22.45 Supplemental rules governing public notice and comment in proceedings under sections 309(g) and 311(b)(6)(B)(ii) of the Clean Water Act and section 1423(c) of the Safe Drinking Water Act.§ 22.45 Supplemental rules governing public notice and comment in proceedings under sections 309(g) and 311(b)(6)(B)(ii) of the Clean Water Act and section 1423(c) of the Safe Drinking Water Act.
(a) Scope. This section shall apply, in conjunction with §§ 22.1 through 22.32, in administrative proceedings for the assessment of any civil penalty under sections 309(g) and 311(b)(6)(B)(ii) of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1319(g) and 1321(b)(6)(B)(ii)), and under section 1423(c) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300h-2(c)). Where inconsistencies exist between this section and §§ 22.1 through 22.32, this section shall apply.
(b) Public notice - (1) General. Complainant shall notify the public before assessing a civil penalty. Such notice shall be provided within 30 days following proof of service of the complaint on the respondent or, in the case of a proceeding proposed to be commenced pursuant to § 22.13(b), no less than 40 days before the issuance of an order assessing a civil penalty. The notice period begins upon first publication of notice.
(2) Type and content of public notice. The complainant shall provide public notice of the complaint (or the proposed consent agreement if § 22.13(b) is applicable) by a method reasonably calculated to provide notice, and shall also provide notice directly to any person who requests such notice. The notice shall include:
(i) The docket number of the proceeding;
(ii) The name and address of the complainant and respondent, and the person from whom information on the proceeding may be obtained, and the address of the Regional Hearing Clerk to whom appropriate comments shall be directed;
(iii) The location of the site or facility from which the violations are alleged, and any applicable permit number;
(iv) A description of the violation alleged and the relief sought; and
(v) A notice that persons shall submit comments to the Regional Hearing Clerk, and the deadline for such submissions.
(c) Comment by a person who is not a party. The following provisions apply in regard to comment by a person not a party to a proceeding:
(1) Participation in proceeding. (i) Any person wishing to participate in the proceedings must notify the Regional Hearing Clerk in writing within the public notice period under paragraph (b)(1) of this section. The person must provide his name, complete mailing address, and state that he wishes to participate in the proceeding.
(ii) The Presiding Officer shall provide notice of any hearing on the merits to any person who has met the requirements of paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section at least 20 days prior to the scheduled hearing.
(iii) A commenter may present written comments for the record at any time prior to the close of the record.
(iv) A commenter wishing to present evidence at a hearing on the merits shall notify, in writing, the Presiding Officer and the parties of its intent at least 10 days prior to the scheduled hearing. This notice must include a copy of any document to be introduced, a description of the evidence to be presented, and the identity of any witness (and qualifications if an expert), and the subject matter of the testimony.
(v) In any hearing on the merits, a commenter may present evidence, including direct testimony subject to cross examination by the parties.
(vi) The Presiding Officer shall have the discretion to establish the extent of commenter participation in any other scheduled activity.
(2) Limitations. A commenter may not cross-examine any witness in any hearing and shall not be subject to or participate in any discovery or prehearing exchange.
(3) Quick resolution and settlement. No proceeding subject to the public notice and comment provisions of paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section may be resolved or settled under § 22.18, or commenced under § 22.13(b), until 10 days after the close of the comment period provided in paragraph (c)(1) of this section.
(4) Petition to set aside a consent agreement and proposed final order. (i) Complainant shall provide to each commenter, by certified mail, return receipt requested, but not to the Regional Hearing Clerk or Presiding Officer, a copy of any consent agreement between the parties and the proposed final order.
(ii) Within 30 days of receipt of the consent agreement and proposed final order a commenter may petition the Regional Administrator (or, for cases commenced at EPA Headquarters, the Environmental Appeals Board), to set aside the consent agreement and proposed final order on the basis that material evidence was not considered. Copies of the petition shall be served on the parties, but shall not be sent to the Regional Hearing Clerk or the Presiding Officer.
(iii) Within 15 days of receipt of a petition, the complainant may, with notice to the Regional Administrator or Environmental Appeals Board and to the commenter, withdraw the consent agreement and proposed final order to consider the matters raised in the petition. If the complainant does not give notice of withdrawal within 15 days of receipt of the petition, the Regional Administrator or Environmental Appeals Board shall assign a Petition Officer to consider and rule on the petition. The Petition Officer shall be another Presiding Officer, not otherwise involved in the case. Notice of this assignment shall be sent to the parties, and to the Presiding Officer.
(iv) Within 30 days of assignment of the Petition Officer, the complainant shall present to the Petition Officer a copy of the complaint and a written response to the petition. A copy of the response shall be provided to the parties and to the commenter, but not to the Regional Hearing Clerk or Presiding Officer.
(v) The Petition Officer shall review the petition, and complainant's response, and shall file with the Regional Hearing Clerk, with copies to the parties, the commenter, and the Presiding Officer, written findings as to:
(A) The extent to which the petition states an issue relevant and material to the issuance of the proposed final order;
(B) Whether complainant adequately considered and responded to the petition; and
(C) Whether a resolution of the proceeding by the parties is appropriate without a hearing.
(vi) Upon a finding by the Petition Officer that a hearing is appropriate, the Presiding Officer shall order that the consent agreement and proposed final order be set aside and shall establish a schedule for a hearing.
(vii) Upon a finding by the Petition Officer that a resolution of the proceeding without a hearing is appropriate, the Petition Officer shall issue an order denying the petition and stating reasons for the denial. The Petition Officer shall:
(A) File the order with the Regional Hearing Clerk;
(B) Serve copies of the order on the parties and the commenter; and
(C) Provide public notice of the order.
(viii) Upon a finding by the Petition Officer that a resolution of the proceeding without a hearing is appropriate, the Regional Administrator may issue the proposed final order, which shall become final 30 days after both the order denying the petition and a properly signed consent agreement are filed with the Regional Hearing Clerk, unless further petition for review is filed by a notice of appeal in the appropriate United States District Court, with coincident notice by certified mail to the Administrator and the Attorney General. Written notice of appeal also shall be filed with the Regional Hearing Clerk, and sent to the Presiding Officer and the parties.
(ix) If judicial review of the final order is denied, the final order shall become effective 30 days after such denial has been filed with the Regional Hearing Clerk.