70.94.170  <<  70.94.181 >>   70.94.200

VariancesApplication forConsiderationsLimitationsRenewalsReview.

(1) Any person who owns or is in control of any plant, building, structure, establishment, process or equipment may apply to the department of ecology or appropriate local authority board for a variance from rules or regulations governing the quality, nature, duration or extent of discharges of air contaminants. The application shall be accompanied by such information and data as the department of ecology or board may require. The department of ecology or board may grant such variance, provided that variances to state rules shall require the department's approval prior to being issued by a local authority board. The total time period for a variance and renewal of such variance shall not exceed one year. Variances may be issued by either the department or a local board but only after public hearing or due notice, if the department or board finds that:
(a) The emissions occurring or proposed to occur do not endanger public health or safety or the environment; and
(b) Compliance with the rules or regulations from which variance is sought would produce serious hardship without equal or greater benefits to the public.
(2) No variance shall be granted pursuant to this section until the department of ecology or board has considered the relative interests of the applicant, other owners of property likely to be affected by the discharges, and the general public.
(3) Any variance or renewal thereof shall be granted within the requirements of subsection (1) of this section and under conditions consistent with the reasons therefor, and within the following limitations:
(a) If the variance is granted on the ground that there is no practicable means known or available for the adequate prevention, abatement or control of the pollution involved, it shall be only until the necessary means for prevention, abatement or control become known and available, and subject to the taking of any substitute or alternate measures that the department of ecology or board may prescribe.
(b) If the variance is granted on the ground that compliance with the particular requirement or requirements from which variance is sought will require the taking of measures which, because of their extent or cost, must be spread over a considerable period of time, it shall be for a period not to exceed such reasonable time as, in the view of the department of ecology or board is requisite for the taking of the necessary measures. A variance granted on the ground specified herein shall contain a timetable for the taking of action in an expeditious manner and shall be conditioned on adherence to such timetable.
(c) If the variance is granted on the ground that it is justified to relieve or prevent hardship of a kind other than that provided for in (a) and (b) of this subsection, it shall be for not more than one year.
(4) Any variance granted pursuant to this section may be renewed on terms and conditions and for periods which would be appropriate on initial granting of a variance. If complaint is made to the department of ecology or board on account of the variance, no renewal thereof shall be granted unless following a public hearing on the complaint on due notice the department or board finds that renewal is justified. No renewal shall be granted except on application therefor. Any such application shall be made at least sixty days prior to the expiration of the variance. Immediately upon receipt of an application for renewal, the department of ecology or board shall give public notice of such application in accordance with rules of the department of ecology or board.
(5) A variance or renewal shall not be a right of the applicant or holder thereof but shall be granted at the discretion of the department of ecology or board. However, any applicant adversely affected by the denial or the terms and conditions of the granting of an application for a variance or renewal of a variance by the department of ecology or board may obtain judicial review thereof under the provisions of chapter 34.05 RCW as now or hereafter amended.
(6) Nothing in this section and no variance or renewal granted pursuant hereto shall be construed to prevent or limit the application of the emergency provisions and procedures of RCW 70.94.710 through 70.94.730 to any person or his or her property.
(7) An application for a variance, or for the renewal thereof, submitted to the department of ecology or board pursuant to this section shall be approved or disapproved by the department or board within sixty-five days of receipt unless the applicant and the department of ecology or board agree to a continuance.
(8) Variances approved under this section shall not be included in orders or permits provided for in RCW 70.94.161 or 70.94.152 until such time as the variance has been accepted by the United States environmental protection agency as part of an approved state implementation plan.

NOTES:

Finding1991 c 199: See note following RCW 70.94.011.
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