DearColleague.us

Letter

Don Young

From the office of:

Don Young


Sending Office: Honorable Don Young
Sent By:
Alex.Ortiz@mail.house.gov

Dear Colleague,

I would like to ask for your support to pass S. 1934, the Alaska Remote Generator Reliability and Protection Act. This bill is critical to Alaskans living in remote areas who depend entirely on diesel generators for electricity and heating needs. They often
rely on second-hand engines that may not necessarily meet the most stringent particle pollution standards. I am asking for your support on S. 1934.  Without S. 1934, Alaska Native villages will be at risk of collapse.  These isolated communities are not connected
to the road system, and the bill is essential to keep village health clinics operating, schools running, and maintaining subsistence food supplies.

Overview

What the bill does: It would change the standard for engine certification from Tier 4 particulate matter (PM) standards to Tier 3 PM standards. It also instructs the Environmental Protection Agency to submit a report assessing options for the Federal
Government to meet the energy needs of remote areas in the state of Alaska in an affordable and reliable manner.

Why it’s needed: In remote areas of Alaska, nearly 100 percent of the electricity used in villages is supplied by imported diesel fuel. Many villages rely on diesel generators that are between 10 and 30 years old. These systems do not last forever
and many small utilities are looking for ways they can purchase new generator sets to improve efficiency and reduce the maintenance costs of worn out engines.

Under the current regulations which set specific standards for diesel generators in “remote Alaska,” all new generator sets that are not connected to the federal highway system must install Tier 4 particulate matter controls on their new engines. Based on
recent information from EPA and Alaska state officials, there are credible reports that Tier 4 emission control technologies for PM emissions–as well as Tier 4 NOX emissions controls–are having difficulties working in remote areas of Alaska.

Additionally, if anything goes wrong with certain control devices, the generator shuts down. Only a factory-trained service technician with the proper codes can fix the problem. In remote Alaska, these technicians are at least one to two days out and extremely
expensive. It is not uncommon, especially in the fall and winter, for villages to be without flights due to weather or extreme cold for multiple days or weeks.
If a failure in the powerhouse occurs during one of these times, the village could suffer significant damage to its infrastructure and it could potentially lead to loss of life.

If you have any questions, please call 5-5765 or email my staff, Alex Ortiz (alex.ortiz@mail.house.gov).

Sincerely,

DON YOUNG

Congressman for All Alaska

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Energy, HealthCare, Natural Resources

Related Bill Information

Bill Type: S.
Bill Number: 1934
Special Note:

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