Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
7/22/2024

Part VI. Variance Application Procedures

9VAC20-121-400. General.

A. Any person affected by this chapter may apply to the department for a variance from any requirement of this chapter. Variance determinations shall be subject to the provisions of the Virginia Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq. of the Code of Virginia).

B. The department shall not accept any variance application relating to:

1. Equivalent testing or analytical methods contained in EPA Publication SW-846;

2. A change in the regulatory requirements that the applicant is currently violating until such time as the violation has been resolved through the enforcement process.

Statutory Authority

§ 10.1-1402 of the Code of Virginia; 42 USC § 6941 et seq.; 40 CFR Part 257.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 39, Issue 13, eff. March 15, 2023.

9VAC20-121-410. Variance to requirements.

A. The director may grant a variance from any regulation contained in Part III (9VAC20-121-100 et seq.) through Part V (9VAC20-121-300 et seq.) of this chapter to an applicant if the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the director that:

1. a. Strict application of the regulation to the facility will result in undue hardship that is caused by the applicant's particular situation;

b. The alternate is equally protective of human health and the environment as that provided for in the regulations; or

c. Technical conditions exist that make a strict application of the regulation difficult to achieve; and

2. Granting the variance will not result in an unreasonable risk to the public health or the environment.

B. Effects of the decisions.

1. When the director renders a decision under this section in accordance with the procedures contained in 9VAC20-121-420, the director may:

a. Deny the application;

b. Grant the variance as requested; or

c. Grant a modified or partial variance.

2. When a variance is granted, the director may:

a. Specify the termination date of the variance; or

b. Include a schedule for:

(1) Compliance, including increments of progress, by the facility with each requirement of the variance; and

(2) Implementation by the facility of such control measures as the director finds necessary in order that the variance may be granted.

Statutory Authority

§ 10.1-1402 of the Code of Virginia; 42 USC § 6941 et seq.; 40 CFR Part 257.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 39, Issue 13, eff. March 15, 2023; Errata, 39:15 VA.R. 2075 March 13, 2023.

9VAC20-121-420. Administrative procedures.

A. Persons requesting variance from a provision of this chapter shall submit an application for such variance in accordance with this section.

1. All applications submitted to the director shall include:

a. The applicant's name and address;

b. A statement of applicant's interest in the proposed action;

c. A description of the desired action and a citation to the regulation from which a variance is requested;

d. A description of the need and justification for the proposed action;

e. The duration of the variance, if applicable;

f. The potential impact of the variance on public health or the environment;

g. Other information believed by the applicant to be pertinent; and

h. The following statements signed by the applicant or his authorized representative:

"I certify that I have personally examined and am familiar with the information submitted in this application and all attached documents, and that, based on my inquiry of those individuals immediately responsible for obtaining the information, I believe that the submitted information is true, accurate, and complete. I am aware that there are significant penalties for submitting false information, including the possibility of fine and imprisonment."

2. In addition to the general information required of all applicants under this part:

a. To be successful the applicant shall address the applicable standards and criteria;

b. An explanation of the applicant's particular situation that prevents the facility from achieving compliance with the cited regulation; and

c. Other information as may be required by the department.

B. The variance application shall be processed in accordance with this subsection.

1. After receiving an application that includes the information required in subsection A of this section, the director will determine whether the information received is sufficient to render the decision. If the information is deemed to be insufficient, the director will request that additional information be furnished.

2. The applicant may submit the additional information requested or may demonstrate that the additional information should not be required. If the director agrees that the additional information should not be required, the director will act in accordance with subdivision 3 of this subsection.

3. After the application is deemed complete:

a. The director will make a tentative decision to grant or deny the variance request.

b. If the variance request is tentatively denied, the director will offer the applicant the opportunity to withdraw the request, submit additional information, or proceed with the evaluation.

c. The director will issue a notice tentatively granting the variance request. Notification of this tentative decision will be provided by newspaper advertisement in the locality where the applicant is located. The director will accept comment on the tentative decision for 30 days.

d. After evaluating all public comments, the director will, within 15 days after the expiration of the comment period:

(1) Notify the applicant of the final decision; and

(2) Notify all persons who commented on the tentative decision.

C. Decision resolution.

1. In the case of a denial, the applicant has a right to request a formal hearing to challenge the rejection.

2. If the director grants a variance request, the notice to the applicant shall provide that the variance may be terminated upon a finding by the director that the applicant has failed to comply with any variance requirements.

Statutory Authority

§ 10.1-1402 of the Code of Virginia; 42 USC § 6941 et seq.; 40 CFR Part 257.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 39, Issue 13, eff. March 15, 2023.

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