Emissions, O&M

EPA responds to Calif. requests for air quality extension

Feb. 9, 2001—The following letter was signed and released by the U.S. EPA to the California Environmental Protection Agency, according to EPA’s Office of Media Relations.

Winston H. Hickox
Agency Secretary
California Environmental Protection Agency

1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460

Dear Secretary Hickox:
Thank you for your letter of February 7, 2001, regarding the California Environmental Protection Agency’s request to use emergency generators to avert potential blackouts in California.

As you mentioned, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has sent two letters (dated August 11, 2000, and January 11, 2001) to Mr. Terry M. Winter, President of the California Independent System Operator Corporation.

In these letters, we clarified Agency guidance to allow use of emergency generators under certain specific circumstances to avert potential blackouts in California. This authority terminates on February 11, 2001. In your letter, you have requested that we extend that authority “indefinitely” due to the ongoing potential for power shortages in California.

EPA recognizes that the potential for power shortages in California is still high. But we also require further time to appropriately consider the impacts of granting your request for an “indefinite” extension, and to coordinate fully with you and local air quality management districts.

We therefore are taking the immediate step of extending the effective date of the guidance until March 11, 2001, to assist California with its power shortage emergency. Over the course of the next month, we will coordinate with you and local air quality officials regarding your request for a longer extension.

I would like to reiterate that this extension revises only the Federal guidance on operating criteria for emergency generators. Sources must still meet state and local permitting requirements for emergency generators.


Robert Brenner
Acting Assistant Administrator

cc: Mr. Terry M. Winter, President, California Independent System Operator Corporation