A variance application may be filed by a private industrial, commercial, agricultural business, or a public or quasi-public agency which is subject to the rules and regulations of the Yolo-Solano AQMD and is seeking temporary relief from the requirements of those rules.
To file for a variance, the petitioner must submit an application form and the current variance fee (as described on the application).
* Variance application
An approved variance allows the emissions source to operate despite being in violation of District regulation, while steps are taken to bring the source into compliance with the regulation. It should be noted that the U.S. EPA does not recognize District variances. The burden of proof is on the applicant to show by the presentation of argument and evidence that the following eight criteria are met:
- The applicant must show that the source is or will be in violation of Section 41701 or of any rule, regulation, or order of the district.
- The applicant must demonstrate that, due to conditions beyond its reasonable control, requiring compliance would result in either an arbitrary or unreasonable taking of property or the practical closing or elimination of a lawful business.
- The applicant must demonstrate that the harm to the applicant's business, which would be caused by compliance, would be without a corresponding benefit in reducing air contaminants.
- The applicant has given consideration to curtailing operations in lieu of obtaining a variance.
During the period the variance is in effect:
- The applicant will reduce excess emissions to the maximum extent feasible.
- The applicant will monitor or otherwise quantify emission levels and report these levels if so requested by the District.
- No variance will be granted if the operation, under the variance, will result in a violation of Section 41700 (nuisance).
- The state board may revoke or modify any variance granted by any district if, in its judgement, the variance does not require compliance with a required schedule of increments of progress or emission standards as expeditiously as practicable, or the variance does not meet the requirements of this article.
A variance cannot be granted if a public nuisance will result. Variances cannot be granted for the basic requirement to obtain a permit. Variances cannot grant retroactive relief.
If all the criteria are met, the hearing board may grant the variance. However, the hearing board may impose alternative (but not more onerous) requirements for the period until compliance with the rule is achieved. Once a variance order is issued, it becomes legally binding on the source. Violation of the terms of the variance subjects the source to the District's enforcement authority and to the penalty provision in the Health and Safety Code.
Contact Supervising Engineer Frank DeMaris with questions on the variance process. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and (530) 757-3667.
See our Hearing Board page for more information on its role.