On October 29, 1992 the District’s Governing Board approved the establishment of three Hearing Boards, as mandated by State Law. The three Regional Hearing Boards consist of the following: the Northern Region Hearing Board representing the counties of Merced, San Joaquin and Stanislaus; the Central Region Hearing Board representing the counties of Fresno, Kings and Madera; and the Southern Region Hearing Board representing the counties of Kern and Tulare. The Hearing Board meets at the regional office within the area it represents.
The District’s three Regional Hearing Boards offer another example of citizen participation in cleaning up Valley air. Under California Health and Safety Code, Section 40801, a hearing board shall consist of: one member admitted to the practice of law in this state; one member from the medical profession whose specialized skills, training or interests are in the fields of environmental medicine, community medicine, or occupational/toxicologic medicine; one member who is a professional engineer registered as such pursuant to the Professional Engineers Act (Chapter 7, commencing with Section 6700) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code; and two public members. Therefore, each hearing board is comprised of one attorney, one member from the medical profession, one engineer and two public members. Under California Health and Safety Code, Section 40804, the terms of the members of a hearing board shall be three years. That section also requires that those terms be staggered.
Meetings are scheduled monthly in each region and are used primarily to hear requests by permitted sources for temporary relief from District rules and regulations, known as variances. A variance may be issued to allow a source to continue operating legally while temporarily in violation of regulations, in order to avoid undue economic hardship. The source may not create a public nuisance and must agree to return to compliance as quickly as possible.
The District is currently seeking candidates to our Regional Hearing Boards, which hold monthly hearings and make decisions on variance applications pertaining to air quality rules and regulations affecting business and industry in the Valley, appeals to permits, orders of abatement, and revocations of permits. There are currently: TWO vacancies on the NORTHERN REGION HEARING BOARD (must reside in Merced, San Joaquin, or Stanislaus County) – (1) Medical Primary Member position, (1) Attorney Primary Member position and TWO vacancies on the SOUTHERN REGION HEARING BOARD (must reside in Kern or Tulare County) – (1) Public Primary Member position, (1) Engineer Primary Member position. Interested individuals can submit an application online.