Skip to main content
Legal Alert

Is Compliance with Air District Regulations Proving to be Difficult?

Is Compliance with Air District Regulations Proving to be Difficult?

You can take proactive steps by applying for a variance. A variance allows a business to continue operating in violation of air district rules without a penalty while the business takes steps to come into compliance. There are different types of variances depending upon how long the business needs to come into compliance. A petition for a variance must be filed with the air district's hearing board. The hearing board will consider whether:

  • The business is or will be in violation of a district rule.
  • The non-compliance is due to conditions beyond the reasonable control of the business.
  • The closing of the business would be without a corresponding benefit in reducing air contaminants.
  • The business has given consideration to curtailing operations instead of obtaining a variance.
  • The business will reduce excess emissions to the maximum extent feasible while the variance is in effect.
  • The business will monitor or otherwise quantify excess emission levels, if requested to do so, and report these emission levels to the air district.

Variance hearings operate like an courtroom proceeding. The hearing board members are the judges. The air district is represented by its attorneys, and may oppose the variance. Businesses have a right to be represented by an attorney, but it is not required. Both parties present opening and closing statements, and evidence through witnesses that testify under oath. Witnesses may be cross-examined by the opposing side and questioned by hearing board members. But, unlike a court proceeding, the public may also testify and offer their opinions about whether the variance should be granted. The air district often requests that the hearing board impose certain conditions that can affect the operation of the business and set deadlines for compliance. After all of the evidence is received, the hearing board will close the proceeding, and the members publicly deliberate and vote as to whether to grant the variance or not. An official order is then issued by the hearing board that the business must comply with.

The hearing board also decides cases involving permit disputes (appeals of permit denials, permit approvals, conditions, suspensions or revocations) and orders for abatement (which require a business to shut down its operation or take specific actions to come into compliance with air district regulations).

Hanson Bridgett has extensive experience representing business in all types of air district matters including variance hearings, orders for abatement, compliance issues, rulemaking advocacy, and permitting issues.

For More Information, Please Contact:

Alene Taber
Alene Taber
Los Angeles, CA