Learn about the types of variances available, how to apply for one, and what happens at a variance hearing.

If a facility is out of compliance (or will be in the future) due to circumstances out of its control, a variance may be requested to offer a temporary relief from specific regulation requirements.

A variance allows a facility to continue operating while it takes immediate steps to regain its compliance. Business owners may apply for a variance to be heard by the Air District’s Hearing Board.

Variance Types

Emergency Variance

If your violation occurs without warning, you can request an emergency variance. Sudden equipment breakdown, a power failure, or an accidental fire may be grounds for an emergency variance. This type of variance cannot be granted for more than 30 days.

Regular Variance

If you need more than 90 days to comply with the Air District’s regulations, you should request a regular variance. This variance may extend beyond a year if it includes a detailed schedule under which the facility will come into final compliance.

Interim Variance

If you need immediate protection before your hearing on a regular variance (except for breakdowns), request an interim variance to cover the time until the hearing can be held. You should request the interim variance when you file for the regular variance.

Short-Term Variance

If you can comply with the Air District's regulations within 90 days or less, you should request a short-term variance.

Product Variance

If you manufacture a product (such as a specialized coating) that cannot meet the Air District's requirements, a product variance is needed for the sale, supply, distribution, or use of the product. This variance is granted to the manufacturer of the product.

How to Apply

To apply for an emergency variance:

  1. Contact the Clerk of the Boards (see Contact Us list at bottom of page) and make an emergency variance request. The Clerk will note the date and time of your call.
  2. Download and complete the Emergency Variance Application Form or the Clerk of the Boards will fax it to you.
  3. Submit the form to the Clerk’s Office the same business day (or next business day, depending on the time of your call).
  4. Submit the filing fee (see Schedule A) within 4 business days of the date the application is filed.

To apply for all other variances:

  1. Download and complete the Variance Application Form or contact the Clerk of the Boards to request one.
  2. Mail the filing fee (see Schedule A), the original application form, and 9 copies of the form to the Air District (Attn: Hearing Board).

Next Steps

The Clerk’s Office will notify you of the date and time of your hearing. The Hearing Board must give 30 days public notice for variance requests of more than 90 days, and 10 days public notice for variance requests of less than 90 days.

Hearing Information

View the Variance Hearing Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about what happens at a hearing, how you should prepare, and the grounds under which a variance may be granted.

Contact Us

Marcy Hiratzka
Clerk of the Boards, Executive & Administrative Resources


Hearing Board


Compliance & Enforcement
Compliance Assistance


Contact Us

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Last Updated: 8/3/2023