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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 5. Department of Health
Chapter 640. Alternative Discharging Sewage Treatment Regulations for Individual Single Family Dwellings
6/27/2022

12VAC5-640-170. Variances.

Only the commissioner or the deputy commissioners may grant a variance to this chapter. (See §§ 32.1-12 and 32.1-22 of the Code of Virginia and subdivision 2 of 12VAC5-640-80.) The commissioner or the deputy commissioners shall follow the appropriate procedures set forth in this section in granting a variance.

1. The commissioner may grant a variance if a thorough investigation reveals that the hardship imposed by this chapter outweighs the benefits that may be received by the public. Further, the granting of such a variance shall not subject the public to unreasonable health risks or jeopardize environmental resources.

2. Any owner who seeks a variance shall apply in writing within the time period specified in 12VAC5-640-210 C. The application shall be signed by the owner. The application shall include:

a. A citation to the regulation from which a variance is requested;

b. The nature and duration of the variance requested;

c. Any relevant analytical results including results of relevant tests conducted pursuant to the requirements of this chapter;

d. Statements or evidence why the public health and welfare and environmental resources would not be degraded if the variance were granted;

e. Suggested conditions that might be imposed on the granting of a variance that would limit the detrimental impact on the public health and welfare or environmental resources;

f. Other information, if any, believed pertinent by the applicant; and

g. Such other information as the department or commissioner may require.

3. In the evaluation of a variance application, the commissioner shall consider the following factors:

a. The effect that such a variance would have on the construction, location, or operation of the discharging system;

b. The cost and other economic considerations imposed by this requirement;

c. The effect that such a variance would have on protection of the public health;

d. The effect that such a variance would have on protection of environmental resources; and

e. Such other factors as the commissioner may deem appropriate.

4. The commissioner may grant or deny a variance request in accordance with the requirements of this subdivision.

a. The commissioner may deny any application for a variance by sending a denial notice to the applicant by certified mail. The notice shall be in writing and shall state the reasons for the denial.

b. If the commissioner proposes to grant a variance request submitted pursuant to subdivision 2 of this section, the applicant shall be notified in writing of this decision. Such notice shall identify the variance and the discharging system covered, and shall specify the period of time for which the variance will be effective. The effective date of a variance shall be as stated in the variance.

c. No owner may challenge the terms or conditions set forth in the variance after 30 calendar days have elapsed from the effective date of the variance.

5. All variances granted to any discharging sewage treatment system are transferable from owner to owner unless otherwise stated. Each variance shall be attached to the permit to which it is granted. Each variance is revoked when the permit to which it is attached is revoked.

6. Subject to the time limitations specified in 12VAC5-640-210, informal conference or consultation proceedings or hearings on denials of an application for a variance or on challenges to the terms and conditions of a granted variance may be held pursuant to 12VAC5-640-180 A or B, except that informal conference or consultation proceedings under 12VAC5-640-180 A shall be held before the commissioner or his designee.

Statutory Authority

§§ 32.1-12 and 32.1-164 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-400 § 2.7, eff. July 30, 1992; amended, Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 6, eff. December 16, 2015.

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