IIII applies to CI RICE, while 40 CFR Part 60, Subpart JJJJ applies to SI RICE.
Federal Compliance Deadlines
So this is what it all boils down to: now that you know the type of RICE operated at your facility, it is time to look at the compliance deadlines. According to the rule for CI stationary RICE:
If you have an existing non-emergency CI stationary RICE with a site rating of more than 500 brake HP located at a major source of HAP emissions, an existing stationary CI RICE with a site rating of less than or equal to 500 brake HP located at a major source of HAP emissions, or an existing stationary CI RICE located at an area source of HAP emissions, you must comply with the applicable emission limitations and operating limitations no later than May 3, 2013.
The SI stationary RICE compliance date is not as soon, but will still occur in 2013. According to the rule for SI stationary RICE:
If you have an existing stationary SI RICE with a site rating of less than or equal to 500 brake HP located at a major source of HAP emissions, or an existing stationary SI RICE located at an area source of HAP emissions, you must comply with the applicable emission limitations and operating limitations no later than October 19, 2013.
That’s it. You have been made aware of the deadlines. You have your shoes on, briefcase in one hand, a fresh cup of coffee in the other, and your keys in your front pocket; you are now ready to go to work. If you would like further assistance in determining whether or not your RICE is subject to the RICE MACT rule or either of the NSPS RICE rules, ALL4 can be the GPS that will show you how to get to work in the most efficient way possible. Ron Harding is our resident expert on the RICE regulations, and the leader of the ALL4 RICE Initiative Team. You can contact him at (610) 933-5246 (ext. 19) with any RICE related questions.
Don’t get caught sleeping-in; these deadlines will be here before you know it. And there’s nothing worse than getting woken up by a loud engine and realizing that you slept in and you have no chance at getting to work on time.