MDE Discusses Potential Changes to Distributed Generation Regulations

On February 2, 2017, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) held a stakeholder meeting to discuss potential changes to Maryland's distributed generation regulations codified in Title 26, Subtitle 11, Chapter 36 of the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR 26.11.36).  These changes are in response to changes in the federal regulations for stationary internal combustion engines which went into effect in 2016.

MDE is proposing to update distributed generation regulations to reference federal regulations for stationary internal combustion engines rather than the current regulation which contains state-specific definitions and requirements.  Specifically, the regulations would refer to requirements of Title 40, Part 63 of the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR 63) Subpart ZZZZ (commonly referred to as "RICE MACT") and 40 CFR 60 Subparts IIII and JJJJ.  The requirements for emergency generators and load shaving units in COMAR are proposed to be removed entirely.  The reporting requirements for curtailment service providers (CSPs) in COMAR are proposed to remain the same with only minor wording changes.

The engines most impacted by this regulatory update would be engines that participate in emergency demand response programs.  Under the current regulations, these units are classified as emergency generators.  However, based on changes to the federal regulations, this update would mean these units would be classified as non-emergency generators under Maryland regulations in addition to under the federal regulations.  With this change, any generator participating in emergency demand response would be required to obtain a Permit to Construct, regardless of unit size.

The tentative schedule for finalizing these regulations is as follows:

  • February 10, 2017 – Deadline for comments on current draft of regulation
  • March 13, 2017 – Regulations presented at Air Quality Control Advisory Council (AQCAC) meeting
  • July 7, 2017 – Notice of proposed action published in the Maryland Register
  • August 15, 2017 – Pubic hearing
  • October 4, 2017 – Final regulation proposed in Maryland Register

The current draft of the revised regulation came be found here.

If you need assistance in determining how these changes would impact your engines or with preparing comments on the draft regulations, please contact Trinity's office in Frederick, Maryland at (240) 379-7490.