A Notice of Violation (NOV) is a formal record of the District’s finding that a violation of a state law or District regulation affecting air quality has occurred. In most cases, a violation can be settled by taking corrective action and paying a penalty. However, an NOV may result in civil suit, or in serious cases, criminal prosecution.
How to Respond to an NOV
- The first step to responding to an NOV is to take immediate corrective action to prevent the violation from recurring. Each additional day during which rules and regulations are not met could constitute an additional violation.
- Advise the District in a letter within ten working days of the action taken to correct the violation. Your response does not preclude the possibility of further legal action. A penalty may be assessed at this point.
How NOVs Are Resolved
NOVs are resolved through the District’s Mutual Settlement Program or via legal action.
Mutual Settlement Program
Mutual settlement is a method of resolving violations without the expense in time and cost of legal action. The District pursues mutual settlement for the majority of NOVs. The District will work with the violator to find an acceptable penalty amount that precludes further enforcement action or pursuit of legal remedies.
Violations that cannot be resolved through mutual settlement may be referred to District Counsel or the appropriate county District Attorney. Some of these cases may be settled out of court. The referral of a violation to the County District Attorney for further action may result in civil or criminal prosecution.
Unusually serious violations which could have been prevented or which show willful disregard for public health and air pollution control laws may be directly referred for criminal prosecution. Criminal penalties for such violations may be as high as $50,000 for each day of violation or one year in jail, or both.
Breakdown & Variance
If you are unable to correct the violation immediately and must continue to use the equipment or process which resulted in a Notice of Violation, you must petition the Yolo-Solano AQMD Hearing Board for a variance.
If granted, a variance allows you to legally operate the equipment causing the violation while you are working to correct the problem.