Variance Fundamentals: ARB's Role

This page last reviewed June 1, 2015

The Air Resources Board (ARB) is required to ensure that all variance orders granted in the state of California by local air district hearing boards are issued in accordance with state law.  The ARB ensures that the variance requires the violating source to achieve compliance as expeditiously as possible (HSC §42362). The hearing boards must send the ARB a copy of their orders within 30 days of the variance being granted (HSC §42360). The order is then reviewed to ensure that the required findings were made before the variance was granted. In addition, ARB staff may request additional information for a more in-depth determination as to whether sufficient evidence was presented and the hearing board made justification for each of the findings.

The ARB submits a monthly report to the United States Environmental Protection Agency on all variances granted in the state of California that are of duration longer than 90 days. Please note: The Environmental Protection Agency does not recognize California's variance program. A variance can protect a facility or individual from local or state enforcement, but not from Federal enforcement actions.