The ink on Tier 4 regulations is still warm and yet many are wondering whether stricter Tier 5 regulations are just over the horizon. As European Stage V regulations go into effect this year and next, engine manufacturer’s in the United States are making preparations to build machines that comply with ever more stringent requirements. This is spawning speculation that regulators may use this as an opportunity to create Tier 5 regulations that mirror European standards. These standards would set emissions levels to absolute zero.
Existing Technology Would Make Implementation Possible
The technology to comply with stricter emissions standards exists and could be adopted without much difficulty. Specifically, the stricter standards require greater control over the ultra-fine, sub-micron soot generated by the combustion process. Current Tier 4 standards reduce these emissions by between 85-95%. Installation of a diesel particulate filter on the diesel engine can remove the remaining particulates and prevent them from circulating into the airstream.
DPF filters can be installed on all mobile generators whether they are stationary or mobile, large or small. They could also be installed on smaller engines generating less than 24 horsepower which are currently exempted from Tier 4 standards. These filters could be installed at a cost of between a few hundred, and a few thousand dollars depending on the size and type of filter required.
What Are the EPA’s Next Steps?
The current regulatory environment means that it is unlikely that regulators at the EPA will implement stricter Tier 5 standards anytime soon. However, diesel engine technology will continue to advance and improve as private industry seeks to develop machines that can be exported to Europe.
While regulators in Washington, D.C. may not act to implement stricter standards, individual states may do this. Legislators in regulatory heavy states such as California and Oregon are already talking about implementing new requirements for contractors. These would include the use of equipment that complies with standards that exceed Tier 4 regulations.
The Impact on Private Enterprise and Public Entities
There is speculation that if states move to implement stricter emissions regulations, that funds could be made available through grants to help private enterprises and public entities upgrade their machinery. Funding of these grants would come from legal settlements such as the one issued against Volkswagen over the diesel emissions scandal.
For now, the likelihood of stricter regulations is remote. However, the possibility of diesel engine manufacturers voluntarily adopting stricter standards so that they can operate in markets that have stricter standards is significant.
Do you have questions about Tier 4 regulations and the steps you need to take to remain compliant? Contact Gen-Tech Generator and Air Power Specialists at (800) 625-8324. Our team of professionals will answer your questions and help you find the answers you need for your power needs.