Regulation 8 Rule 18: Equipment Leaks - 2024 Amendment (Proposed)

Learn about the Air District's development process for amendments to Regulation 8, Rule 18, which would further address emissions from equipment leaks at refineries, chemical plants, and facilities that load and store organic liquids in bulk quantities in the Bay Area.

Find out about the status of the rule development process. Information on hearings, workshops, and other events is provided below.

The Air District is proposing amendments to Rule 8-18 to reduce emissions of Total Organic Compounds (TOC) from equipment leaks at refineries, chemical plants, and facilities that load and store organic liquids in bulk quantities in the Bay Area. Rule 8-18 was identified as part of the Air District's Expedited Best Available Retrofit Control Technology (BARCT) Implementation Schedule adopted per AB 617. Administrative amendments were made to Rule 8-18 in 2021. However, Rule 8-18 was last substantively amended in December 2015 to include equipment at these facilities that services heavy liquids (liquid with an initial boiling point greater than 302 ºF). Due to questions regarding emissions reductions and cost-effectiveness related to including components in heavy liquid service in monitoring requirements, Resolution No. 2015-12 directed staff to examine these issues further and recommend modifying this rule if appropriate. In addition, the Air District was sued in 2016 by three petroleum refineries challenging the 2015 Amendments, resulting in a settlement agreement between the Air District and the petroleum refineries issued in March 2017.

To determine appropriate emission factors for heavy liquid component leaks, a Heavy Liquids Study was conducted and finalized in April 2022. Using this study, the Air District is currently proceeding with rule amendments to limit emissions associated with a subset of equipment that services heavy liquids.

The Air District is proposing amendments to Rule 8-18, which would require that certain components in heavy liquid service be included in a Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) Program. The proposed amendments would also include updates to aid with readability and clarity, as well as changes covering Exemptions, Definitions, Standards, Administrative Requirements, Monitoring and Records, and Procedures. The Air District has released a Public Hearing Notice, Staff Report, text of the proposed rule amendments, Socioeconomic Impact Analysis, a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Notice of Intent (NOI) and CEQA Initial Study and draft Negative Declaration, and other supporting documents for public review and comment:

The Air District Board of Directors will conduct a public hearing to consider adoption of the proposed amendments and adoption of a CEQA Negative Declaration on September 4, 2024 at 10:00 AM. Links and other information on how to join will be provided in the 'Hearings, Workshops and Other Events' table below.

Written and/or email comments on the proposed amendments, CEQA Initial Study and Negative Declaration, and supporting materials will be accepted until 5:00 PM on June 22, 2024. Comments may be submitted to:

Robert Cave
Bay Area Air Quality Management District
375 Beale Street, Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94105
Or via e-mail to ruledevelopment@baaqmd.gov

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Hearings, Workshops and Other Events

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Last Updated: 7/11/2024