Ground Water Canada

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EPA modifies engine replacement rules in U.S. water well drilling rigs


April 2, 2014
By Ground Water Canada

Topics

April 2, 2014, Westerville, OH – U.S. EPA has modified its final
rules to allow the use of new exempt engines to replace failed engines
in water well drilling rigs up to 40 years old.

April 2, 2014, Westerville, OH – U.S. EPA has modified its final
rules to allow the use of new exempt engines to replace failed engines
in water well drilling rigs up to 40 years old. 

 
"The revised rule is a major improvement over EPA's previous
proposal," said Denis Crayon, National Ground Water Association's
DOT-OSHA subcommittee chair, in a press release. EPA's initial proposal required that a new
engine meeting current emission standards be used in the case of engine
failure on water well drilling rigs older than 25 years. Depending on
the make and model, there are physical and performance issues in
bringing specialized water well drilling equipment up to Tier 4 engine
standards. NGWA estimates that approximately 30 per cent of water well
drilling rigs would have had problems meeting EPA's initial proposal.
 
"Through photos and other communication, NGWA was able to
explain the inability, in some cases, to switch out old engines with new
Tier 4 engines, and maintain transportation and drilling capability,"
shared Fred McAninch, the Rig Doctor and an NGWA DOT-OSHA subcommittee
member, in the statement. NGWA also explained to the agency that, unlike some other
industries, the use of equipment older than 25 years is not unusual in
the water well industry.
 
The ability to use new exempt engines as a replacement for
failing engines in rigs up to 40 years old allows the water well
drilling industry to improve air quality while maintaining business
operations.
 
A copy of the final rule is available by going to the Federal
Register, Volume 79, page 7077. Industry members are advised to consult
with applicable state rules, such as in California, for any additional
state level requirements.   

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