BAAQMD Stipulated Enforcement Program
For Non-Compliant Portable Diesel Engines
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District ("Air District") is offering a stipulated enforcement program for owners and operators of portable diesel engines that do not comply with a recent regulation of the California Air Resources Board known as the "Portable Diesel Engine ATCM". If you own or operate one or more of these engines in the San Francisco Bay Area, you need to read the following information and enter into a Compliance Agreement. If you operate an engine prohibited by the ATCM without having entered into a Compliance Agreement, you may be subject to enforcement action, including substantial monetary penalties.
This Program is now closed.
What is the Portable Diesel Engine ATCM?
The Portable Diesel Engine ATCM is an air pollution control regulation adopted by the California Air Resources Board that went into effect on September 9, 2005. The regulation's official title is the "Airborne Toxic Control Measure For Diesel Particulate Matter From Portable Engines Rated At 50 Horsepower And Greater", and it is published in Sections 93116 through 93116.5 of Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations ("C.C.R.").
The ATCM requires that all portable diesel engines meet certain emissions standards for particulate matter pollution (soot), designated as "Tiers" 1-4. The emissions standards are set forth at Section 2423 of Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations and Part 89 of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The purpose of the ATCM is to phase out older, higher-polluting portable diesel engines and replace them with newer, cleaner-burning equipment.
The ATCM allows portable diesel engines that don't comply with any of the Tier 1-4 emissions standards - also referred to as "uncertified" or "Tier Zero" Engines - to be operated up until December 31, 2009, as long as the engines were registered with the Air Resources Board's Portable Equipment Registration Program ("PERP") before January 1, 2006. Any portable diesel engines that were not registered with PERP before January 1, 2006, are illegal and may not be operated in California (unless they meet the ATCM's Tier 1-4 requirements or have an Air District permit). It is these engines that are the subject of the District's stipulated enforcement program.
What Portable Diesel Engines Are In Violation of the ATCM?
The ATCM applies to all portable diesel-fueled engines with a maximum rated horsepower of 50 brake horsepower (bhp) or more (with certain very limited exemptions specified in 17 C.C.R. 93116.1(b)). If the engine is not certified to meet the Tier 1-4 emissions standards, was not registered with PERP before January 1, 2006, and does not have an Air District permit, it is prohibited and may not be operated in California.
An engine is considered to be a "portable" engine if it is not attached to a foundation and has not been kept in the same location for more than 12 months. The full legal definition of "portable" for purposes of the ATCM is set forth in 17 C.C.R. § 93116.2(bb).
What is the BAAQMD Portable Diesel Engine Stipulated Enforcement Program?
The California Air Resources Board has recognized that many owners and operators of non-compliant portable diesel engines were unaware of the requirement to register with PERP by January 1, 2006, and therefore missed the deadline. To alleviate the hardship to these owners/operators, the Air Resources Board has authorized local Air Districts to allow the continued use of such engines under certain circumstances. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is therefore offering a stipulated enforcement program for certain non-compliant portable diesel engines that were not registered with PERP before January 1, 2006. The stipulated enforcement program will allow these engines to continue to be used in the San Francisco Bay Area during the ATCM's phase-out period (up until December 31, 2009 at the latest) as long as the owner/operated enters into a Compliance Agreement with the Air District.
The stipulated enforcement program applies only to engines covered by a Compliance Agreement. Any use of an unregistered non-compliant engine except as authorized under a Compliance Agreement will continue to be prohibited and will be subject to enforcement action by the Air District.
Please also note that the ATCM allows uncertified engines (engines that do not meet one of the tier standards) to be used after 2010 in certain circumstances if they are for emergency use only (as defined in 17 C.C.R. § 93116.2(k)) or if they are low-use engines that are not used more than 80 hours per year. The Air District is working with the California Air Resources Board to determine the circumstances under which it would be appropriate to extend the Stipulated Enforcement Program beyond 2010 for these engines. Owners and operators of emergency and low-use engines should enter into a Compliance Agreement to cover operation up until 2010, and then contact the Air District for more information about extending operation past 2010.
Who Is Eligible For The Portable Diesel Engine Stipulated Enforcement Program?
