Final Rule to Reduce Hazardous Air Emissions From Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines

On February 26, 2004, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued final requirements to reduce toxic air emissions from stationary reciprocating internal combustion engines (RICE). These requirements apply to RICE used at facilities such as pipeline compressor stations, chemical and manufacturing plants, and power plants.

The final rule limits the amount of air pollution that may be released from exhaust stacks of all new (built after December 19, 2002), and certain existing, stationary RICE above 500 horsepower that are located at major industrial sources of air toxics. According to the Clean Air Act, a major source emits 10 tons a year or more of a single toxic air pollutant, or 25 tons a year or more of a combination of toxic air pollutants.

Existing stationary RICE must comply with the final rule no later than 3 years after the final rule is published. New stationary RICE must comply with the final rule when they are brought on line. These units have up to 6 months after the rule is final, or 6 months after startup, whichever is later, to demonstrate compliance with the new standards. The final rule requires that:

  • Existing and new 4-stroke rich burn (4SRB) engines either reduce formaldehyde by 76 percent or limit the formaldehyde concentration to 350 parts per billion.
  • New 2-stroke lean burn (2SLB) engines either reduce carbon monoxide (CO) by 58 percent or limit the formaldehyde concentration to 12 parts per million.
  • New 4-stroke lean burn (4SLB) engines either reduce CO by 93 percent or limit the formaldehyde concentration to 14 parts per million.
  • New compression ignition (CI) engines either reduce CO by 70 percent or limit the formaldehyde concentration to 580 parts per billion.

To download the final standards from EPA’s web site, go to the following address: www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/t3/fr_notices/srice_fr.pdf. For further information about the final rule, contact Mr. Sims Roy at EPAs Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards at 919-541-5263.