Variance Hearing FAQ

Variance Hearing Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens at a Hearing?

Variance hearings are similar to courtroom proceedings. Both sides present evidence through witnesses who are placed under oath. Witnesses may be cross-examined by the opposing side and questioned by Hearing Board members. Though not required, persons requesting a variance are usually represented by an attorney.

An attempt is made to determine why and how the rule is being violated, whether the violation could have been prevented, what is being done to correct the violation, when correction will be completed, what will happen to the business if must shut down, and how the violation affects the public.

Air District staff may present information pertinent to the case and may suggest certain limiting conditions. The public may also present information important to the case.

How Should I Prepare for a Hearing?

You may wish to retain an attorney to present your case. If you plan to represent yourself, be sure to prepare for the hearing. You should be fully aware of the rules or regulations that have been violated, what your excess emissions are, and how and when you plan to come into compliance.

If you have sought the help of technical experts to resolve your problem, they should accompany you to the hearing.

You should also bring copies of your current Permits to Operate with you. The Hearing Board requires an original and nine copies of any documents submitted to them.

What are the Grounds for Granting a Variance?

At a variance hearing, the Hearing Board will consider the following points:

  • Present or future violation of Air District regulations.
  • Whether conditions causing the violation were beyond your reasonable control.
  • Whether shutting down your equipment or business would be reasonable under the circumstances.
  • Whether the reduction in air pollution resulting from a shutdown would justify closing the facility.
  • Whether you will reduce emissions to the maximum extent possible.
  • Whether you will monitor/quantify the emissions and report them to the District.
  • Whether these emissions would cause odor or other nuisances in the community, threats to public health, or damage to property.

Contact Us

Marcy Hiratzka
Clerk of the Boards, Executive & Administrative Resources


Hearing Board


Compliance & Enforcement
Compliance Assistance


Contact Us

Spare the Air Status

Last Updated: 3/24/2021