An owner and/or operator of an unregistered non-compliant portable diesel engine is eligible for the stipulated enforcement program if the engine was used in within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District between March 1, 2004, and October 1, 2006. (See the Air District's jurisdictional boundaries.) To be eligible, the engine must meet the definition of a "portable" engine set forth in 17 C.C.R. § 93116.2(bb), must be non-compliant with the Tier 1-4 emissions standards, and must not have an operating permit from the BAAQMD and not be registered with PERP. An owner/operator of an eligible engine may enter into a Compliance Agreement with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and may continue to operate such engines within the San Francisco Bay Area as long as the owner/operator complies with all of the terms and conditions of the Compliance Agreement.
An owner/operator that has received a Notice of Violation from the District regarding an unregistered non-compliant portable diesel engine in violation of the ATCM is not eligible for the Stipulated Enforcement Program. An owner/operator of an engine that has received a Notice of Violation should contact District enforcement staff to discuss how to resolve the non-compliance.
How Do I Enter Into A Compliance Agreement For My Engine(s)?
Owners and operators of non-compliant portable diesel engines that meet the eligibility requirements of the stipulated enforcement program may enter into a Compliance Agreement through the Air District's website. The online application process requires applicants to do the following:
- Provide information about the owner/operator of the Engine.
- Provide information about the Engine (such as the make and model and serial number).
- Certify under penalty of perjury that the Engine was used in the San Francisco Bay Area between March 1, 2004 and October 1, 2006, and is otherwise eligible for the program.
- Certify under penalty of perjury that the applicant has read the ATCM and understand its requirements.
- Certify under penalty of perjury that the applicant has not received a Notice of Violation for violation of the ATCM.
- Accept and agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of the Compliance Agreement.
- Pay (by credit card) a stipulated penalty for non-compliance with the ATCM. The size of the penalty depends on how soon the owner/operator agrees to phase out the engine and cease operating it in California. The penalty is $700 if the owner/operator agrees to stop operation by January 1, 2009; and $900 if the owner/operator desires to continue operation through December 31, 2009. (By January 1, 2010, all engines that do not comply with the Tier 1-4 emissions standards must be phased out under the ATCM.) It pays to phase out non-compliant engines early! Early compliance not only helps clean up the air we breathe, it saves money under the Compliance Agreement, and may also help applicants avoid a scarcity of compliant equipment as the ATCM's January 1, 2010 deadline approaches and equipment operators rush to upgrade their engine fleets.
When the owner/operator completes the application process, agrees to the terms and conditions of the Compliance Agreement, and pays the applicable penalty, the owner/operator will receive a Compliance Agreement that will allow the continued operation of the engine within the San Francisco Bay Area up until the applicable compliance deadline specified in the Agreement. The Compliance Agreement is not transferable between engines or between owner/operators, and does not authorize operation in other jurisdictions outside the San Francisco Bay Area (although other jurisdictions are making their own arrangements for these engines).
What Will Happen If I Don't Enter Into A Compliance Agreement For My Engine(s)?
Anyone who operates an unregistered non-compliant engine within the San Francisco Bay Area that is not covered by a Compliance Agreement is subject to enforcement action by the Air District. This enforcement action can include an Abatement Order requiring the person to immediately cease operating the engine, monetary penalties, and other legal remedies including the filing of a complaint in Superior Court.
The Air District's inspectors are currently conducting inspections of companies that use portable diesel equipment and will be continuing to do so in the coming months and years. If an inspector finds unregistered non-compliant portable diesel engines being operated without a Compliance Agreement, the Air District will take legal action to require the owner/operator to cease operating the engine immediately, and will seek substantial monetary penalties. The size of the penalty sought will depend on the circumstances of each particular violation, but in every case it will be far larger than the stipulated penalty payment under the Compliance Agreement.
Don't let the Air District's inspectors catch YOU operating an unregistered non-compliant portable diesel engine without a Compliance Agreement. Protect yourself by joining the Air District's stipulated enforcement program and entering into a Compliance Agreement for your unregistered non-compliant portable diesel engine(s).
For more information, or if you do not have access to email, please contact Mr. Doug Hall at (415) 749-4706.