New Regulation 13, Climate Pollutants, Rule 5: Industrial Hydrogen Plants and Amendments to Regulation 8: Organic Compounds, Rule 2: Miscellaneous Operations
Rule 13-5 limits vented emissions of total organic compounds (including both methane and other organic compounds) from hydrogen production, hydrogen carrying systems, and hydrogen end users such as process units at petroleum refineries. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has a policy goal of reducing Bay Area greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Methane is a potent and short-lived climate pollutant with a global warming potential 86 times greater than that of carbon dioxide, when compared on a 20-year time horizon. The intent of Rule 13-5 is to minimize both methane and other organic compound emissions, which can be vented from atmospheric vents at petroleum refinery hydrogen plants during normal operating conditions, startups, shutdowns, malfunctions, upsets, and emergencies.
The amendments to Rule 8-2 add to the list of other operations not meeting the definition of miscellaneous operations those limited by Section 301 of Regulation 13: Climate Pollutants, Rule 5: Industrial Hydrogen Plants (Rule 13-5). This amendment has the effect of excluding those operations from Rule 8-2. Rule 13-5, section 301 contains a total organic compound (organic compounds including methane by definition) standard equal to that found in Rule 8-2 (15 pounds per day and 300 ppm). The standard in Rule 13-5 is at least as stringent as that found in Rule 8-2, because it limits total organic compounds (methane and other organic compounds) to the same levels found in 8-2 for total carbon (organic compounds excluding methane). Additional amendments to Rule 8-2 add language to the Manual of Procedures section of the Rule to allow other approved test methods for operations processing non-petroleum-based feedstocks. This amendment is consistent with recent amendments made to Air District rules and regulations associated with or referencing refinery operations.