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Home / News / Newsfeed / SCAQMD Rule 1153.1: Emissions of Oxides of Nitrogen from Commercial Food Ovens

SCAQMD Rule 1153.1: Emissions of Oxides of Nitrogen from Commercial Food Ovens

January 12, 2024
row of commercial food ovens

For more details on the changes described below, go to: http://www.aqmd.gov/home/regulations/rules/recent-actions.

Rule 1153.1 was amended by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) on August 4, 2023. Rule 1153.1 applies to natural gas-fired food ovens, such as bakery ovens, tortilla ovens, dryers, smokehouses, and roasters, that require an SCAQMD permit and are used to prepare foods or products for making beverages for human consumption.

The amended rule will establish revised nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions limits in two phases. Phase I will set a NOx emissions limit of 30 parts per million (ppm) for all food ovens, except for tortilla ovens heated only using infrared burners, which will have a lower limit of 15 ppm. A carbon monoxide (CO) concentration limit of 800 parts per million by volume (ppmv) will apply for all equipment categories in Phase I. For ovens required to comply with these limits, a permit application must be submitted on or before July 1, 2024, if the burner is 7 years old or older as of August 4, 2023, or by July 1st after the calendar year the burner reaches 7 years old.

 Food ovens that do not meet these limits may no longer operate 12 months after the date the permit was issued, or the permit expiration date if an extension is granted, and no later than the date the burner reaches 10 years old. Food ovens subject to Rule 1153.1 will be required to be source tested every 5 calendar years to demonstrate compliance with these NOx and CO emissions limits.

Phase II includes zero-emission NOx limits for four oven categories: direct-fired bakery ovens and cooking ovens less than or equal to 3 million British thermal units per hour (MMBtu/hr), indirect-fired bakery ovens, and smokehouses. Phase II requirements start on January 1, 2027, for units that are 25 years old or older and burners 10 years old or older. Units with a Phase II zero-emission limit will not require permits to limit their NOx or CO emissions and will not have source test requirements.

If a facility cannot determine the age of the burner or the entire unit using invoices from its purchase, the original rating plate permanently affixed to the unit, or any other method that can be substantiated and approved by the SCAQMD, then the burner will be deemed to be 7 years old and the entire unit 25 years old as of July 1, 2024.

Food oven operators may choose to instead comply with a NOx emissions limit of 1 pound per day per unit or less, or 1 pound per day or less averaged over a calendar month, following the fuel meter and recordkeeping requirements. If a unit is decommissioned instead of complying with the NOx limits, the unit may continue to operate up to 30 months after the permit application due date if all fuel to the unit is disconnected and the SCAQMD permit is inactivated.

Rule 1153.1 also includes an Alternative Compliance Schedule Plan option to meet the Phase II emissions limit by allowing additional time for a utility to provide the necessary electrical upgrades to their facility to power the electric oven(s). However, the alternative schedule will only be considered for unit upgrades that are necessary for reasons outside of the control of the facility.

Food ovens at Regional Clean Air Incentives Market (RECAIM) facilities are required to comply with RECLAIM compliance standards until the facility is designated a former RECLAIM facility. An interim concentration limit of 102 ppm NOx applies to food ovens at former RECLAIM facilities until they are required to comply with the Rule 1153.1 amendment requirements.


Yorke Engineering specializes in air quality consulting and environmental consulting for stationary and mobile sources, including dispersion modeling, health risk assessments, permitting, emission inventories, air quality compliance systems, etc. Yorke Engineering has assisted over 1,800 customers, including a wide variety of industrial facilities and government organizations throughout California. Learn more about how we can help you here: Air Quality | Yorke Engineering, LLC (yorkeengr.com).

Main Office:

31726 Rancho Viejo Rd. Suite 218
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

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