09.12.66.21

.21 Variances.

A. Application for Variance.

(1) An affected owner may apply to the Commissioner for a variance from any regulation adopted under Business Regulation Article, Title 3, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(2) An application for variance shall be in writing and shall include:

(a) The name and address of the applicant;

(b) Identification of the regulation from which the applicant seeks a variance;

(c) The location, equipment, and practices involved;

(d) A detailed statement of the applicantís reasons for requesting a variance;

(e) A statement of the steps the applicant has taken and will take, with specific dates when appropriate, to protect the public against the specific hazard covered by the regulation; and

(f) Any request for a hearing.

B. Posting of Notice.

(1) Immediately on filing a request for a variance pursuant to Business Regulation Article, §3-314, Annotated Code of Maryland, an applicant shall post notice of the application at the place or places where a certificate of inspection is required to be posted.

(2) The notice shall include:

(a) The name and address of the applicant;

(b) The date on which the application was filed;

(c) Identification of the regulation from which the applicant seeks a variance;

(d) The location, equipment, and practices involved; and

(e) Notice to the public and affected employees of their right to participate in the proceeding.

(3) The notice shall be maintained until the commencement of the proceedings.

C. Order of Variance.

(1) After investigation, on-site inspection, and such hearing as the Commissioner may direct, the Commissioner may grant a variance from a regulation under this chapter if:

(a) It is evident that action is necessary to prevent undue hardship; or

(b) Existing conditions prevent practical compliance and the reasonable safety of the public can, in the opinion of the Commissioner, be ensured.

(2) An order of variance may require such special conditions as are reasonably necessary to ensure public safety.

(3) A declaration, act, or omission of the Commissioner or the Commissionerís authorized representative, other than a written order authorizing a variance as permitted above, may not be construed to exempt, either wholly or in part, expressly or implicitly, any owner from full compliance with the terms of any regulation under this chapter.

D. Modification, Revocation, and Renewal of Order of Variance.

(1) The Commissioner may modify, revoke, or renew an order of variance in the same manner prescribed for the issuance of an order of variance.

(2) An order of variance may not be modified or revoked unless affected parties are informed of the proposed action and afforded an opportunity to:

(a) Submit written data, views, or arguments regarding the proposed action; and

(b) Request a hearing on the proposal.