Bloomberg: EPA to Ease Air Limits for Alaska Diesel Generators

The EPA will issue a rule in June relaxing air pollution standards for diesel generators in remote areas of Alaska, Administrator Andrew Wheeler told senators.

“We are working to provide regulatory relief” and plan to remove so-called tier 4 air pollution requirements for operators of diesel generators in those areas, Wheeler said in response to questions from Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) during an April 3 budget hearing.

The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to release a notice of proposed rulemaking and direct final rule in June, Wheeler added.

Diesel generators emit air pollution such as nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons. All are harmful to human health, according to the EPA.

Legislation on Same Issue

The EPA’s action would be consistent with legislation re-introduced in early January in the Senate by Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and in the House by Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska). That legislation would require the EPA to set standards for air particle pollution for diesel generators in Alaska built after 2014 that are less stringent than standards the EPA set in 2016.

The bill cleared the Senate environment committee in February. Last year, the legislation passed the Senate but didn’t clear the House.

The EPA’s 2016 standards required diesel generators to install a device to capture particle pollution.

Murkowski said that she and others in the Alaska delegation have asked the EPA to reexamine the 2016 standards.

“You know this issue very well in terms of the high cost of compliance to many of our small remote communities,” Murkowski told Wheeler.


By:  Abby Smith and Amena H. Saiyid
Source: Bloomberg