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Environmental Protection Commission Moves Stationary Engine Standards Forward for Public Comment
Posted: 04/25/2013

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is proposing rule changes to adopt the federal air toxics standards for stationary engines commonly known as the RICE NESHAP. “RICE NESHAP” is the acronym for National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Reciprocating Internal Combustions Engines (RICE) (40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 63 Subpart ZZZZ).

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently updated the RICE NESHAP. The revised RICE NESHAP generally provides regulatory relief and clarity from the previous requirements.

Upon adoption of RICE NESHAP amendments, the DNR rather than EPA will implement and enforce these regulations in Iowa. This allows the DNR to provide compliance assistance and outreach to affected facilities as soon as possible.


Need for Proposed Rule

In 2010, the Environmental Protection Commission (Commission) adopted earlier amendments to the RICE NESHAP. Executive Order (EO) 72 subsequently rescinded adoption of the RICE NESHAP amendments. EO 72 stated the RICE NESHAP was too costly for small utilities that maintain and operate rarely used emergency engines, and the RICE NESHAP requirements could increase electricity rates for consumers.


In response to the concerns from Governor Branstad as expressed in EO 72 and concerns from other stakeholders, EPA agreed to reconsider the RICE NESHAP. Consequently, EPA updated the standards to provide more circumstances for emergency engines and for engines that participate in electricity management programs to operate under non-emergency conditions. The DNR is now proposing to adopt the amendments to the RICE NESHAP.


Rulemaking Status

On April 16, 2013, the DNR requested permission from the Commission to publish a Notice of Intended Action to adopt the RICE NESHAP amendments. The DNR requested that the Commission adopt the RICE NESHAP by reference so that all compliance deadlines will be according to federal timelines. The Commission approved the DNR’s request to publish the Notice of Intended Action and to accept formal public comments on the proposal. 

More information and instructions for providing public comments

For more information and to access the proposed rule changes, go to Air Quality Public Input or (scroll down to Administrative Rules).

The DNR will hold a public hearing on the proposal on Tuesday, June 4, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. at the DNR’s Air Quality Bureau offices. The public may provide oral or written comments at the hearing. Additionally, the public may send written comments to the DNR by June 4, 2013. Please send written comments to Christine Paulson by email to, by Fax to 515-242-5094, or by mail or hand delivery to DNR Air Quality Bureau, 7900 Hickman Road, Suite 1, Windsor Heights, Iowa, 50324. The DNR must receive all comments by 4:30 p.m. on June 4, 2013.


The Notice of Intended Action will be published in the Iowa Administrative Bulletin on May 15, 2013, and will be available at Bulletin.


For questions, please contact Christine Paulson at the email address or phone number indicated above.