Notices of Violations
A Notice of Violation (NOV) is a formal record of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) staff’s conclusion that a violation of a state law regarding air quality or a District regulation has occurred. An NOV may subject you to monetary penalties, or, in serious cases, to civil or criminal prosecution. In most cases, an NOV can be settled by taking corrective action and paying a penalty.
If You Receive an NOV, What Should You Do?
Take immediate action to prevent the violation from continuing or reoccurring. Under state law, each additional day of noncompliance is considered an additional violation. If you have corrected the violation or ceased operation, advise the Air District by mail or fax (with reference to the serial number of the NOV) within 10 days of achieving compliance with the regulation. Your letter should explain what caused your operation to be in violation, how you achieved compliance and how you are going to prevent any future recurrence of violation.
If you are unable to correct the violation or cease operating until corrected, you may seek a variance from the Air District's Hearing Board to provide temporary relief from the requirements of District regulations. For information on how to apply for a variance, call the Hearing Board Office.
What Happens Next?
NOVs are handled by the Enforcement Division in concert with the District Counsel's Office.
Mutual Settlement Program
NOV's may be resolved by mail through the BAAQMD’s Mutual Settlement Agreement Program. This program offers you the opportunity to settle your case out of court by reaching agreement with the BAAQMD over penalties.
If your NOV is referred to this program, you will receive an offer to settle on stated terms. Some cases may also be eligible for an alternative settlement involving specific action taken to improve air quality (over and above regaining compliance) in lieu of monetary penalties.
Penalties are assessed based upon the type of violation, its duration and past history of the plant or operation. You are strongly encouraged to respond to the settlement offers as soon as possible.
NOV's not resolved through the Mutual Settlement program will be handled by the District Counsel's Office, or Legal Division. Some of these cases can be settled out of court in a manner similar to that described for the Mutual Settlement Agreement Program. NOV's are handled in numerous ways - administratively, criminally, or through civil actions. The District Counsel's Office determines which route to take based on the facts of each case.