Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.



Notice of Public Comment Period - Request for Feedback on Decommissioning Boilers and Generators and Temporary Shutdown Guidance

Friday, April 5, 2024

In response to facilities’ requests for guidance on how to decommission their permitted boilers and generators and the requirements for a temporary shutdown of permitted units, the Air Quality Division of the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) has drafted the following guidance. This guidance applies to boilers and generators operating under air quality permits issued under 20 DCMR § 200 or 20 DCMR § 300, where facility owners and operators no longer plan to operate the emissions units, and therefore would like to permanently decommission the units and ensure they are no longer subject to permit requirements. In addition, this document provides guidance on temporary shutdowns of these units.

Temporary Shutdown:

Temporary shutdown is defined as: (1) an emissions unit that is currently out of service with the intention of being returned to service within a two-year period and (2) cannot meet its testing or maintenance requirements during this shutdown.

DOEE must be notified of any temporary shutdown that will impact a source’s ability to comply with testing and maintenance requirements. Unless a different timeline is specified in an applicable permit or regulation, the notification must be sent within two weeks after the shutdown and include the expected duration of and reason for the shutdown, as well as information about how the shutdown is expected to impact testing and maintenance requirements. At least two weeks prior to the return to service of a unit that missed required testing or maintenance, the permittee must submit a plan to DOEE on how the unit will meet testing and maintenance requirements as well as a description of any changes or repairs to the equipment. If a test or maintenance requirement is missed due to the unit being temporarily out of service, DOEE will evaluate whether it constitutes a violation on a case-by-case basis.

DOEE presumes that a shutdown lasting longer than two years is a permanent shutdown warranting decommissioning. However, the permittee may submit a written request to DOEE for approval of any temporary shutdown lasting longer than two years.

Permanent Shutdown:

A permanent shutdown is defined as permanently decommissioning a boiler or generator. If a facility wants to return a decommissioned unit to service, it must be permitted as a new unit, subject to current District regulations as they apply to new sources. DOEE must be notified of a permanent shutdown within two weeks after the shutdown. The notice should include information on how the unit was decommissioned. If such a notification is not received, DOEE may hold the permittee responsible for compliance with existing permit requirements.

To permanently decommission a boiler or generator, the owner/operator must make the unit inoperable. The sections below identify suggested actions to render a unit inoperable. Each submittal shall reference which options, of those shown below, they will employ to justify that the unit is inoperable. DOEE will evaluate these submittals on a case-by-case basis.

Suggested Actions to Decommission a Boiler:

  1. Fuel Supply Line
    • Have the gas provider disconnect and remove natural gas supply line to the boiler and cap supply. Facility should retain documentation of service.
    • Disconnect and cap fuel oil line and remove the oil pump.
    • Disconnect (remove/cap/plug/close) all fuel sources (oil/gas) supplied to the burner. If dual fuel, both fuel sources must be disconnected and secured. Facility should retain records of fuel tank removal/abandonment.
  2. Burner
  • Remove the burner from the boiler.
  • Permanently cap the burner entry to ensure there is no easy access for combustion appliance into the boiler.
  1. Control Console
  • Remove the wiring to and from the boiler control console.
  • Disconnect all electric power to the boiler.
  • Disconnect (remove/cap/plug/close) all water (supply and return) and steam supply line attachments to the equipment. Disconnect steam or hot water distribution pipes. Ensure that all water is drained from the system.

Suggested Actions to Decommission a Generator Set or Stationary Engine:

  1. Fuel Supply Line
  • Disconnect and cap fuel oil line and remove the oil pump.
  • If the engine is natural gas fired, have the gas provider disconnect and remove natural gas supply line to the engine and cap supply. Facility should retain documentation of service.
  • Disconnect and cap any other fuel supply line.
  1. Control Console/Electrical
  • Disconnect and remove the control console.
  • Detach the fuse from the controller.
  • Disconnect transfer switch and remove batteries.
  • Disconnect and cap transformers and power supplies.


Notifications of both temporary and permanent shutdowns should be sent to [email protected].

For additional decommissioning questions, please contact DOEE’s Air Quality Division at 202-345-7140 or [email protected].

All comments must be received by Friday, May 31, 2024.