As part of the District’s mission to improve air quality and protect public health, District Compliance Inspectors visit businesses and other facilities. If they find a violation of air pollution laws, they issue a written notice.
A Notice of Violation is the District’s claim that the District's rules, and/or state or federal air pollution laws, have been violated. As provided in state law, a Notice of Violation may result in monetary penalties, civil suit, or in serious cases, criminal prosecution. Most violation settlements include some form of monetary penalty. A list of maximum statutory penalties is available at the statutory penalties page.
The District may issue a Notice to Comply instead of a Notice of Violation if the violation is minor and meets the criteria in District Rule 6 (Minor Violations).
A Notice to Comply differs from a Notice of Violation in that it does not result in penalties, provided corrective action is taken by the due date.
Take a proactive approach. Before your inspection, work with the District’s Business Assistant to:
If you receive a Notice of Violation or Notice to Comply, you should take immediate action to stop the violation. Each additional day the violation is not corrected may be an additional violation. The District may re-inspect your operation at any time to verify the problem has been corrected.
If you cannot correct the problem immediately, due to conditions beyond your reasonable control, you have the option to request enforcement relief in the form of a variance from the Hearing Board. A variance will not erase the original violation, but it will allow a limited time to continue to operate as you work to comply with Rules and Regulations.
For a Notice to Comply: correct the violation, sign the notice certifying you have corrected the violation, and return the notice to the District within five calendar days.
For a Notice of Violation: within ten calendar days, advise the District in writing of the specific actions you took to correct the violation or the reasons you believe a violation did not occur. Your response to the violation may be a factor in determining the settlement, so please address:
The District resolves most Notices of Violation through the Violation Settlement Program, an informal opportunity to resolve a violation without the burden and cost of litigation. If the District determines that a Notice of Violation should be handled through the Violation Settlement Program, you will be sent a settlement offer. The District may also:
If the violation continues, the District may:
The District administers a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) Program to evaluate community-based projects that can be funded from a portion of the penalties received during settlement of enforcement actions.
Eligible SEP proposals must promote public health, pollution prevention and reduction, environmental protection, or environmental compliance and must go beyond any federal, state, and local requirements.
To learn about the compliance history of neighboring businesses, submit a public records act request. Please be as specific as possible; for example, if you are only interested in Notices of Violation issued to facilities located on a certain street during the past year, please state that.
If the violation is currently open, you may review a copy of the violation. Once the violation closes, however, you may review all documents that are subject to disclosure.
If you have a concern about air
pollution, you may submit an Air Pollution Complaint.
For general questions or to submit your response, please contact the Compliance Division by phone at (858) 586-2650 Monday through Friday from 7:00 am through 5:00 pm, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail to 10124 Old Grove Road, San Diego, CA 92131.