About Orders for Abatement

What is an Order for Abatement?

An abatement order requires a company operating out of compliance to take specific actions or to shut down its operation. This is a severe remedy normally reserved for serious violators.

If you have been served with a Petition for an Order for Abatement, be sure to review SCAQMD Regulation VIII and appear at the hearing at the place, date and time listed in the petition. If you have any questions, you can contact the Clerk of the Board at 909-396-2500.

Basis for granting an Order for Abatement

The Hearing Board must find both a violation of a rule or regulation and “good cause” to grant the order (Section 42451, California Health & Safety Code).

In addition, pursuant to District Rule 806, the Hearing Board must make the following findings:

    1. That the respondent is in violation of Section 41700 or 41701, Health and Safety Code, or of any rule or regulation of the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
    2. That the order for abatement will not constitute a taking of property without due process of law.
    3. That if the order for abatement results in the closing or elimination of an otherwise lawful business, such closing would not be without a corresponding benefit in reducing air contaminants.

What is a Stipulated Order for Abatement?

The Hearing Board is also authorized to issue “Stipulated Orders for Abatement.”  This type of order has the same legal effect as a regular Order for Abatement, but includes the agreement, or “stipulation” of the Executive Officer through the Office of General Counsel.  There are two critical differences in the issuance of a Stipulated Order for Abatement:

    1. The Hearing Board is not required to find that a facility is in violation of any rule or regulation; and
    2. The conditions of the order are agreed-upon in advance by the parties.

What happens at an Order for Abatement hearing?


When you come to your hearing, be prepared. Bring all relevant information, including knowledgeable witnesses and any documents necessary to form the basis of your defense or explain your circumstances. The Hearing Board needs eight (8) copies of any and all documents presented. Also, bring details regarding your plan to come into compliance, if relevant.

You may choose to seek the services of an attorney in presenting your case. If you plan to represent yourself, be sure to know what rules you are violating. It is helpful to bring along any technical experts who may be assisting you in resolving your problem.

Order for Abatement hearings are like courtroom proceedings. Both the Petitioner SCAQMD, represented by the Office of General Counsel, 909-396-3400, and the Respondent company present evidence through witnesses who are placed under oath. Witnesses may be cross-examined by the opposing side and questioned by Hearing Board members.

Among other issues, the Hearing Board attempts to discover why and how the rule is being violated, whether the company has been working to correct the violation, when corrections will be completed, if applicable, what will happen to the business if it is forced to shut down, and how the violation affects the public.

The public is invited to present any information important to the case. Board members publicly deliberate and reach a decision.