Did you know that we are our own customer? Because we have an extensive fleet of portable generators available to rent, our technicians can get pretty busy installing, servicing, and fueling our own equipment. In 2017 things were extra hectic because we brought on 12 (yes TWELVE) new portable generators ranging from 50KW to 1MW. We spent $1,000,000 on these generators– one of the biggest investments our company made in 2017.
Why Buy New Portable Generators?
So why did we do it? While expanding our fleet allows us to support more customers right now (let us know what you may need!), we’re also positioning our fleet for air quality compliance with state and local regulations that phase in over the coming few years. We are anticipating retiring older generators as these new air quality requirements come into effect.
What You Need to Know About California Air Quality Compliance
California authorities certainly have been prolific in developing and adopting ever more stringent emissions limits over the years. But objective measures show that we’re all at least getting the promised benefits. Despite a growing population plus more vehicles and other equipment, emissions of tracked pollutants have dropped consistently each year for several decades.
Related to portable diesel engines (and therefore portable diesel generators), the primary statewide regulation we all need to follow is the Airborne Toxic Control Measure For Diesel Particulate Matter From Portable Engines. This information details proposed language that has been adopted. The final document is expected to follow.
What it says:
- Portable engines rated for 50bhp or higher are subject
- An organization’s fleet must meet an established, lower emission standard by January 1, 2020 (only 2 years away!)
For details about the air quality compliance requirements, check out page 12 of the ATCM.
What Are the Penalties for Failing Air Quality Compliance?
It’s important to keep in mind that California is divided into 35 regional air quality management districts, so we recommend reviewing the rules and penalties as described by your respective district. Typically, if your organization is found to be in violation, you would receive a notice of violation that details the reason. It’s important to take immediate action to avoid significant penalties.
Depending upon the circumstance, the AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) may consider each day your equipment is out of compliance to be a separate violation – meaning that significant penalties could rack up quickly. California Health & Safety Code, Section 42402 allows for penalties to be as high as $1,000,000 per day per violation!
The Bottom Line on California Air Quality Regulation
If you have portable generators or other regulated engines, be sure to keep your fleet up to date. New, more stringent, emissions standards must be met by January 1, 2020 – less than 2 years away. We’re investing now so we’re not under pressure to make the changes (and swallow the costs) all at once. Letting your organization get out of compliance could be very costly. If you have any questions about emissions regulations in your area and whether or not your equipment is compliant, contact us to schedule a complimentary compliance consultation.