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RICE NESHAP Amendments

February 28, 2013

With the looming May 03, 2013 Compliance Date for certain existing Compression Ignition (CI) engines, RICE NESHAP* regulations is a topic currently being discussed in many business and industry groups. There are literally tens-of-thousands of engine owners/operators who will be subject to the rule’s Compliance Date implementation and, among other required upgrade activities, will be installing new catalysts to keep their engines operating in compliance. What’s more, in January 2013 the USEPA* finalized its amendments to NESHAP regulations as they apply to reciprocating internal combustion engines (RICE), both Compression Ignition (CI) engines and Spark Ignition (SI) engines. In this month’s blog, we will briefly outline the recent amendments to NESHAP, and provide resources to allow our readers to learn more about the rule and its January 2013 amendments.

By way of background, in the universe of engines, an engine’s use is classified as being either ‘mobile’ or ‘stationary.’ Under each of those headings are several sub-classifications to further identify the use and applicability of engines. As an example, for mobile engines an important distinction is whether that engine is mounted in motor vehicle for over-road use, or in non-road equipment such as construction machinery, recreational vehicles and outdoor power equipment. Locomotive, aviation and marine are considered their own types of mobile engine applications.

RICE NESHAP applies to existing, new and reconstructed stationary engines, both CI and SI. Stationary engines are classified as such when they are not used in a motor vehicle and are not considered a ‘non-road’ engine, such as tractors, bulldozers, mobile lifts, lawnmowers, skid-mounted portable engines, etc. Common applications of stationary engines are electric power generation, oil & gas rig and pump operation, irrigation pump operation, and miscellaneous industrial functions. According to statistics generated by the USEPA, there exists an estimated 1.5 million stationary engines, 78% of which are CI. The sizes of these stationary engines range from 1 kW to 10 kW, and approximately 60% are used for emergency power generation.

NESHAP was promulgated by the USEPA in March 2010 and August 2010 for CI RICE and SI RICE, respectively. Subsequent to the publication of these rules, various affected parties submitted petitions, complaints and other types of communications regarding issues identified within the rules, and the USEPA agreed to take into consideration the issues raised for the purpose of possibly creating amendments to the rule. In January 2013, the USEPA* finalized its amendments to the NESHAP regulations. The following summarizes the categories of change created by the amendments. An actual summary of the changes is considered too lengthy for the purpose of this blog:

  • Emergency engines
  • Engines scheduled to be replaced in the next few years due to state or local rules and certain engines installed in 2006
  • Stationary CI engines on offshore vessels on the Outer Continental Shelf
  • Area Source Stationary SI engines > 500 hp
  • Compliance alternative for formaldehyde emissions
  • Remote areas of Alaska

According to the USEPA*, these amendments will result in the reduction of capital and annual costs of the original 2010 rules by an estimated $287M and $139M, respectively. The amended rules are estimated to eliminate from the cumulative exhaust mass being discharged annually in the US: (a) 2,800 tons per year of listed hazardous air pollutants; (b) 36,000 tpy* of carbon monoxide; (c) 2,800 tpy of particulate matter; (d) 9,600 tpy of nitrogen oxides (NOx); and, (e) 36,000 tpy of volatile organic compounds. For more information, including a copy of the final RICE NESHAP rule and fact sheets summarizing the rule, you can go to:


RICE – Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engine

NESHAP – National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants

USEPA – United States Environmental Protection Agency

CI – Compression Ignition (typically fueled by diesel or biodiesel)

SI – Spark Ignition (typically fueled by gasoline

tpy – Tons per Year

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