New EPA clean air rules will affect hospital power systems

Regulations limit allowable exhaust emissions and changed the rules applying to certain types of system operations

By Healthcare Facilities Today

High-horsepower diesel engine generators have long supplied the mission-critical backup power to health care facilities throughout the world. However, recent regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have placed limits on allowable exhaust emissions and changed the rules applying to certain types of system operations, according to an article on the Health Facilities Management website.

The EPA introduced its Tier 4 interim (Tier 4I) certification requirements in 2011, ushering in tighter emission reductions for high-horsepower diesel generator sets. Of particular interest to those who rely on these mission-critical generators for emergency backup is the regulation's stance on emergency use, the article said.

Tier 4I requires all operators who seek to run new generators for nonemergency use to deploy units that meet the new emission-reduction levels. For many hospitals, the new regulations are a departure from the previous grandfather clause that allowed unlimited nonemergency operation under the EPA's previous Tier 2 certification.

In January 2013, the EPA revised the language defining limits like the 100-hour rule as it applies to both new and existing generator engines. For some hospitals, achieving Tier 4I certification outweighs the negative impacts of potential operating fines, and the prospect of readying for future emission reductions becomes a near-term priority, the article said.

Read the article.


January 2, 2014

Topic Area: Maintenance and Operations

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