RICE-NESHAP Regulations Apply to Broadcasters

By Mike Hendrickson, CPBE, CBNT

Are you familiar with the term RICE-NESHAP? You may have seen it in what you considered an annoying notice from a meaningless agency because you only have an “emergency” generator. If that was what you thought, you need to think again!
RICE-NESHAP is an acronym that translates to Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engine and National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants. In the context of the EPA rules it applies to any stationary internal combustion engine, whether an emergency generator, or a pump engine or other device powered by a stationary internal combustion engine.

The EPA first introduced these rules for engines in June 2004 and adopted the final rules in January 2013. If you have a stationary engine in use – emergency generator or not – you need to know these rules. Failure to comply can mean a fine for the engine owner.

First, understand that the EPA rules are the minimum requirements. There may be state, county, and local requirements that may be more stringent. Also, many of these agencies are much more aggressive with their enforcement than the federal EPA.
To know what federal, state, county, or local rules may apply, collect the following information: The date of manufacture or reconstruction (as defined by CFR title 40, part 63.2), the type of engine (spark ignition (SI) or compression ignition (SI), the size of the engine in brake horsepower, and any manufacturer certifications.

The rules contain regulations regarding record keeping. At a minimum you will need to keep track of the use of the engine and the maintenance it receives. The rules also specify limitations on the number of hours per year the engine may be run in non-emergency use or testing. Non-emergency use includes the use of the generator in load-shed programs.

I encourage every engineer with an emergency generator to become familiar with the rules. The specific rules are located at CFR title 40, part 63, subpart ZZZZ.

Online Resouces

FAA Updates Tower Lighting Requirements

On Dec. 4, 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) released the Advisory Circular for Obstruction Marking and Lighting 70/7460-1L (AC 70/7460-1L), which cancels and replaces Advisory Circular 70/7460-1K. The release amends the lighting requirements applicable to towers that must be registered in the Commission’s Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) system. There has been some confusion about the change because unless a tower is within the glide slope of an airport or heliport and lower than 200 feet, no FAA authorization is required, and therefore no antenna structure registration. This new rule does not reduce the 200-foot limit to 150 feet and that is not clear from the FCC public notice.

Under FCC rules, each new or altered antenna structure subject to the antenna structure registration requirement must conform to the painting and lighting specifications set forth in the FAA’s final determination of “no hazard” and the associated FAA study for that particular structure. Additionally, the registration of such antenna structures must reflect the lighting specifications set in the No Hazard Determination. The FAA specifies marking and lighting for new and altered antenna structures based on the current version of AC 70/7460-1L. Therefore, going forward all new or altered antenna structures will follow AC 70/7460-1L.

The new advisory circular makes a number of changes that affect antenna structures. Most notably, Lighting Styles A, E, and F for antenna structures no longer employ L-810 steady-burning side lights for communications towers that are taller than 350 feet above ground level (AGL). As a result of this change, effective immediately all new communications towers taller than 350 feet AGL that use lighting may use only flashing obstruction lights.

In addition, for towers between 151 and 350 feet AGL, the new advisory circular requires flashing L-810 side lights, rather than steady L-810 side lights, for Lighting Styles A and E. This requirement will not take effect until Sept. 15, 2016, at which point all new communications towers taller than 150 feet AGL that use lighting may use only flashing obstruction lights. Note that this lighting change does not create any new tower registration requirements for towers below 200 feet AGL and are not within the prescribed glide slope for airports and heliports.

Read the FAA advisory

Read the FCC public notice

FCC Releases Public Notice Detailing Fixed Receive Site Registration

Yesterday the FCC released a public notice announcing the April 1 effective date of the requirement to register 7 and 13 GHz TV Pickup stationary receive sites in ULS. The public notice also announces the grant of a fee exemption to TV Pickup licensees in the 7 and 13 GHz bands who modify their licenses between now and April 1 for the sole purpose of adding their receive sites. The public notice also provides detailed filing instructions. Here is the complete text of the Public Notice.

An Overview of the Incentive Auction Process from the FCC

A 12 page overview of the incentive auction process was posted by the FCC in The FCC Daily Business, on January 16, 2013. The report is an FCC staff summary. This may be of value to those members who have interest in the TV spectrum auction. Here is a link to the report

The underlying message is the potential affect on wireless microphones. The report shows three identified channels for “White Space devices,” plus whatever is left over from auctioning off 5 MHz from each 6 MHz TV channel. Note that nothing is directly mentioned of wireless microphones and where spectrum will come from to cover late breaking events. The FCC made no mention of current licensed operations in the TV bands.

Related to this, the FCC recently released a statement announcing their “LEARN” program for the Incentive Auction. Here is a link to the website.