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Title 44 Part 68

Title 44 → Chapter I → Subchapter B → Part 68

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 44 Part 68

e-CFR data is current as of November 19, 2018

Title 44Chapter ISubchapter B → Part 68


Title 44: Emergency Management and Assistance


PART 68—ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING PROCEDURES


Contents
§68.1   Purpose of part.
§68.2   Definitions.
§68.3   Right to administrative hearings.
§68.4   Hearing board.
§68.5   Establishment of a docket.
§68.6   Time and place of hearing.
§68.7   Conduct of hearings.
§68.8   Scope of review.
§68.9   Admissible evidence.
§68.10   Burden of proof.
§68.11   Determination.
§68.12   Relief.

Authority: 42 U.S.C. 4001 et seq.; Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1978; E.O. 12127.

Source: 47 FR 23449, May 29, 1982, unless otherwise noted.

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§68.1   Purpose of part.

The purpose of this part is to establish procedures for appeals of the Federal Insurance Administrator's base flood elevation determinations, whether proposed pursuant to section 1363(e) of the Act (42 U.S.C. 4104) or modified because of changed conditions or newly acquired scientific and technical information.

[47 FR 23449, May 29, 1982, as amended at 49 FR 33879, Aug. 27, 1984]

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§68.2   Definitions.

The definitions set forth in part 59 of this subchapter are applicable to this part.

[47 FR 23449, May 29, 1982, as amended at 49 FR 33879, Aug. 27, 1984]

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§68.3   Right to administrative hearings.

If a community appeals the Federal Insurance Administrator's flood elevation determination established pursuant to §67.8 of this subchapter, and the Federal Insurance Administrator has determined that such appeal cannot be resolved by consultation with officials of the community or by submitting the conflicting data to an independent scientific body or appropriate Federal agency for advice, the Federal Insurance Administrator shall hold an administrative hearing to resolve the appeal.

[47 FR 23449, May 29, 1982, as amended at 49 FR 33879, Aug. 27, 1984]

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§68.4   Hearing board.

(a) Each hearing shall be conducted by a three member hearing board (hereinafter “board”). The board shall consist of a hearing officer (hereinafter “Judge”) appointed by the Administrator based upon a recommendation by the Office of Personnel Management and two members selected by the Judge who are qualified in the technical field of flood elevation determinations. The Judge shall consult with anyone he deems appropriate to determine the technical qualifications of individuals being considered for appointment to the board. The board members shall not be FEMA employees.

(b) The Judge shall be responsible for conducting the hearing, and shall make all procedural rulings during the course of the hearing. Any formal orders and the final decision on the merits of the hearing shall be made by a majority of the board. A dissenting member may submit a separate opinion for the record.

(c) A technically qualified alternate will be appointed by the Judge as a member of the board when a technically qualified appointed member becomes unavailable. The Administrator will appoint an alternate Judge if the appointed Judge becomes unavailable.

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§68.5   Establishment of a docket.

The Chief Counsel shall establish a docket for appeals referred to him/her by the Federal Insurance Administrator for administrative hearings. This docket shall include, for each appeal, copies of all materials contained in the flood elevation determination docket (FEDD) file on the matter, copies of all correspondence in connection with the appeal, all motions, orders, statements, and other legal documents, a transcript of the hearing, and the board's final determination.

[47 FR 23449, May 29, 1982, as amended at 49 FR 33879, Aug. 27, 1984]

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§68.6   Time and place of hearing.

(a) The time and place of each hearing shall be designated by the Judge for that hearing. The Federal Insurance Administrator and the Chief Counsel shall be promptly advised of such designations.

(b) The board's notice of the time and place of hearing shall be sent by the Flood Insurance Docket Clerk by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to all appellants. Such notice shall include a statement indicating the nature of the proceedings and their purpose and all appellants' entitlement to counsel. Notice of the hearing shall be sent no later than 30 days before the date of hearing unless such period is waived by all appellants.

[47 FR 23449, May 29, 1982, as amended at 49 FR 33879, Aug. 27, 1984]

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§68.7   Conduct of hearings.

(a) The Judge shall be responsible for the fair and expeditious conduct of proceedings.

(b) The Federal Insurance Administrator shall be represented by the Chief Counsel or his/her designee.

(c) One administrative hearing shall be held for any one community unless the Federal Insurance Administrator for good cause shown grants a separate hearing or hearings.

(d) The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the community or his/her designee shall represent all appellants from that community; Provided, That any appellant may petition the board to allow such appellant to make an appearance on his/her own behalf. Such a petition shall be granted only upon a showing of good cause.

(e) Hearings shall be open to the public.

(f) A verbatim transcript will be made of the hearing. An appellant may order copies of the transcribed verbatim record directly from the reporter and will be responsible for payments.

[47 FR 23449, May 29, 1982, as amended at 49 FR 33879, Aug. 27, 1984]

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§68.8   Scope of review.

Review at administrative hearings shall be limited to: An examination of any information presented by each appellant within the 90 day appeal period indicating that elevations proposed by the Federal Insurance Administrator are scientifically or technically incorrect; the FIRM; the flood insurance study; its backup data and the references used in development of the flood insurance study; and responses by FEMA to the issues raised by the appellant(s).

[47 FR 23449, May 29, 1982, as amended at 49 FR 33879, Aug. 27, 1984]

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§68.9   Admissible evidence.

(a) Legal rules of evidence shall not be in effect at adminstrative hearings. However, only evidence relevant to issues within the scope of review under §68.8 shall be admissible.

(b) Documentary and oral evidence shall be admissible.

(c) Admissibility of non-expert testimony shall be within the discretion of the board.

(d) All testimony shall be under oath.

(e) Res judicata/ collateral estoppel. Where there has been a previous determination, decision or finding of fact by the Director, one of his delegees, an administrative law judge, hearing officer, or hearing board regarding the base flood elevations of any other community, such determination, decision, or finding of fact shall not be binding on the board and may only be admissible into evidence if relevant.

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§68.10   Burden of proof.

The burden shall be on appellant(s) to prove that the flood elevation determination is not scientifically or technically correct.

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§68.11   Determination.

The board shall render its written decision within 45 days after the conclusion of the hearing. The entire record of the hearing including the board's decision will be sent to the Administrator for review and approval. The Administrator shall make the final base flood elevation determination by accepting in whole or in part or by rejecting the board's decision.

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§68.12   Relief.

The final determination may be appealed by the appellant(s) to the United States district court as provided in section 1363(f) of the Act (42 U.S.C. 4104).

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