Emergency Demand-Response Provisions of EPA's RICE Rule

September 11, 2015
Katherine L. Vaccaro
The Legal Intelligencer

In May, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit stuck down the federal regulatory provisions that allow emergency stationary combustion engines to participate in demand response programs for up to 100 hours per year. But on Aug. 14, the court granted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s motion to stay issuance of the court’s mandate, leaving the regulatory provisions in place through May 1, 2016.  

In Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control v. EPA, 785 F.3d 1 (D.C. Cir. 2015), the court vacated two provisions of the EPA’s National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines (RICE), codified at 40 C.F.R. Part 63, Subpart ZZZZ (the RICE rule). These provisions allow RICE to operate for up to 100 hours per year during a grid operator declared Energy Emergency Alert Level 2, or during periods when voltage or frequency deviate by 5 percent or more below standard, while still qualifying as “emergency” RICE under the regulation.  

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