Standby Generator Sets - Air Quality

For more information about purchasing, permitting, particulate filters and other issues: 
Contact Bernadette Santos at EH&S (bsantos@berkeley.edu) or (510) 642-6568.

Quick Links: Generator Specifications
  Permit Process
  Frequently Asked Questions

 

Generator Specifications

It is crucial that you contact EH&S before purchasing your generator to ensure that it meets current emission requirements. If a generator is purchased that does not meet emissions criteria, it cannot be permitted and installed.

Choose a generator that meets your needs.

  • Larger than 50 horsepower (hp):  You are required to permit the generator and comply with BAAQMD-administered Statewide Air Toxics Control Measure (ATCM).
  • Less than or equal to 50 horsepower (hp):  You are not required to permit the generator, but please contact EH&S for additional requirements.

Does your generator set meet air quality regulations?
Currently, the ATCM for new emergency generators has an emission requirement of 0.15 grams per break horsepower-hour (g/bhp-hr) for particulate matter (PM) in addition to emission requirements for NOx and CO which are based on engine power and model year.  These emission requirements are outlined in the current regulation, which can be found here.

Permit Process
The permit process can take up to 8 months to complete.  A general timeline of the process is as follows:

Step 1: Begin the permit process
EH&S prepares the documents. However, detailed information required for the permit application must be provided to EH&S by the Project in order to have a comprehensive submittal.
 
Step 2: EH&S will prepare the permit application forms 1 to 3 weeks
Step 3: EH&S submits permit application forms to BAAQMD  
Step 4: BAAQMD Review 1 week to 4 months
Step 5: Receive invoice; Project pays invoice 30 days
Step 6: BAAQMD Review 1 week to 4 months
Step 7: BAAQMD sends “Authority to Construct” to EH&S
This document allows us to go forward with purchasing and installing the new emergency generator.
 
Step 8: Start Up Notification
Project must alert EH&S (at least three days prior) to the start-up date of the emergency generator. This start-up could be for initial testing or general operation. EH&S will then submit this start-up date to BAAQMD.
 
Step 9: BAAQMD sends “Permit to Operate” to EH&S 1 week to 2 months

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who prepares the submittal to the BAAQMD for a permit?
UC Berkeley’s Office of Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) prepares the documents.  However, detailed information required for the permit application must be provided to EH&S by the Project in order to have a comprehensive submittal.

Do I need to obtain a permit for diesel emergency generators?
Yes.  Most new emergency generators will require an operating permit through the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD). All stationary internal combustion engines larger than 50 horsepower must:
Obtain a BAAQMD Permit to Operate
Comply with the BAAQMD-administered Statewide Air Toxics Control Measure (ATCM) for stationary diesel engines

What other issues do I need to consider?
Technologies such as diesel particulate filters can significantly reduce diesel particulate emissions, but also have maintenance issues that should be taken into account.  At this time, particulate filters or other abatement devices are generally not required to be installed.   This requirement is subject to change.  Please contact EH&S for additional information.

What is the timeline for the permit process?
See Permit Process.

What is the Stationary Engine Air Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) and what applies to this standard?
The Stationary Engine Air Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) was adopted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in 2004 and is implemented by BAAQMD.  The ATCM standard applies to diesel emergency standby engines and establishes emission standards and operating requirements, fuel use requirements and reporting requirements.

What are the emission requirements for the Stationary Engine Engine Air Toxic Control Measure (ATCM)?
See ATCM.