A person or entity may petition an agency for a variance from a rule adopted by the agency, as it applies to the circumstances of the petitioner.
The following general terms apply to variances granted pursuant to this section:
(1) the agency may attach any conditions to the granting of a variance that the agency determines are needed to protect public health, safety, or the environment;
(2) a variance has prospective effect only;
(3) conditions attached to the granting of a variance are an enforceable part of the rule to which the variance applies; and
(4) the agency may not grant a variance from a statute or court order.
An agency shall grant a variance from a rule as applied to the particular circumstances of the petitioner, if the agency finds that the application of the rule, as applied to the circumstances of that petitioner, would not serve any of the purposes of the rule.
An agency may grant a variance if the agency finds that:
(1) application of the rule to the petitioner would result in hardship or injustice;
(2) variance from the rule would be consistent with the public interest; and
(3) variance from the rule would not prejudice the substantial legal or economic rights of any person or entity.
An agency may adopt rules under section 14.389 establishing general standards for granting mandatory or discretionary variances from its rules. Section 14.389, subdivision 5, applies to these rules. An agency also may grant variances based on standards specified in other law.