Rule 1118  - Control of Emissions from Refinery Flares

First adopted in 1998, Rule 1118 - Control of Emissions from Refinery Flares (PDF, 96.4kb) required refineries and related facilities to provide SCAQMD with data regarding the nature and quantity of emissions produced by their vent-gas flaring operations.

The following table presents flare emissions data reported in tons per year by facilities subject to Rule 1118.  These data show that flare emissions decreased in the years following the adoption of Rule 1118 in 1998.  These voluntary reductions in flare gas flow and associated emissions resulted as the refineries became more sensitive to flaring issues, implemented voluntary measures to reduce the vent gas flow combusted in the flares, and better managed their flare operations.

Rule 1118 Reported Annual Flare Emissions (tons)

Year Flow(scf) NOx VOC CO PM10 SOx Total
2000 4,085,000,000 136 125 733 43 2,633 3,670
2001 8,324,000,000 380 456 2,058 87 1,793 4,774
2002 2,440,000,000 83 78 450 25 754 1,390
2003 2,235,000,000 79 75 423 23 735 1,335
2004 2,392,000,000 93 70 364 27 352 906


A significant decrease in SOx emissions from flaring is evident over the reporting period, but flaring was still a significant source of such emissions in the region.

The November 4, 2005 amendment of Rule 1118 established additional requirements to ensure that flare operations were limited to emergencies, shutdowns, startups and other essential operational needs, beginning January 1, 2007.  In addition, the amendment also included provisions that would require each flare operator to:

  • Establish a 24-hour telephone "hotline" to respond to public inquiries about the flares and flare events;
  • Notify SCAQMD within one hour of an unplanned flare event or at least twenty-four hours prior to any planned flare event;
  • Achieve performance emission targets for oxides of sulfur(SOx);
  • Record relevant flare emission data and submit the information to SCAQMD on a quarterly basis;
  • Develop and submit to SCAQMD a flare minimization plan that will require facilities in excess of the emission targets to outline their strategy for achieving the emission performance targets in the coming year.
The changes to Rule 1118 are expected to reduce  SOx emissions from about 4000 pounds per day in 2003 to less than 1000 pounds per day by 2012.

Further information can be obtained from the Rule 1118 Staff Report (PDF, 1057kb, October, 2005) and  the Rule 1118 Implementation Guidance Document (PDF, 175kb, August, 2007).