SANTA BARBARA COUNTY AIR POLLUTION CONTROL DISTRICT

RULE 359 - FLARES AND THERMAL OXIDIZERS
(Adopted 6/28/1994)

A. Applicability

The provisions of this Rule shall apply to the use of flares and thermal oxidizers at oil and gas production sources (SIC code 13), petroleum refinery and related sources (SIC code 29), natural gas services and transportation sources (SIC code 49) and wholesale trade in petroleum/petroleum products (SIC code 51). This Rule shall, on the date of its adoption, supersede the fuel combustion provisions of Rule 311 only insofar as these fuel combustion provisions apply to flares and thermal oxidizers.

B. Exemptions

C. Definitions

For purposes of this Rule, the following definitions shall apply. See Rule 102 (Definitions) for definitions that are not restricted to interpretation of this Rule only.

"Burn" means combustion of any fuel including a gaseous fuel, whether for useful heat or by incineration without heat recovery.

"Day" or "days" means calendar day(s) unless otherwise stated.

"Emergency" means any situation arising from sudden and reasonably unforeseeable events beyond the control of the permittee, including acts of God. An emergency situation requires immediate corrective action to restore normal, safe operation. It also causes an exceedance of an emission standard or a limit stipulated in this Rule, due to unavoidable increases in emissions attributable to the emergency situation only. Events which have been deemed as planned events (for definition, see later in this section) by a federal regulatory agency shall be precluded from being considered as emergency events.

"Emergency Flare Event" means the combustion (flaring) of gaseous fuels caused by an emergency event.

"Flare" means a direct combustion device in which air and all combustible gases react at the burner with the objective of complete and instantaneous oxidation of the combustible gases. Flares are used either continuously or intermittently and are not equipped with devices for fuel-air mix control or for temperature control.

"Flare Gas" means produced gas or natural gas burned in a flare or thermal oxidizer.

"Gaseous fuel" means gases used as combustion fuel which include, but are not limited to, any natural, process, synthetic, landfill, sewage digester, or waste gases. Gaseous fuel includes produced gas, pilot gas and, when burned, purge gas.

"Month" or "monthly" means calendar month or refers to calendar month.

"Net heating value" means the heating value of the flare gas being combusted, as specified under 40 CFR 60.18(f)(3) [1992 Edition].

"Northern Zone of the Santa Barbara County" means that portion of Santa Barbara County described in Section 60103(b) of Title 17 of the California Administrative Code as written on December 21, 1968 (Register 68, No.48). The Northern Zone also includes (a) State waters and, (b) those areas of the OCS waters for which the District has been designated the corresponding onshore area by the USEPA -- which are located offshore of that portion of Santa Barbara County lying north of the latitude of the mouth of Jalama Creek.

"Pilot Gas" means gas that is used to ignite or continually ignite flare gas. Pilot gas may be PUC- quality gas, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or produced gas.

"Planned Flaring" means a flaring operation that constitutes a designed and planned process at a source, and which would have been reasonably foreseen ahead of its actual occurrence, or is scheduled to occur. Planned flaring includes, but is not limited to, the following activities:

"Planned continuous flaring" shall include flare purge and flare pilot operations, and continuous flaring of produced gas which is not otherwise processed at the source.

"Planned intermittent flaring" shall include all other planned flaring of limited duration in time and volume of gaseous fuel, e.g., pigging or equipment depressurization for maintenance.

"Preventive Maintenance" means a regularly scheduled course of procedure designed to prevent equipment failure or decline of equipment function.

"Produced gas" means organic compounds that are both: (a) gaseous at standard pressure and temperature (1 atmosphere and 60°F), and (b) associated with the production, gathering, separation or processing of crude oil and/or natural gas.

"Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Quality Gas" means, in the context of sulfur content of the gaseous fuel, gas containing no more than one-fourth (0.25) grain of hydrogen sulfide per one hundred (100) standard cubic feet and no more than five grains of total sulfur per one hundred (100) standard cubic feet. PUC quality gas shall also mean high methane (at least 80 % by volume) gas as specified in PUC's General Order 58-A.

