Section 16E. Upon receipt of an application for a variance, the department of environmental protection shall provide public notice, an opportunity for comment, and shall hold a public hearing on the application. Individual notice shall be provided to all municipalities bordering the affected sanctuary. Following the public hearing, the department of environmental protection shall prepare a proposed final decision and provide public notice thereof, including individual notice to any person commenting on the application and to all municipalities bordering the affected sanctuary. The proposed final decision shall take effect within thirty days of the public notice unless any person aggrieved by the decision requests an adjudicatory hearing prior to the expiration of the thirty days. In any adjudicatory hearing, the applicant shall have the burden of proving that the proposed discharge satisfies the requirements of section sixteen B. Following an adjudicatory hearing, the commissioner of environmental protection shall make the final decision and provide notice to all parties. The final decision shall take effect within thirty days, unless an appeal is taken pursuant to section fourteen of chapter thirty A prior to the expiration of the thirty days.