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Hearing Board Member Applications Now Being Accepted

As part of our business, we inspect and regulate facilities and operations to determine compliance with MBARD rules and regulations and federal and State laws. Industry types regulated include large power plants, all sizes of industrial and manufacturing operations and retail gasoline service stations. We also regulate other areas such as outdoor burning and architectural coatings.

To ensure fairness in our regulatory actions, a separate, quasi-judicial Hearing Board was chartered under Division 26 of the California Health and Safety Code to provide an appellate process for companies and public agencies that are subject to MBARD rules and regulations. The Hearing Board has authority to grant variances to MBARD rules, revoke and suspend MBARD operating permits, and issue Orders for Abatement. As State law requires, Hearing Board members are appointed by, but act independently of, MBARD's Board of Directors.

MBARD’s Hearing Board is made up of five members appointed by the District’s Board of Directors. The Hearing Board makes decisions on permit appeals and revocations, variances, and abatement orders. The most common items heard by MBARD’s Hearing Board are variances which allow a facility that is out of compliance to continue operating while completing approved actions to correct the situation.

HEARING BOARD RESPONSIBILITIES

The Hearing Board is not authorized to modify MBARD rules; exempt a business from complying with a rule; grant a variance from a State Airborne Toxic Control Measure, grant a variance from a federal permit condition; grant a variance from a violation of the public nuisance law, such as one that creates an odor problem or threatens public health or property; or review a violation notice in any way.

The designation of positions on the Hearing Board are as follows:

•       Attorney (1)

•       Medical Professional (1)

•       Registered Engineer (1)

•       Public Member (2)

 CURRENT VACANCIES

•       Medical Professional

•       Public Member (two vacancies)

 HEARING BOARD RESPONSIBILITIES

Hearing Board Members meet on an as-needed basis. After hearing all sides of a case in which individuals or companies come into conflict with MBARD rules and regulations, the Hearing Board weighs the evidence and reaches a decision. The Hearing Board is Authorized to hear:

•       Petitions by companies for variances

•       Petitions for abatement orders (An abatement order requires a company operating out of compliance to take specific actions or to shut down its operation, a severe remedy normally reserved for serious violators)

•       Appeals by companies from the granting of permits, permit conditions, permit denials and suspensions, denials of emission reduction credits, and denials of pollution control plans

•       Appeals by third parties

The Hearing Board is not authorized to modify MBARD rules; exempt a business from complying with a rule; grant a variance from a violation of the public nuisance law, such as one that creates an odor problem or threatens public health or property; or review a violation notice in any way.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF HEARING BOARD APPOINTMENTS

The term of appointment to the Hearing Board is three years after which the Hearing Board member is eligible for reappointment by MBARD’s Board of Directors.

COMPENSATION

Hearing Board members are compensated at a rate of $100 per in-person meeting plus reimbursement for mileage to and from the meeting location. For conference call meetings, the compensation is $50 per meeting.

MINIMUM AND DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS

Must live within the boundaries of Monterey, San Benito, or Santa Cruz counties and be able to demonstrate evidence of active participation in matters relating to the environment, preferably with relatively recent involvement in activities and forums pertaining to the control of air pollution in the MBARD area.

TRAINING AND ORIENTATION

Newly appointed members of the Hearing Board will be expected to participate in training and orientation provided by MBARD and/or the California Air Resources Board prior to their first meeting.

 For questions please contact Ann O’Rourke, Executive Assistant/Clerk of the Boards, 831.718.8028 or email orourke@mbard.org.