Stationary Generator Emissions

Delaware’s Air Quality Regulations require the operators of stationary generators to register their equipment with the Division of Air Quality, regardless of whether that equipment requires a permit to operate. Those generators that meet the requirements of Regulation 1102 must also apply for Regulation 1102 Construction permits.

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Division of Air Quality

The generator registration requirement is found in the Control of Stationary Generator Emissions regulations (7 DE Admin. Code 1144), which is meant to help ensure that the air emissions from new and existing stationary generators do not cause or contribute to air quality problems in Delaware.

The regulation applies to all stationary generators in the state. It states that an emergency generator may only operate for “lights out,” and any non-emergency generation requires specific emissions standards to be met and for the generator to be permitted.

Emergency Generators

Emergency generators have an important function in providing electricity when there is grid failure and alternative electricity generation is needed in order to avoid damages and loss. For example, hospitals and other health care facilities use emergency backup generators to provide power whenever ordinary electric service is not available. Emergency situations that require backup generation may occur at any time of the year.

Fossil fuel-fired generators powered by reciprocating internal combustion engines emit very high rates of air contaminants, and contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter.

Delaware’s stationary generator regulation requires emissions standards, record-keeping, reporting, operating, and notification requirements for stationary generators, both for emergency and non-emergency uses. The regulation also allows non-emergency generators to take credit for fuels that would otherwise be flared, combined heat and power applications, and the use of non-emitting resources.

Permit Requirements

All non-emergency generators of any size require a Regulation 1102 permit. Any emergency generator of greater than 450kw also requires a permit.

Permitting for generators requires the owner to complete forms AQM-1, AQM-2, AQM-3.3, AQM-5, and any applicable control device forms from AQM-4 (depending on the control device used to control the generator’s emissions if it is being used for non-emergency purposes).

Mail Application Forms to:

Division of Air Quality
State Street Commons, Suite 6A
100 West Water Street
Dover, Delaware 19904

Make checks payable to “State of Delaware”

If the facility/owner has never submitted a permit application to the Division of Air Quality, they must also submit an Environmental Permit Application Background Statement.

Applications should be mailed to the Division of Air Quality, along with required permit fees. All checks should be made payable to: State of Delaware.

Additional Requirements

Air Quality Action Days

Testing and maintenance of generators is prohibited on days when there is an Air Quality Alert (as specified in section 4.4 of Regulation No. 1144). Alerts are posted on the Air Quality Forecast page and sent out via email (Subscribe by sending a blank email to

Emergency Response Commission Reporting

Storage of either 500 pounds or 55 gallons of diesel fuel triggers Tier II reporting requirements from the State Emergency Response Commission. For more information about these requirements, contact the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-know Act (EPCRA) Reporting Program, at 302-739-9405.

Storage Tanks

There are additional regulatory requirements for aboveground and underground storage tanks, including those used to store generator fuels. Delaware requires the registration of any aboveground storage tank (AST) that is greater than 250 gallons in capacity and contains a regulated substance, including diesel fuel to power a stationary generator.

Tanks Compliance, in the Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances, regulates the installation, operation, maintenance, and closure of aboveground and underground storage tank systems in order to prevent contamination of soils and groundwater.

Federal Requirements

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published Federal Stationary Engine Regulations that include New Source Performance Standards and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants related to internal combustion engines.