Diesel Powered Emergency Engine Compliance Hack: Using APCD Rule 98 to Avoid Violations

December 5, 2017

This is a compliance update for entities that own or operate diesel powered emergency engines in the San Diego Air Pollution Control District jurisdiction.


The San Diego Air Pollution Control district has added language to permits for diesel powered emergency engines. The language change is usually included as permit condition #1 and it reads as follows:

  1. The engine shall be operated exclusively during emergencies as defined in Rule 69.4.1, Rule 12 or 17 CCR 93115 as applicable, or for maintenance and testing.


This new permit condition effectively causes the following activities to be counted against the permitted maintenance and testing allowance for the unit:

  1. Accidental operation (for example, a leak within the building shorting out the controller for the engine and causing it to run).

  2. Operation due to a scheduled interruption of power from the public utility.

  3. Operation due to a failure of on-site electrical components.


This can present a problem if something happened during the evening, especially over a weekend and the engine ran for many hours before it was discovered.


This is where Rule 98 comes in. If you report the engine operation as a breakdown AND FOLLOW UP WITH ALL REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION, the APCD can waive the excess engine operation violation. However, it is important to follow the procedures:


The San Diego APCD provides resources for breakdown notification and reporting here:



The full text of APCD Rule 98 can be found here:



If you need more help complying with the requirements of your diesel powered emergency engines, contact us at info@relyenvironmental.com or call me at 619-379-1457.

This Blog / Website is made available by the environmental professionals at Rely Environmental for educational purposes only as well as to provide general information and understanding of various environmental regulatory requirements. This blog should not be considered as a professional service or legal advice. By using this Blog / Website you acknowledge it does not constitute a professional service. This Blog / Website should not be used as a substitute for competent professional services.



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