Updated Generator Rules Lower Costs, Improve Safety

Posted by Bob Rio on Mar 19, 2018 8:30:00 AM

The Baker Administration’s three-year-old regulatory review initiative resolved a major issue for Massachusetts employers on March 9 when the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) broadened the ability of companies to use emergency electric generators.

Generator.jpgDEP’s amended Air Pollution Control regulations ironed out inconsistencies between federal rules, which allow limited non-emergency use of generators, and state rules, which did not.

Associated Industries of Massachusetts long argued that the prohibition on non-emergency use was forcing member companies to rent generators during shutdowns for non-emergency tasks such as electric panel upgrades. The practice was not only costly but dangerous as equipment had to be brought in when the same equipment was on site.

DEP on March 9 changed the rules on emergency generators to mimic federal regulations, increasing safety, reducing emissions and saving money

  • The previous 300-hour limit for emergencies has been removed; and
  • Up to 50 hours per year may be use for non-emergency use (as part of a larger 100 hour per year exemption).

The regulation update is the latest bit of good news to come out of Governor Baker’s 2015 Executive Order 562, which required state agencies to review their regulations to eliminate or modify outdated or burdensome requirements while aligning Massachusetts regulations with Environmental Protection Agency rules and other federal requirements.

“We believe that it was the governor’s Executive Order 562, requiring that state and federal regulations be consistent when possible, that prompted the recent amendments. Several AIM members have already contacted us to let us know that it will reduce their operating costs while at the same time result in enhanced safety and lower emissions,” AIM President and Chief Executive Officer Richard C. Lord wrote in a letter Friday to Governor Baker’s Chief of Staff, Kristen Lepore, and Secretary of Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton.

There were several other changes in the March 9 rule-making. Companies should review the regulations for any changes applicable to their own operations.

Questions about the new regulations? Contact Bob Rio at


Topics: Environment, Energy, Regulatory Reform

Governor Baker - Why We Need Regulatory Reform

Posted by Christopher Geehern on May 26, 2015 9:02:26 AM

Editor's Note - Governor Charles D. Baker delivered the following remarks about regulatory reform to the AIM Annual Meeting on May 8.

I also want to talk a little bit about what we're doing with respect to regulatory reform. I look at regulatory reform as sort of the equivalent of cleaning out your basement. It's something you probably ought to do every couple of years whether you want to do it or not.

Baker.2015The organizations that complained to me the most about the Commonwealth's regulatory structure over the course of the campaign, were cities and towns. By far.

Now there are 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts, and 250 of them have less than 20,000 people. We're basically a conglomeration of a lot of small towns and a few mid-sized cities and then one big one, Boston.

Those communities have all the same issues in dealing with regulatory complexity that you would expect that small and mid-sized businesses would have. Or small and mid-sized non-profits. Or small and mid-sized educational institutions.

Regulatory reform in some respects, from my point of view, is about providing the clarity and simplicity, and in some cases, the modernization of the way the state engages in regulatory activity to create a framework so that the small can play in the same playing field as the large.

For larger businesses, complex regulatory environments are a problem. For small and mid-sized organizations, in many cases, they're the difference between thriving and barely or maybe not at all getting by. And that's why this initiative, to me, is so important.

It's also important because it forces the Commonwealth, and this is a good thing, to have to have a conversation with the people it regulates, about what it does and how it does it, and how it might be able to do it better.

And anybody who doesn't think that's a valuable exercise needs to think really hard about how they go about managing their own enterprise and their own organization. This is about introspection as much as anything else. And it's about time.

Topics: AIM Annual Meeting, Charlie Baker, Regulatory Reform

Governor Baker Addresses AIM Annual Meeting

Posted by Christopher Geehern on May 17, 2015 8:10:21 PM

Governor Charles D. Baker discussed economic growth, regulatory reform, overhauling the T and other issues during a keynote speech May 8 to the AIM Centennial Annual Meeting.

Topics: AIM Annual Meeting, Charlie Baker, Regulatory Reform

Governor: Economic Growth Builds Great State

Posted by Christopher Geehern on May 8, 2015 2:55:00 PM

Governor Charles D. Baker inaugurated the centennial celebration of Associated Industries of Massachusetts today by telling more than 900 business leaders that economic growth “is always going to be the foundation of a great state.”

Baker2014“Without expansion, it becomes very hard to accomplish much with our good works agenda,” Baker said during a keynote address at AIM’s 100th Annual Meeting in Boston.

The governor said that his administration and the Legislature are making significant progress on a number of key issues, including balancing the state budget, regulatory reform and the MBTA.

Resolving an unexpected $765 million structural budget shortfall for the current fiscal year and a $1.8 billion deficit for Fiscal Year 2016 will permit state officials to develop strategic financial plans moving forward, according to Baker.

“It gives you the ability to think strategically about what to do with your resources,” he told the crowd.

On regulatory reform, the governor said it has been the 351 cities and towns of Massachusetts that have been the strongest voices for creating an efficient and modern system of regulations. Small and medium-sized towns, along with small and medium-sized businesses, Baker said, are the entities that will benefit most from reform.

The idea is “to create framework so the small can play on same playing field as the large. For small and mid-sized organizations, it is the difference between thriving and barely getting by or not getting by.”

Baker said every Massachusetts employer and resident has a stake in overhauling the MBTA since more than half of the revenue for the transit system comes from people who do not ride it. He also implored business leaders to involve themselves in solving the opiate crisis, which last year took more lives in Massachusetts than automobile accidents.

The governor noted that AIM has done well to survive and prosper in the rough-and-tumble world of Massachusetts politics.

“You should be enormously proud of the work that AIM has done for a century on behalf of businesses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” Baker said.

Topics: AIM Annual Meeting, Charlie Baker, Regulatory Reform

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