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.
DEP’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Baker’s 2015 Executive Order 562, which required state agencies to review their regulations to eliminate or modify outdated or burdensome requirements while aligning Massachusetts regulations with Environmental Protection Agency rules and other federal requirements.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.