§ 23-23-15. Variances.
(a) Upon application and after a hearing, the director may suspend the enforcement of the whole or any part of this chapter or of any rule or regulation promulgated under this chapter in the case of any person who shall show that the enforcement of this chapter would constitute undue hardship on that person without a corresponding benefit or advantage obtained by it; provided, that no suspension shall be entered deferring compliance with a requirement of this chapter or the rules and regulations promulgated under this chapter, unless that deferral is consistent with the provisions and procedures of the federal Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. § 7401 et seq.
(b) In determining under what conditions and to what extent the variance may be granted, the director shall give due recognition to the progress which the person requesting the variance shall have made in eliminating or preventing air pollution. In this case, the director shall consider the reasonableness of granting a variance conditioned on the person's effecting a partial abatement of the pollution or a progressive abatement of the pollution or any other circumstances that the director may deem reasonable. No variance shall be granted to any person applying for it who is causing air pollution which creates a danger to public health or safety.
(c) Any variance granted under this chapter shall be granted for any period of time, not exceeding one year, as the director shall specify, but any variance may be continued from year to year. No variance shall be construed as to relieve the person receiving it from any liability imposed by law for the commission or maintenance of a nuisance nor shall there be any appeal from a denial of a variance.
(d) Notwithstanding the limitations of this section, the director may, upon application, defer compliance with the whole or any part of this chapter or of any rule or regulation promulgated under this chapter where compliance is not possible because of breakdowns or malfunctions of equipment, acts of God, or other unavoidable casualties; provided, that this order shall not defer compliance for more than three (3) months.
(P.L. 1966, ch. 256, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 23-25-15; P.L. 1979, ch. 39, § 1; P.L. 1980, ch. 24, § 1.)