The world is going green, and with it, there is a bevy of environmental regulations that mobile and standby generator operators need to know. Fortunately, at this point, almost all systems in the United States are compliant with Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, and Tier 4 regulations. These were gradually phased in starting in 1996 and ending in 2017. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check to confirm compliance before you assume you are already compliant. This is a mistake that could end up costing you a hefty fine and an unexpected maintenance bill.
Tier 2 and Tier 3 standards were rather rigorous and resulted in more than 85% emissions reduction for emergency standby generator systems. This dramatic improvement, coupled with the minimal use emergency standby generators’ performance in hospitals, disaster response, commercial operations, etc., convinced regulators to grant Tier 4 exemptions to emergency standby generator operators. This exemption excludes those that use the generator for prime power, rate curtailment, and storm avoidance.
However, not all state and local governments agreed with this exemption, and some currently require operators to confirm Tier 4 compliance. Thus, you will want to check with your state and municipal government to determine whether that applies to your operations.
In short, Tier 4 applies if your mobile or standby generator doesn’t qualify as an emergency system. This means that systems used for agricultural production, food production, most commercial enterprises, construction, forestry, oil and gas production, etc., must be Tier 4 compliant.
Tier 4 regulations apply to all generator sets with greater than 751 HP. These standards were gradually implemented beginning in 2011 and through 2015, after which all generator sets produced and/or operated in the US must comply with Tier 4F emission standards. The following emission standards are currently in effect for diesel generators.
|Exhaust Constituent||Tier 4i|
(752 – 1,207 HP)
(< 1,207 HP)
This is one of the most common questions we receive, and the answer is “maybe, but not likely.” Legislators in California are considering regulations to reduce emissions standards dramatically. Support in EU countries is growing to introduce new standards that would essentially eliminate the sale and use of combustion engines. It’s a fluid environment when it comes to the future of environmentally focused regulations.
That said, Tier 4 regulations are the most rigorous ever established in the United States. So when it comes to the diesel engine on your generator, we don’t expect any significant changes in the near future. 5, 10, 15 years down the road? Probably, but by then, it will be time to replace your current generator anyway.
If your diesel generator is overdue for service, or you need to check the emissions to ensure you are Tier 4 compliant, contact the team at Central Power Systems & Services. It is our pleasure to schedule a service appointment to inspect your generator, perform preventative maintenance, test the emissions, and more.