"Purge Gas" means an inert gas mixture, LPG, PUC quality gas, or produced gas, any of which can be used to maintain a non-explosive mixture of gases in the flare header or provide sufficient exit velocity to prevent any regressive flame travel back into the flare header.

"Smokeless" means, in the context of flare or thermal oxidizer combustion, operation with visible emissions not exceeding an opacity level, for a period or periods aggregrating more than three minutes in any one hour, as dark or darker in shade as that designated as No. 1 on the Ringelmann Chart as published by the U.S. Bureau of Mines.

"Southern Zone of the Santa Barbara County" means that portion of Santa Barbara County so described in Section 60104 of Title 17 of the California Administrative Code as written on December 21, 1968 (Register 68, No.48). The Southern Zone also includes (a) State waters and, (b) those areas of the OCS waters for which the District has been designated the corresponding onshore area by the USEPA -- which are located offshore of that portion of Santa Barbara County lying south of the latitude of the mouth of Jalama Creek.

"Thermal Oxidizer" means a combustion device that includes enclosed, ground-level flares and in which the gases to be flared pass through one or more staged burners which may be steam quenched or assisted to control smoke. The products of combustion are funneled through a naturally drafted stack to above ground elevations. Thermal oxidizers come equipped with controls for combustion chamber temperature and often with combustion fuel-air mix controls.

"Unplanned Flaring" means a flaring event that is not planned or scheduled to occur. An emergency event is an example of an unplanned event (emergency event is a subset of unplanned event).

D. Requirements

 

FLARE TYPE Heat Release Rate 

(MMBtu/hr)
Emissions 

( in 
Standards 

lbs/MMBtu) 
    NOx ROC
w/o Steam-assist <10 MMBtu/hr 0.0952 0.0051
  10-100 MMBtu/hr 0.1330 0.0027
  >100 MMBtu/hr 0.5240 0.0013
with Steam Assist All 0.068 0.14--as TOG
E. Test Methods

The standard test methods listed below shall be used during required tests, as applicable, by the source owner or operator to demonstrate compliance with this Rule. Test methods not listed may be used if the owner or operator demonstrates to the Control Officer that the method is an equivalent test method, and obtains the USEPA or ARB approval of this method prior to its use.

F. Source Testing

Any owner or operator of a source subject to this Rule shall perform the following:

G. Monitoring and Recordkeeping

Any owner or operator of a source subject to this Rule shall perform the following, as applicable:

H. Reporting

Any owner or operator of a source subject to this Rule shall provide the following reports, as applicable:

I. Compliance Schedule

J. Effective Date of Rule

This Rule is effective on June 28, 1994.


APPENDIX A
The flare minimization plan shall include the following, where applicable:

The flare minimization plan shall also incorporate the following:

The flare owner or operator shall review the flare minimization plan every five (5) years, and shall submit to the District any findings of new procedures or technologies for flare minimization that were not addressed in earlier plans. If any such procedures or technologies are identified, the owner or operator shall also submit a schedule for the implementation of such procedures and technologies.


APPENDIX B
No flare shall operate with an actual exit velocity exceeding a designed maximum velocity Vmax. This design velocity Vmax is computed, as follows:

Appendix B shall not apply to high-pressure flares where the flare gas pressure at the flare tip inlet is greater than 5 psig.


APPENDIX C
The following events comprise a brief list of events that would qualify as emergency events. Note that these events must also meet the criteria of emergency specified in this Rule, before they can be considered as emergency events.

The following shall also be considered as emergency flaring events:

Sudden power failure at onshore source, sudden process problems including foaming within production units, process-computer problems at production and pollution control units, pollution control equipment breakdowns, power supply system breakdowns, pipeline or fuel line breakdowns.

Emergency events continue in duration until the operator gets the emergency situation under control including the emission exceedances, or shuts down the source, or reroutes production to a different source.