The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 001 : General Provisions(Cite as: 10 V.S.A. § 6613)
§ 6613. 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 he or she finds that:
(1) The variance proposed does not endanger or tend to endanger human health or safety.
(2) Compliance with the rules from which variance is sought would produce serious hardship without equal or greater benefits to the public.
(3) The variance granted does not enable the applicant to generate, transport, treat, store, or dispose of hazardous waste in a manner which is less stringent than that required by the provisions of Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, and amendments thereto, codified in 42 U.S.C. Chapter 82, subchapter 3, and regulations promulgated under such subtitle.
(b) A person who owns or is in control of any facility may apply to the Secretary for a variance from the requirements of subdivision 6605(j)(2) or (3) of this title if the applicant demonstrates alternative services, including on-site management, are available in the area served by the facility, the alternative services have capacity to serve the needs of all persons served by the facility requesting the variance, and the alternative services are convenient to persons served by the facility requesting the variance.
(c) 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, and the general public.
(d) 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 therefor, 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 and water 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 under this section 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 in the case of a variance from the siting requirements for a solid waste management facility, the variance may be for as long as the Secretary determines necessary, including a permanent variance.
(e) 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 a 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.
(f) A variance or renewal shall not be a right of the applicant or holder thereof but shall be in the discretion of the Secretary.
(g) This section does not limit the authority of the Secretary under section 6610 of this title concerning imminent hazards from solid waste, nor under section 6610a of this title concerning hazards from hazardous waste and violations of statutes, rules, or orders relating to hazardous waste. (Added 1979, No. 197 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. May 6, 1980; amended 1983, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 9, 10; 1987, No. 76, § 18; 1997, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 10, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; 1999, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 84, eff. May 24, 2000; 2003, No. 115 (Adj. Sess.), § 63, eff. Jan. 31, 2005; 2011, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 9; 2019, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 33.)