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Violations & Settlements

Air Quality Violations

A Notice of Violation (NOV) or a Notice to Comply (NTC) may be issued when Sac Metro Air District becomes aware of a violation of air quality permits or rules. Any individual or business receiving an NOV or NTC from  the Sac Metro Air District should immediately take all reasonable and prudent steps necessary to get back into compliance.

Once compliance is restored, the case will be reviewed by Sac Metro Air District staff to determine if the facts of the case support further enforcement action.

After the case is reviewed, written notification will be sent of the Sac Metro Air District decision to either:

  • Offer the opportunity to resolve the violation through the Mutual Settlement Program
  • Refer the case to Sac Metro Air District legal counsel

  • Refer the case to Federal, State or County District Attorney

​Mutual Settlement Program

The Sac Metro Air District Mutual Settlement Program (MSP) is a voluntary program adopted by its Board of Directors designed to settle violations without the time and expense of litigation. Find additional information on the MSP in our  Resolving Violations informational brochure (English, Russian, Spanish)

Criminal & Civil Penalties

Violations of air quality regulations or permit conditions are subject to criminal or civil penalties specified in California Health and Safety Code sections 42400 through 42402 (link). Maximum civil penalties for violations range from $5,000 to $1,000,000 per day of violation, depending on the nature and severity of the violation. Penalties that have been determined by the MSP will typically be less than the maximum allowed by statute. Each day of violation is a separate offense regardless of whether a Notice of Violation is issued.

Penalty Determination

After a violation has been corrected, Sac Metro Air District staff use an objective formula to determine the amount of the proposed penalty, also called a settlement. This formula is called the Monetary Component Formula (MCF). The appropriate daily civil penalty category (link), the number of days in violation, and five aggravating and five mitigating factors are used in the MCF to calculate the penalty amount. 

Aggravating Factors

​Mitigating Factors

​Extent of harm caused by the violation

​Degree and record of maintenance

​Nature & persistence of the violation

​Innovative control equipment

​Length of time the violation occurred

​Action is taken to mitigate the violation

​Past violations

​Good faith effort to comply

​Economic benefit to noncompliance

​Financial burden to the violator

Once a penalty has been calculated using the MCF, the amount is not negotiable. The only way that proposed penalties can be reduced within the framework of the MSP is for new, mitigating information to be produced that affects the MCF factors listed above.

Settlement Proposals

Once the penalty has been calculated, a settlement proposal letter will be sent by mail. The letter will outline certain facts associated with the case, advise the recipient of the penalties as prescribed by law, and propose the terms under which the Sac Metro Air District would be willing to settle the violation. One term usually involves payment of a civil penalty. Responses to the offer must be submitted within 30 days.

Options at this point are to:

  • Agree to the settlement by paying the settlement amount, by check or credit card, to the Sac Metro Air District
  • Request a settlement to discuss the penalty determination, clarify requirements, and present additional information you wish to consider. 
  • Failure to respond - will result in the case being referred to Sac Metro Air District legal counsel to evaluate further enforcement action. The case will no longer be governed by the MSP. Any penalties will be established through litigation.

Request a Settlement Discussion

A Settlement Discussion is an informal dialogue or meeting with Sac Metro Air District staff to discuss the facts of the case.  It is your responsibility to contact the District to arrange a settlement discussion within 30 days of receiving a settlement proposal letter.

The dialogue allows for Sac Metro Air District staff to review the MSP and penalty determination with you and to clarify rules, regulations, and permit requirements.  This is an opportunity to present and discuss any mitigating information that may be important for the Sac Metro Air District to consider.

Please note, any information presented must be true and correct to the best of your knowledge. California Health and Safety Code 42400.3.5 and 42402.4 establish separate criminal and civil penalties for any person who, knowingly and with intent to deceive, falsifies any document required to be kept pursuant to any rule, regulation, permit, or order from the District.

Program Contact Information 

​If you have questions about the Mutual Settlement Program, you may contact Angela Thompson at 279-207-1165 or

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