Flare Minimization Plans

Read about regulations governing oil refinery flares, which burn off certain gases to keep them out of the atmosphere, and view plans filed by local refineries to monitor and reduce them.

Refinery Flare Regulations

Flare systems at refineries are used to safely dispose of hydrocarbon gases. The flare systems gather the vented gases and combust them to keep them from being released directly into the air.

Air District regulations aim to cut emissions from flares by reducing their number and size. The Air District also requires   refineries to monitor flares and file monthly reports.

Flaring is not allowed unless it follows an approved Flare Minimization Plan. These plans describe each flare at a given facility, the equipment and procedures used to reduce flaring, and any other measures needed to prevent flaring.

Notice of Public Availability of Refinery Flare Minimization Plan Annual Updates

The Air District is releasing the Flare Minimization Plan, or FMP, Annual Updates for public review and comment. The five Bay Area refineries prepared these plans subject to Regulation 12, Rule 12: Flares at Refineries.

Under Regulation 12-12, each FMP Annual Update must include:

  • New prevention measures identified during investigations of flaring events that occurred during the period July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022;
  • A description of the prevention measures previously taken or currently planned to reduce flare emissions at the refinery;
  • Commitment to implement all new feasible prevention measures expeditiously; and
  • A 30-day public comment> review period.
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Note: These are the redacted versions of the current FMP Annual Updates and confidential trade secret information has been removed.

Approved Flare Minimization Plans

Copies of local refineries’ initial Flare Minimization Plans and annual plan updates are public, except for proprietary information.

2020-2021 (Approved in 2022)

The District approved the FMP Annual Updates after careful evaluation and consideration of the public comments as required by Regulation 12, Rule 12. These FMP Updates addressed refinery flaring activity during the period July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021.  

Click on the links in the table below to view the current approved FMP Annual Updates for each refinery and the current FMP Annual Update public comments.

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Note: These are the redacted versions of the current FMP Annual Updates and confidential trade secret information has been removed.

2019-2020 (Approved in 2021)

The District approved the FMP Annual Updates after careful evaluation and consideration of the public comments as required by Regulation 12, Rule 12. These FMP Updates addressed refinery flaring activity during the period July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020.  

Click on the links in the table below to view the current approved FMP Annual Updates for each refinery and the current FMP Annual Update public comments.

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Note: These are the redacted versions of the current FMP Annual Updates and confidential trade secret information has been removed.

2018-2019 (Approved in 2020)

The District approved the FMP Annual Updates after careful evaluation and consideration of the public comments as required by Regulation 12, Rule 12.  These FMP Updates addressed refinery flaring activity during the period July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019.  

Click on the links in the table below to view the current approved FMP Annual Updates for each refinery and the current FMP Annual Update public comments.

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Note: These are the redacted versions of the current FMP Annual Updates and confidential trade secret information has been removed.

2017-2018 (Approved in 2019)

The District approved the FMP Annual Updates after careful evaluation and consideration of the public comments as required by Regulation 12, Rule 12.  These FMP Updates addressed refinery flaring activity during the period July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018.  

Click on the links in the table below to view the current approved FMP Annual Updates for each refinery and the current FMP Annual Update public comments.

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Note: These are the redacted versions of the current FMP Annual Updates and confidential trade secret information has been removed.

2016-2017 (Approved in 2018)

The District approved the FMP Annual Updates after careful evaluation and consideration of the public comments as required by Regulation 12, Rule 12.  These FMP Updates addressed refinery flaring activity during the period July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017.  

Click on the links in the table below to view the current approved FMP Annual Updates for each refinery and the current FMP Annual Update public comments.

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Note: These are the redacted versions of the current FMP Annual Updates and confidential trade secret information has been removed.

2015-2016 (Approved in 2017)

The District approved the FMP Annual Updates after careful evaluation and consideration of the public comments as required by Regulation 12, Rule 12.  These FMP Updates addressed refinery flaring activity during the period July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016.  

Click on the links in the table below to view the current approved FMP Annual Updates for each refinery and the current FMP Annual Update public comments.

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Note: These are the redacted versions of the current FMP Annual Updates and confidential trade secret information has been removed.

2014-2015 (Approved in 2016)

The District approved the FMP Annual Updates after careful evaluation and consideration of the public comments as required by Regulation 12, Rule 12.  These FMP Updates addressed refinery flaring activity during the period July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015.  

