NORTHERN SONOMA COUNTY AIR POLLUTION CONTROL DISTRICT

RULE 620 - HEARING PROCEDURES

(a) Place of Hearing
All hearings shall be held at such time and place as designated by the Clerk of the Hearing Board on the notice of hearing.

(b) Notice of Hearing

  1. Except as provided for in Rule 620 (c), (d) and (e) the Hearing Board shall serve notice of the time and place of the hearing upon the Control Officer and upon the applicant or permittee affected not less than 10 days prior to such hearing. (H&S 40823)

  2. Except as provided for in Rule 620 (c), (d) and (e) the Hearing Board shall also send notice of hearing to every person who requests such notice and obtain publication of such notice in at least one daily newspaper of general circulation within the district. The notice shall state the time and place of the meeting, and reasonably apprise the people within the district of the purpose of the meeting. (H&S 40823)

(c) Short Term Variances/Modifications of Increments of Progress
In the case of a hearing to consider an application for a variance, or a series of variances to be in effect for a period of not more than 90 days, or an application for a modification of a schedule of increments of progress, or for an order of abatement:

  1. The Hearing Board shall serve notice of the time and place of a hearing to grant such a variance or modification upon the Control Officer, all the North Coast Air Basin districts, the state board, the Environmental Protection Agency, and upon the applicant or permittee not less than 10 days prior to such hearing. (H&S 40825)

  2. Subdivision 2 of Rule 620(b) shall not apply. (H&S 40825)

  3. The Chairman of the Hearing Board or any other member of the Hearing Board so designated by the Hearing Board, may hear an application for an interim variance. If any member of the public contests a decision made by any one member of the Hearing Board, the application shall be reheard by the full Hearing Board within 10 days of the decision. (H&S 40825)

(d) Interim Variance
In the case of a hearing to consider an application for an interim variance, as authorized in Rule 616:

  1. The Hearing Board shall serve reasonable notice of the time and place of the hearing on the Control Officer and upon the applicant.

  2. Subdivision 2 of 620(b) shall not apply.

  3. The Chairman of the Hearing Board or any other member of the Hearing Board so designated by the Hearing Board, may hear an application for an interim variance. If any one member of the public contests a decision made by any one member of the Hearing Board, the application shall be reheard by the full Hearing Board within 10 days of the decision. (H&S 40824)


(e) Regular Variance Procedure
In the case of a hearing to consider an application for variance, other than a 90 day variance, or an interim variance, or an application for a modification of a final compliance date in a variance previously granted, the notice requirements shall be as follows:

  1. The Hearing Board shall serve a notice of the time and place of a hearing to the Control Officer, all other districts in the North Coast Air Basin, the state board, the Environmental Protection Agency, and upon the petitioner or permittee.

  2. The Hearing Board shall also publish a notice of the hearing in at least one newspaper of general circulation within the district, and send such notice, at least 30 days prior to the hearing.

  3. The notice shall state the time and the place of the hearing, the time when, commensing not less than 30 days prior to the hearing, and the place where the application including any proposed conditions or schedule of increments of progress is available for public inspection. (H&S 40826)


(f) Answers
Any person may file an answer within 10 days after service. All answers shall be served the same as petitions under Rule 610(a).

(g) Continuances
The Chairman or any three members of the Hearing Board may grant any reasonable continuance concurred in by petitioner, the Control Officer and by every person who has filed an answer in the action. Such action may be ex parte, without a meeting of the Hearing Board and without prior notice.

(h) Evidence

  1. Oral evidence shall be taken only on oath or affirmation.

  2. Each party shall have these rights: to call and examine witnesses; to introduce exhibits; to cross-examine opposing witnesses on any matter relevant to the issues even though that matter was not covered in the direct examination; to impeach any witness regardless of which party first called him to testify; and to rebut the evidence against him. If respondent does not testify in his own behalf, he may be called and examined as if under cross examination.

  3. The hearing need not be conducted according to technical rules relating to evidence and witnesses. Any relevant evidence shall be admitted if it is the sort of evidence on which responsible persons are accustomed to rely in the conduct of serious affairs, regardless of the existence of any common law or statutory rule which might make improper the admission of such evidence over objection in civil actions. Hearsay evidence may be used for the purpose of supplementing or explaining any direct evidence but shall not be sufficient in itself to support a finding unless it would be admissible over objection in civil actions, and irrelevent and unduly repetitious evidence shall be excluded.

  4. Whenever the members of the Hearing Board conducting any hearing deem it necessary to examine any person as a witness at such hearing, the Chairman of the Hearing Board shall issue a subpoena, in proper form, commanding such person to appear before it at a time and place specified to be examined as a witness.

  5. The subpoena may require such person to produce all books, papers, and documents in his possession or under his control, material to such a hearing. A subpoena to appear before the Hearing Board shall be served in the same manner as a subpoena in a civil action. (H&S 40840 & 40841)

  6. The Hearing Board may take official notice of any matter which may be judicially noticed by the courts of this state.

  7. The Hearing Board shall allow interested members of the public a reasonable opportunity to testify with regard to the matter under consideration, and shall consider such testimony in making its decision. (H&S 40828)