The Hearing Board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District decided last week that it had properly granted a variance to allow the Commerce refuse-to-energy plant to operate while attempting to meet emissions standards.
The Hearing Board, an independent, quasi-judicial body, rejected a request by the AQMD staff for a new hearing. The variance, which was granted last April, requires Commerce plant officials to give a progress report Oct. 25.
AQMD attorneys argued that the plant could have reduced emissions without serious hardship and should not have been granted a variance.
The California Air Resources Board, which has jurisdiction over the AQMD, is studying the case to determine whether there should be a rehearing.
Commerce plant officials are making $500,000 in improvements to pollution control equipment.