Physicians for Social Responsibility-LA and other members of the Clean Distributed Generation Campaign Group had a major impact on the California Air Resources Board. At their November meeting the board established strict emissions standards for distributed generation.
Because more than 10,000 activists around the state wrote, faxed, e-mailed, and called CARB about the distributed generation standard, new units will grow cleaner over the next few years. But we also went further in several areas, with the board members directing staff to consider the following changes in guidelines to air districts:
• Adopt a definition of emergency generator that limits exemptions for these dirty diesel engines to those operating only in true emergency conditions
• Reconsider treatment of portable generators
• Evaluate credit calculations and mechanisms for efficient combined heat and power applications
CARB has recognized that micro power holds great promise for California’s energy future, but only if its reliability benefits and potential cost savings do not result in dirtier air. To keep working for cleaner, healthier air our attention will turn in the next few months to working with the local Air Quality Management Districts where the new CARB guidelines will be implemented.
In the early months of 2002 we will be working with the staff members of the AQMDs to explain how clean distributed generation increases energy efficiency and improves public health.