4 The record articles

Refinery Sector Rule Update: Compliance Dates for Flares and What You Should Be Doing Now

Posted: March 2nd, 2016

Authors: Amanda E. 

Back in December, the final Refinery Sector Rule (RSR) was published in the Federal Register, which outlined several new requirements for refinery flares.  If you own or operate a refinery that has a flare, or plan to install a flare in the future, then you’ll want to know the new requirements and compliance dates, and get into action.  All4’s article, “U.S EPA Proposes Substantial Refinery Flare Operating and Monitoring Requirements” from May 2014, by Roy detailed the originally proposed changes and my blog post, “Finalized Refinery Rule – Flare Edition” from November 2015 discussed the changes in the flare requirements from the proposed rule to the final rule.

When do I need to be in compliance?

On or before January 30, 2019.  Just under three (3) years from now, your flare is expected to be in compliance with the flare requirements in §63.670 and §63.671, from 40 CFR Part 63 Subpart CC (National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants from Petroleum Refineries).  Existing flares used as a control device must be in compliance by January 30, 2019.  If your flare is used, or is to be used as a control device and is constructed on or after January 30, 2019, the flare is subject to §63.670 upon startup.

For flares subject to 40 CFR Part 63 Subpart UUU (National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Petroleum Refineries: Catalytic Cracking Units, Catalytic Reforming Units, and Sulfur Recovery Units), the owner and operators are required to meet the requirements of §63.670 on or before (you guessed it) January 30, 2019, regardless of the construction date of the flare.  Prior to January 30, 2019, the flare must meet the control device requirements specified in §63.11(b) or the requirements of §63.670.

SO WHAT do I need to Do?

Flares that are subject to the requirements in §63.670 are also subject to the flare monitoring requirements in §63.671, which include developing a monitoring plan, operating a continuous parametric monitoring system (CPMS), and submitting periodic reports.  These are brand new requirements for flares, and they may be confusing.  Although three (3) years may sound like a long time, these projects will include many different parts of the refinery – from environmental and operators to engineers and instrumentation.  The importance of a planned timeline is crucial to meet the January 30, 2019, compliance date and ensure that budgeting is in place and the projects can be planned in conjunction with facility operations.

To put the effort necessary to comply with the final flare requirements of Subparts CC and UUU in perspective, here is an idea of the tasks required under §63.670 and §63.671 to be completed leading up to the January 30, 2019, deadline:

  • Develop or update flare management plans, including flare minimization assessment
  • Develop root cause analysis (RCA) and corrective action analysis procedures
  • Evaluate pursuing Alternative Means of Emission Limitation (AMEL) and AMEL Test Plan
  • Evaluate the need for, develop, and submit Alternative Monitoring Procedure (AMP), as necessary
  • Design and implement the flare CPMS:
    • Purchase measurement devices, instrument(s), and install, test, and troubleshoot
    • Implement data acquisition handling system (DAHS)
    • Develop monitoring plans and quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) plans
  • Conduct visible emissions training

By January 30, 2019:

  • Comply with flare monitoring requirements and operating limits including recordkeeping and reporting requirements
  • Operate flare CPMS
  • Complete initial compliance demonstrations for visible emissions monitoring
  • Submit flare management plans to Administrator
  • Submit CPMS Plans (if requested by Administrator, otherwise keep onsite)

Give ALL4 a call and we’d be happy to discuss the nuances of the new rule, and how we can help make your lives easier when it comes to flares.  Meghan Barber (mbarber@all4inc.com, 610-933-5246 x130), Kristin Gordon (kgordon@all4inc.com, 281-937-7553 x301) or myself, Amanda Essner (aessner@all4inc.com, 610-933-5246 x129) would be happy to help!


    Sign up to receive 4 THE RECORD articles here. You'll get timely articles on current environmental, health, and safety regulatory topics as well as updates on webinars and training events.
    First Name: *
    Last Name: *
    Location: *
    Email: *

    Skip to content