The latest revision to the Clean Air Act by the EPA regulates the emission of hazardous air pollutants, BTEX, volatile organic compounds, and sulfur dioxide by storage vessels, compressors, and glycol dehydrators used in the oil and natural gas industries.

The regulated pollutants, originating at sources listed below, contain countless greenhouse gases, irritants, and carcinogenic chemicals which generate permanent damage to our environment and public health. Failure to prevent these pollutants from entering the atmosphere now brings federal punishment of up to 5 years and/or fines up to $25,000/day per location. Fortunately the approved technology to comply exists.

For years, MESSCO has produced patented emission control devices, trademarked as VOCinerator™, which ensure smokeless destruction of volatile organic compounds and BTEX with an efficiency of 99.9%. The VOCinerator™ has become the industry leading combustion unit for a number of natural gas and oil production applications. Most recently, this combustor passed the rigorous testing process established by the EPA making it easy for producers to comply with Quad O and 40 CFR 63 subpart HH and HHH.

The EPA made many changes in the regulations originally written regarding timelines, equipment requiring emissions control devices, and levels of pollutants to regulate. These changes were made to enable the oil and gas industry to be compliant with less inconvenience. Unfortunately, this has created some confusion regarding actual compliance.

Following is an up to date list of equipment, as of May 2014, which will require emissions control devices according to 40 CFR part 60 and 63:

Large glycol dehydrators (having a flow rate greater than 85 standard cubic meters of natural gas per day) must connect to an emission control device or series of emission control devices using a closed vent system in order to:

  • Limit Benzene emissions to 0.9 megagrams per year.


  • Eliminate hazardous air pollutants with an efficiency of 95% or greater

Small glycol dehydrators (having a flow rate less than 85 standard cubic meters of natural gas per day) must:

  • Limit BTEX emissions according to the following formula below if construction began before August 23, 2011.
    Formula 1:


  • Limit BTEX emissions according to the formula below if construction began after August 23, 2011.
    Formula 2:

Storage Vessels or Centrifugal Compressors with a potential to emit over 6 tons of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) a year must be connected to an emission control device or a series of emission control devices using a closed vent system with no detectable emissions for at least 95% of the year. Each emission control device is to be tested monthly no closer than 15 days apart and show to meet the following requirements:

  • eliminate VOCs by at least 95%
  • maintain a leak free system
  • use a continuous burning pilot light
  • burn without visible emissions

Alternatively, an emission control device pre tested and approved by the EPA under 40 CFR 60.5413 can be installed.

It is important to note there is a simple way to assure EPA compliance and alleviate any confusion. Make sure you purchase a pre approved emission control device available for polluting sources such as storage vessels, centrifugal compressors, and glycol dehydration units outlined in 40 CFR part 60 and 63. Pre approval by the EPA guarantees that potential polluting sources will be up to EPA standards.

The VOCinerator™ exceeds current EPA standards, eliminating the worry of future EPA compliance issues as well as providing the absolute best air quality protection available. You can rest assured you are in compliance as soon as a VOCinerator™ Combustion Unit is properly in place.

MESSCO leads the industry for highest reliability. In fact, the second generation VOCinerator™ Combustion Unit has achieved an industry record with ZERO failures due to uncontrolled flame or liquid upsets. For a total turn­key operation, companies can purchase an optional maintenance program, relieving them of any worry about future repairs, inspections or equipment failure.

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