Click on the links in the table below to view the current approved FMP Annual Updates for each refinery and the current FMP Annual Update public comments.

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Note: These are the redacted versions of the current FMP Annual Updates and confidential trade secret information has been removed.

2013-2014 (Approved in 2015)

The District approved the FMP Annual Updates after careful evaluation and consideration of the public comments as required by Regulation 12, Rule 12.  These FMP Updates addressed refinery flaring activity during the period July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014.  

Click on the links in the table below to view the current approved FMP Annual Updates for each refinery and the current FMP Annual Update public comments.

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No public comments and responses have been received for the above refineries.

Note: These are the redacted versions of the FMP Annual Updates and confidential trade secret information has been removed.

2011-2013 (Approved in 2014)

On September 19, 2014, the District approved the FMP Annual Updates after careful evaluation and consideration of the public comments as required by Regulation 12, Rule 12.  These FMP Updates addressed refinery flaring activity during the period July 1, 2011 - June 30, 2013.  The 30-day public comment period for the current FMP Annual Updates was August 11 - September 9, 2014.

Click on the links in the table below to view the current approved FMP Annual Updates for each refinery and the current FMP Annual Update public comments. 

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No Public Comments and Responses have been received (for the above refineries).

Note: These are the redacted versions of the FMP Annual Updates and confidential trade secret information has been removed.

2010-2011 (Approved in 2012)

On September 27, 2012, the District approved the FMP Fourth Annual Updates after careful evaluation and consideration of the public comments as required by Regulation 12, Rule 12.  These FMP updates addressed refinery flaring activity during the 12-month period from July 1, 2010 until June 30, 2011.  The 30-day public comment period for the FMP Fourth Annual Updates was July 16 - August 14, 2012.

Click on the links in the table below to view the approved FMP Fourth Annual Updates for each refinery and FMP Fourth Annual Update public comments.

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No Public Comments and Responses have been received (for the above refineries).

Note:  These are redacted versions of the FMP Fourth Annual Updates and confidential trade secret information has been removed.

2009-2010 (Approved in 2011)

On January 17, 2011, the District approved the FMP Third Annual updates after careful evaluation and consideration of the public comments as required by Regulation 12, Rule 12. These FMP updates addressed refinery flaring activity during the 12-month period from July 1, 2009 until June 30, 2010. The 30-day public comment period for the FMP Third Annual Updates was November 12 - December 11, 2010.

Click on the links in the table below to view the approved FMP Third Annual Updates for each refinery and FMP Third Annual Update public comments.

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No Public Comments and Responses have been received (for the above refineries).

Note:  These are redacted versions of the FMP Third Annual Updates and confidential trade secret information has been removed.

2008-2009 (Approved in 2009)

On December 29, 2009, the District approved the FMP Second Annual Updates after careful evaluation and consideration of the public comments as required by Regulation 12-12. These FMP updates addressed refinery flaring activity during the 13-month period from June 1, 2008 until June 30, 2009.  The 30-day Public Comment Period for the FMP Second Annual Updates was October 16 - November 14, 2009.

Click on the links in the table below to view the approved FMP Second Annual Updates for each refinery and FMP Second Annual Update public comments.

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No Public Comments and Responses have been received (for the above refineries).

Note:  These are redacted versions of the approved FMP Second Annual Updates and confidential trade secret information has been removed.

2006-2008 (Approved in 2009)

On April 17, 2009, the District approved the FMP First Annual Updates after careful evaluation and consideration of the public comments received as required by Regulation 12-12.  The 30-day Public Comment period for the FMP First Annual Updates was February 2 - March 3, 2009.  The first FMP updates addressed refinery flaring activity during the time period from January 1, 2006 until May 30, 2008.

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Public Comments and Responses (for all above Refineries)
Note:  These are redacted versions of the approved First Annual FMPs and confidential trade secret information has been removed.

2006-2008 (Approved in 2009)

On July 16, 2007, the District approved all five Bay Area refinery Initial FMPs following substantial input from the public and only after it was determined that all available prevention measures have been implemented or scheduled for expeditious implementation.  The initial FMP 60-day Public Comment Period was April 2 - May 31, 2007.

The approved Initial FMPs for each refinery and the Initial FMP public comments are provided in the following table.

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Final Public Comments and Responses (for all above Refineries)
Note:  These are redacted versions of the approved Initial FMPs and confidential trade secret information has been removed.

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Spare the Air Status

Last Updated: 12/21/2023