The use of diesel power generator as an alternative source of energy is facing yet another hurdle as EPA enforces new environmental laws to be adhered to by all operators. As Labno (2010) observes, the newly instituted National Ambient Air Quality Standard is a real threat to the main users such as institutions and industries. The new regulation is aimed at reducing the volume of Nitrogen oxides emitted in the atmosphere at any given time by the major users of diesel generators.
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Diesel engine generators have several merits ranging from meeting the power loads during peak time to ease with which they can be operated and maintained. Although this appliance presents additional cost, its popularity has grown and attracted large number of users perhaps due to the ability of the device to deliver power without delay whenever there is interruption of electricity. Nonetheless, concerns over air quality are gradually gripping in especially in regard to the use of diesel power as a quick solution to emergency power demands. Although diesel generated power has been found to be largely convenient, the threat posed to the environment by a string of harmful emissions cannot be ignored. Both the by-products and much of the end products when diesel undergoes combustion are not friendly to the environment. They include oxides of nitrogen which are mainly acidic in nature, the toxic carbon monoxide that may irritate as well as lead to suffocation in addition to organic compounds that are highly volatile and toxic to the environment.
The National Ambient Air Quality Standards should be set by EPA in line with the existing legislations such as the Clean Air Act and Amendments.
These standards are not fixed but are reviewed regularly whenever there is need. For instance, the one-hour National Ambient Air Quality Standards stipulated for all emissions of gaseous nitrogenous compounds was adopted in April 2010. Nonetheless, the use of diesel generators only when demand for power is at its peak seems to meet the current yearly requirement on emission quotas. The only challenge is the hourly compliance which may be quite an uphill task to accomplish owing to strenuous need to install compatible systems within industry or institutional establishments. Worse still, the new rules may be financially prohibitive as far the use of diesel generators is concerned due to the cost element. Furthermore, the addition of pollution control units will multiply the initial set up and installation costs of diesel generators that fully adhere to the one-hour requirement. These higher expectations by the environmental agency, EPA only requires the diesel power generation as the best alternative albeit the costs involved.
Hence, professional expertise is necessary in the process of installing diesel generators with EPA standards (Labno, 2010). In addition, it is imperative to allow adequate duration for certain environmental processes to be undertaken. Better still, all the available modeling alternatives such as the ambient air modeling ought to be explored so that the impacts of nitrogen oxides emitted by the appliance can be established in advance.
In recap, it is vital to reiterate that although the new EPA standards on air quality are quite stringent, the ever rising need for power back up facilities and high demand during peaking periods still necessitates diesel power generation as the best and readily available alternative. The impacts of emitting nitrogenous and carbon compounds into the atmosphere cannot be overemphasized; it is all evident in our environment today. It is upon energy producers who rely on diesel power to brace up for the difficult times of sticking to the one-hour National Ambient Air Quality Standards Act.
Labno, B. (2010). EPA Rules Pose a Concern for Peaking Diesel Generators. Web.