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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online


Title 10 : Conservation and Development


(Cite as: 10 V.S.A. § 561)
  • § 561. Variances

    (a) A person who owns or is in control of any plant, building, structure, process, or equipment may apply to the Secretary for a variance from the rules adopted under this chapter. The Secretary may grant a variance if the Secretary finds that:

    (1) the emissions occurring or proposed to occur do not endanger or tend to endanger human health or safety; and

    (2) compliance with the rules from which variance is sought would produce serious hardship without equal or greater benefits to the public.

    (b) No variance shall be granted pursuant to this section except after public notice and an opportunity for a public meeting and until the Secretary has considered the relative interests of the applicant, other owners of property likely to be affected by the discharges, and the general public.

    (c) Any variance or renewal thereof shall be granted within the requirements of subsection (a) of this section and for time periods and under conditions consistent with the reasons therefore, and within the following limitations:

    (1) 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 air pollution involved, it shall be only until the necessary practicable means for prevention, abatement, or control become known and available, and subject to the taking of any substitute or alternate measures that the Secretary may prescribe.

    (2) If the variance is granted on the ground that compliance with the particular requirement or requirements from which variance is sought will necessitate the taking of measures that, 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 Secretary is requisite for the taking of the necessary measures. A variance granted on the ground specified herein shall contain a time schedule for the taking of action in an expeditious manner and shall be conditioned on adherence to the time schedule.

    (3) 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 subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection, it shall be for not more than one year, except that a variance granted from the rules of the Secretary pertaining to stage II vapor recovery controls at gasoline dispensing facilities shall be for a period that extends until January 1, 2013.

    (d) Any variance granted pursuant to this section may be renewed on terms and conditions and for periods that would be appropriate on initial granting of a variance. If complaint is made to the Secretary on account of the variance, no renewal thereof shall be granted, unless following public notice and an opportunity for a public meeting on the complaint, the Secretary finds that renewal is justified. No renewal shall be granted except on application therefore. The application shall be made at least 60 days prior to the expiration of the variance. Immediately upon receipt of an application for renewal, the Secretary shall give public notice of the application.

    (e) A variance or renewal shall not be a right of the applicant or holder thereof but shall be in the discretion of the Secretary.

    (f) 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 section 560 of this chapter to any person or the person’s property.

    (g) On application from a person who is subject to an increased air emission fee caused by amendments to the provisions of 3 V.S.A. § 2822(j), (k), and (l), the Secretary may grant an amendment in fee amount. A fee amendment under this subsection may be granted only if the applicant establishes that payment of fees would produce serious hardship. Fee amendments granted under this subsection shall not be subject to the findings required for the issuance of a variance under subsection (a) of this section, but fee amendments shall otherwise be subject to the provisions of this chapter regarding variances. (Added 1967, No. 310 (Adj. Sess.), § 11; amended 1971, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1993, No. 92,§§ 5, 19; 1993, No. 232 (Adj. Sess.), § 38, eff. March 15, 1995; 2003, No. 115 (Adj. Sess.), § 13, eff. Jan. 31, 2005; 2005, No. 26, § 4; 2009, No. 22, § 9(c).)