is a tall stack equipped with burners used as a
safety device. Flares are used for the combustion and disposal of
combustible gases due to emergency relief, overpressure, process upsets,
startups, shutdowns, and other operational safety reasons.
Planned flare events occur
during scheduled maintenance, the start-up of a process unit, or other
activities where a refinery or related source can reasonably anticipate the
need to dispose of any excess refinery gases these activities may produce.
Unplanned flare events occur during
emergencies caused by an equipment breakdown, power
outage or other upset beyond a refinery's control, when flares are used to
safely burn compressed gases that could otherwise pose potential risks to
workers, the community or the environment.
Seven petroleum refining facilities (at eight locations), three hydrogen plants and one sulfur recovery plant
within the South Bay region of Los Angeles County operate a total of 30
flares subject to the requirements of Rule 1118 - Control of
Emissions from Refinery Flares
Under Rule 1118, each of these facilities is required to:
- Maintain a 24-hour public inquiry telephone hotline;
Notify AQMD of flare events (both planned and unplanned);
- Reduce emissions to meet specific targets;
- Develop a flare minimization plan if
they fail to meet the emission targets ;
- Monitor flare emissions; and
- Submit quarterly emission reports to AQMD.
Community members are encouraged to:
- Call the appropriate flare hotline
for information about flares or flare events at these facilities;
- Sign up to receive email
notifications of planned and unplanned flare events; and
- Report smoke or odor complaints associated with flares (or any other air quality problems) to AQMD by calling 1-800-CUT-SMOG.