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Emergency generators have an important function in providing electricity when there is grid failure and alternative electricity generation is needed in order to avoid damages and loss. For example, hospitals and other health care facilities use emergency backup generators to provide power whenever ordinary electric service is not available. Emergency situations that require backup generation may occur at any time of the year.
Fossil fuel-fired generators powered by reciprocating internal combustion engines emit very high rates of air contaminants, and contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter. Among other things, the purpose of a stationary generator regulation is to help ensure that the air emissions from new and existing stationary generators do not cause or contribute to these existing air quality problems - as rated by tons per day (TPD) or tons per year (TPY) basis. Delaware’s stationary generator regulation requires emissions standards, record-keeping, reporting, operating, and notification requirements for stationary generators, both for emergency and non-emergency uses. he regulation also allows non-emergency generators to take credit for fuels that would otherwise be flared, combined heat and power applications, and the use of non-emitting resources.
Delaware's regulation which details the requirements which apply to all stationary generators in the state is 7 DE Admin Code 1144, “Control of Stationary Generator Emissions.” 7 DE Admin Code 1144 (or Regulation No. 1144 as it is commonly known) basically states that an emergency generator may only operate for "lights out," and any non-emergency generation requires specific emissions standards to be met and for the generator to be permitted.
The specific permitting requirements for generators in Delaware state that an emergency generator greater than 450kw requires a permit, and a non-emergency generator of any size requires a permit. The permitting requirements are detailed in 7 DE Admin Code 1102. The applicable permit application forms can be found at Table of 7 DE Admin Code 1102 Application Forms. For a generator to be permitted, the generator owner will have to fill out and submit the following forms: AQM-1, AQM-2, AQM-3.3, AQM-5, and a form from Section 4 (depending on the control device used to control the generator’s emissions if it is being used for non-emergency purposes). If the facility/owner has never submitted a permit application to the Division of Air Quality, they must also submit an "Environmental Permit Application Background Statement," which can be found at the bottom of the permit applications website, as well. There is also a $215 application fee and a $165 advertising fee which should be included with the permit applications, for each generator to be permitted. Thereafter, there is an annual operating fee of $165 (which will be mailed to the address on file around August of each year).
An initial notification form (see link below) must also be submitted for each generator, regardless of whether the generator needs to have a permit to operate or not (this form can be found at the bottom of the same website as the permit applications).
In regards to the testing and maintenance operation restriction on days when there is an Air Quality Alert (as specified in section 4.4 of Regulation No. 1144), you can sign up sign up on the DNREC website to receive notification when there is a “Code Orange” or “Code Red” forecast. The forecast is updated daily on DNREC's Air Quality webpage. Additionally, the storage of either 500 pounds or 55 gallons of diesel fuel triggers Tier II reporting, which can be done online through the SERC website. You may also contact the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-know Act (EPCRA) Reporting Program for more information about the Tier II reporting requirements at (302) 739-9405.
Delaware requires the registration of any aboveground storage tank (AST) that is greater than 250 gallons in capacity and contains a regulated substance, including diesel fuel to power a stationary generator. Under the Delaware Regulations Governing Aboveground Storage Tanks (the AST Regulations), the regulated substance definition does not include natural gas or propane. ASTs that supply fuel to heat-generating equipment are required to be registered if they are greater than 1,100 gallons in size. ASTs larger than 12,499 gallons are subject to annual registration fees. Those ASTs larger than 12,499 gallons used to store most regulated substances are subject to additional technical regulations. ASTs specifically used to store diesel, heating fuel, or kerosene are subject to these additional technical regulations when their respective capacities exceed 40,000 gallons. Delaware requires approval prior to installation of any UST greater than 110 gallons that contains a regulated substance, including diesel fuel to power a stationary generator. Under the Delaware Regulations Governing Underground Storage Tank Systems (the UST Regulations), the regulated substance definition does not include natural gas or propane. A registration fee of $50 per UST per year is required. USTs greater than 110 gallons that contain a regulated substance are also subject to technical requirements. USTs that supply fuel to heat-generating equipment are required to be approved prior to installation if they are greater than 1,100 gallons in size. Please contact DNREC’s Tank Management Section at 302-395-2500, or visit the section's website for more information.
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