(Alberta) AER Directive 039: Revised Program to Reduce Benzene Emissions from Glycol Dehydrators

Last updated: 8 March 2024

The licensee must provide public notification within 750 m of a glycol dehydrator, indicating the presence of the dehydrator and benzene emissions, and providing contact information if the public wants to know more.


The directive sets benzene limits for dehydrators, based on the distance from the dehydrator to the "nearest close proximity development" (ranging from 0 to 3 tpy). The cumulative benzene emissions of multiple dehydrators at a site must not exceed these limits. These limits are effective as of 1 January 2018. Effective 1 January 2021, the dirctive sets cumulative benzene limits from all sources at a facility, again based on the distance to the nearest development (ranging from 0 to 1 tpy).


Licensees must estimate performance of various emissions controls; the directive caps the performance a licensee can assume for different technologies (e.g., the licensee may not assume a flare has more than a 90% efficiency rate). The regulator encourages use of new technologies and enables their uptake under the directive.


Licensees must report on the inventory form the annual mass of methane released, in kilograms, for each dehydrator that operated in the calendar year. Applying or establishing a benzene control efficiency (i.e., a per cent benzene that has been removed) for a control technology is described in section 4. Directive 039 iterates that is illegal for a project to be operating if it does not comply with benzene emission limitations. 


While the directive focuses on benzene, glycol dehydrators also emit methane and these measures have the co-benefit of reducing methane emissions as well.


Governed by Alberta Energy Regulator

Want to know more about this policy ? Learn more