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CPSC RIN: 3041-AC36 Publication ID: Fall 2023 
Title: Portable Generators 

In 2006, the Commission issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) under the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) concerning portable generators. The ANPRM discussed regulatory options that could reduce deaths and injuries related to portable generators, particularly those involving carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. In fiscal year 2006, staff awarded a contract to develop a prototype generator engine with reduced CO in the exhaust. Also, in fiscal year 2006, staff entered into an interagency agreement (IAG) with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to conduct tests with a generator, in both off-the-shelf and prototype configurations, operating in the garage attached to NIST's test house.  In fiscal year 2009, staff entered into a second IAG with NIST with the goal of developing CO emission performance requirements for a possible proposed regulation that would be based on health effects criteria. After additional staff and contractor work, the Commission issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in 2016, proposing a performance standard that would limit the CO emission rates from operating portable generators. In 2018, two voluntary standards, UL 2201 and PGMA G300, adopted different CO-mitigation requirements intended to address the CO poisoning hazard associated with portable generators. Staff developed a simulation and analysis plan to evaluate the effectiveness of those voluntary standards' requirements. In 2019, the Commission sought public comments on staff's plan. In August 2020, staff submitted to the Commission a draft notice of availability of the modified plan, based on staff’s review and consideration of the comments, for evaluating the voluntary standards; the Commission published the notice of availability in August 2020. In February 2022, staff delivered a briefing package to the Commission with the results of the effectiveness analysis and information on the availability of compliant generators in the marketplace. Staff concluded that the CO hazard-mitigation requirements of one standard are more effective than the other, but conformance to either standard is low. Staff provided a supplemental NPRM (SNPRM) on portable generators to the Commission on March 8, 2023.  The Commission published the SNPRM on April 20, 2023.  The comment period closed on June 20, 2023.  A final rule briefing package is scheduled to be sent to the Commission in fiscal year 2023.

Agency: Consumer Product Safety Commission(CPSC)  Priority: Section 3(f)(1) Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: Yes  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined     (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.)
Legal Authority: 15 U.S.C. 2056    15 U.S.C 2058   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

From 2004 through 2021, there were an annual average of 74 consumer CO poisoning deaths and an estimated 4,314 medically-attended consumer CO poisoning injuries caused by generators over this 18-year period.  The Commission expects that the proposed rule would be highly effective in avoiding generator-related CO incidents, producing benefits that far exceed the estimated costs. For every $1 in estimated direct cost to consumers and manufacturers, the proposed rule generates more than $7 in benefits from mitigated deaths and injuries.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

This supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking is authorized by the CPSA. 15 U.S.C. 2051-2084. Section 7(a) of the CPSA authorizes the Commission to promulgate a mandatory consumer product safety standard that sets forth performance or labeling requirements for a consumer product if such requirements are reasonably necessary to prevent or reduce an unreasonable risk of injury. 15 U.S.C. 2056(a). Section 9 of the CPSA specifies the procedure that the Commission must follow to issue a consumer product safety standard under section 7 of the CPSA.



The Commission could (1) implement the draft proposed rule with the exception of the CO emission requirements and CO concentrations for shutoff included in voluntary standard UL 2201; (2) rely on voluntary standard stakeholders to adopt the requirements included in the draft proposed rule into either existing voluntary standard, UL 2201 or PGMA G300; (3) require portable generators to comply with either UL 2201 (2nd Edition; 2019) or PGMA G300-2018; or (4) rely on continued education and information campaigns.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

The proposed rule is estimated to avert 2,148 deaths (nearly 72 deaths per year) and 126,387 injuries (roughly 4,213 injuries per year) over 30 years.  Overall, the draft proposed rule has net benefits (benefits over and above costs) of $897.06 million on an annualized basis at a 3 percent discount rate, and for every $1 in direct cost to consumers and manufacturers, the draft proposed rule generates $7.02 in benefits from mitigated deaths and injuries.


As of May 10, 2022, CPSC databases contained reports of at least 770 generator-related consumer CO-poisoning deaths resulting from 588 incidents that occurred from 2011 through 2021.

Action Date FR Cite
Staff Sent ANPRM to Commission  07/06/2006 
Staff Sent Supplemental Material to Commission   10/12/2006    
Commission Decision  10/26/2006    
Staff Sent Draft ANPRM to Commission  11/21/2006    
ANPRM  12/12/2006  71 FR 74472   
ANPRM Comment Period End  02/12/2007    
Staff Releases Research Report for Comment  10/10/2012 
NPRM  11/21/2016  81 FR 83556   
NPRM Comment Period Extended  12/13/2016  81 FR 89888   
Public Hearing for Oral Comments  03/08/2017  82 FR 8907   
NPRM Comment Period End  04/24/2017 
Staff Sends Notice of Availability to the Commission  06/26/2019 
Commission Decision  07/02/2019 
Notice of Availability  07/09/2019  84 FR 32729   
Staff Sends Notice of Availability to Commission  08/12/2020 
Commission Decision  08/19/2020 
Notice of Availability  08/24/2020  85 FR 52096   
Staff Report on Effectiveness Evaluation of Voluntary Standards  02/16/2022 
Staff Sends (S)NPRM Briefing Package to Commission  03/08/2023 
Commission Decision  04/05/2023 
NPRM  04/20/2023  88 FR 24346   
NPRM Comment Period End  06/20/2023 
Staffs Sends Briefing Package to Commission  11/00/2023 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: Undetermined 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: Undetermined 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
International Impacts: This regulatory action will be likely to have international trade and investment effects, or otherwise be of international interest.
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Agency Contact:
Janet L. Buyer
Project Manager, Directorate for Engineering Sciences
Consumer Product Safety Commission
National Product Testing and Evaluation Center, 5 Research Place,
Rockville, MD 20850
Phone:301 987-2293