Flares and combustors are recognized by the EPA as safe and effective devices that can be used to dispose of hydrocarbons to prevent VOC’s from harming the environment. When it comes to individual state air quality regulations, each state has their own air quality guidelines for combustion equipment.
Texas utilizes two entities to regulate the air quality. Flare and combustor regulations are controlled by the Texas Railroad Commission (TRRC) and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (OKDEQ) is oversees and administers air quality regulations and permitting in Oklahoma. Oil and gas (O&G) production facilities throughout Oklahoma are must obtain air permits from the OKDEQ. For additional information you can contact the OKDEQ Air Quality Division (AQD) for details for O&G air permitting.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) regulates the state’s oil and gas development according to rules outlined in the Colorado Code of Regulations. Rule 912 of the Oil and Gas Conservation Act (see page 183) to read: Rule 912 of the Oil and Gas Conservation Act (see page 183) addresses natural gas flaring and venting, prohibiting unnecessary or excessive venting or flaring from a well.
This rule requires that a facility operator notify the appropriate local point of contact when it plans to conduct flaring activities. The Oil and Gas Conservation Act also outlines regulations relevant to venting and flaring, with relevant provisions iprovisions in Rule 604 (see page 138). In 2016, the COGCC approved the provisions as part of a set of rules related to planning large-scale oil and gas facilities located near residential Urban Mitigation Areas (comprising 22 or more homes). This rule requires the planned facility to identify satisfactory mitigation measures and best management practices. The proposed facility must account for emergency events, fluid management and leak detection, flaring and venting, automated shut-in control measures, and storage tanks.
Oil and gas production flaring must incorporate Best Available Control Technology (BACT), for enclosed smokeless combustion devices or flares. Enclosed smokeless combustion devices and flares must reduce the mass content of VOC and total HAP emissions by at least 98 percent. Reported flared gases should include pilot gas with heat content and flared gas with average estimated heat content.
To comply with Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality Air Quality Rules, flaring or venting must be reported monthly and include duration and total estimated volume of gas, circumstances that resulted in flared gas, identification of whether gas was vented or flared, identification of whether gas volume is based on metered flow or other measurement and a compositional analysis of the gas. Whereas, flaring is authorized in the cases of emergencies or upset conditions, or safety.