Federal lawmakers say portable generator rule changes will harm manufacturers, suppliers 

Federal lawmakers from Wisconsin are raising concerns over a potential change in regulations that will impact engine-driven portable welders, according to WisBusiness. These portable welding machines are used widely by construction workers at industrial sites.

A recent letter to the head of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission from U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, and U.S. Sen. J.D. Vance of Ohio urged the maintenance of an existing exemption for these products from the agency’s safety standards for portable generators. The letter followed the commission’s release of potential new safety standards.

Under the new proposed regulations, the calculated weighted carbon monoxide emission rate of a generator couldn’t exceed a specified limit, and the generator would need to have a carbon monoxide generator and shut-off mechanism. Generators that are part of a welding machine from the category of portable generators were previously exempt from the rule.

The lawmakers argue the automatic shut-off requirement could render the machines unusable due to welding fumes and additional emissions present at construction sites. They have said the change could harm manufacturers, suppliers, and the workers that use the machines.

The full letter from the lawmakers is available online.