WESTERVILLE, Ohio — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 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, according to a press release.

"The revised rule is a major improvement over EPA's previous proposal," said Denis Crayon, National Ground Water Association's (NGWA) DOT-OSHA Subcommittee chair.

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, reported the release, and 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.

Read more on EPA here.

NGWA estimates that approximately 30 percent of water well drilling rigs would have had problems meeting EPA's initial proposal, continued the release, so 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.

"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 McAnnich, the Rig Doctor and an NGWA DOT-OSHA Subcommittee member.