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Notice of Final Rulemaking – Demand Response Generating Sources

Friday, June 26, 2020

A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in the D.C. Register for a thirty (30) day public notice and comment on June 28, 2019 at 66 DCR 007692. The Department received two (2) sets of comments during the public comment period, from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJ DEP”) and Advanced Energy Management Alliance (“AEMA”). The Department has made three (3) changes in this Final Rulemaking in response to comments received.

NJDEP submitted four (4) comments on this rulemaking. The first comment was that the regulation should be applicable to all stationary internal combustion engines, including engines which generate electricity but do not have an agreement or obligation to provide electricity to the grid. The Department did not make changes in connection with this comment because it goes beyond the scope of the Air Quality Amendment Act of 2014, which is the authority for this rulemaking. The second comment was that the regulation should require all existing generators to achieve compliance with applicable nitrogen oxides (NOx) emission limits by a specific date. The Department did not make changes in connection with this comment since the Air Quality Amendment Act of 2014 is already in effect and sources should be complying with it currently; having a compliance date in the future is not consistent with this. The next two comments concerned recommended minimum floor/emission limits for (1) existing generators and (2) new and modified generators. The Department did not make changes in connection with these comments since the Department proposed strict emissions standards consistent with the definitions outlined in the Air Quality Amendment Act of 2014 for Demand Response Electrical Generating Sources and a further floor is not required to meet the statutory language.

AEMA submitted comments on this rule making, and the way in which DOEE parsed the comment letter, DOEE found there to be eleven (11) distinct comments. The first comment was that The District should encourage participation in the PJM Interconnection Demand Response Program to prevent black outs, improve public health, and protect the environment. The Department did not make changes in connection with this comment because it goes beyond the scope of the Air Quality Amendment Act of 2014, which is the primary authority for this rulemaking. The next two comments were that the Department should remove section § 1200.8 requirement to meet Tier 4 engine standards and § 1200.9 (C)(3)(b) regarding revenue. The Department did not make changes in connection with this comment because the Department finds that the proposed requirements properly weighed the District’s current air quality levels in regards to other criteria for determining Best Available Control Technology (“BACT”) in accordance with the best available and most applicable guidance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”). As part of this comment AEMA did note that spark ignition engines were not addressed, but considered the point moot since they requested that §1200.8 be removed in the final rule, but since the Department is not removing that section the Department included standards for spark-ignition engines in the final rulemaking. The fifth through ninth comments concerned various pieces of evidences that AEMA stated demonstrated that engines participating in emergency demand response programs are vital resources and do not cause adverse impacts. The Department reviewed the four studies provided as attachments and found that first did not address air quality effects and that the remaining three studies supported the opposite conclusion concerning adverse effects. The tenth comment was that the Department should improve its permit application review process. This regulation is intended to clarify the regulatory process associated with obtaining permits so such improvements will occur following finalization of this regulation. The final comment concerned an assumption that currently permitted non-emergency generators could participate in demand response. The Department agrees with this interpretation, but clarified that interpretation in the final rulemaking.

A detailed summary of the comments and responses is in the attachments section below.

This final rulemaking can be found in the D.C. Register (click on “View text”).