How is a Notice of Violation Resolved?

The South Coast AQMD District Prosecutor’s office reviews each violation and, based on the facts of the case, selects the appropriate avenue for resolution.

Notices of Violation issued to non-major sources with no prior violations and which do not involve toxic emissions, major emissions, or public nuisance including injury or property damage, are eligible to be handled under South Coast AQMD’s Minor Source Penalty Assessment Program.

All other cases are referred to a South Coast AQMD prosecutor and resolved through an amicable settlement or in the courts in either civil; or criminal prosecution. No cases will be settled unless the violations have been corrected.

As a matter of state law, a South Coast AQMD prosecutor, a judge or jury, as the case may be, is obligated to evaluate each violation individually and with reference to all relevant facts and circumstances. This is an important legislative policy that the South Coast AQMD follows in negotiating settlements. This policy recognizes that what might be a fair penalty for a large manufacturer might not be for a small operation, despite the fact that the same rule was violated by both.

Under such a policy, South Coast AQMD considers various factors including the financial burden to the violator and the action taken to correct the violation, thus allowing a “sliding scale” in negotiating the appropriate penalty. Without such a policy, all violators would have to be treated exactly alike without regard for the factors which can make one violation different from another.

Civil penalties for noncompliance depend on:

  • The extent of harm caused by the violation.

  • The nature and persistence of the violation.

  • The length of time over which the violation occurs.

  • The frequency of past violations.

  • The record of maintenance.

  • The unproven or innovative nature of control equipment in use.

  • The action (if any) taken by a company to mitigate the violation.

  • The financial burden to the company in violation.

  • The economic advantage gained by the company by operating in violation.

The legislative policy of individualized attention to air pollution violations allows South Coast AQMD to pursue its legal obligations and mandates while carefully evaluating all of the circumstances of each air pollution violation.

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South Coast Air Quality Management District

21865 Copley Dr, Diamond Bar, CA 91765



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