A California Chamber of Commerce-supported bill that gives businesses the opportunity to cure minor air violations before being fined will be considered by the Assembly Natural Resources Committee today.
AB 335 (Patterson; R-Fresno) reinstates the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Minor Violation Program, which was in effect from 1995 to 2005, to provide businesses with a cure period to fix minor air violations before being fined.
The Minor Violation Program, when instated, allowed for most minor air violations to result in a “notice to comply” rather than a “notice of violation,” providing the violator with an opportunity to correct a violation without an on-the-spot assessment of a fine or penalty. Specifically, Health and Safety Code sections 39150 through 39153 required CARB and California’s 35 local and regional air pollution control districts and air quality management districts to adopt rules establishing a minor violation program. These sections, however, were repealed effective January 1, 2006.
AB 335 reinstates the Minor Violation Program, thereby providing relief to businesses by providing them with a cure period to fix violations before being fined. Importantly, the types of violations for which AB 335 seeks to provide protection are minor in nature. AB 335 does not provide an opportunity to cure for violations that could endanger health or human safety, or cause environmental damage.
AB 335 similarly does not provide a cure opportunity to recalcitrant violators or for intentional violations, including those committed to benefit the business economically. Accordingly, AB 335 provides relief for truly minor violations, which as a practical reality may occur from time to time given the multitude of procedural and substantive requirements with which facilities must comply in California.
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Staff Contact: Anthony Samson