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United States Regulations

Title 40: Protection of Environment



Authority: Secs. 501 and 307(a) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq., Pub. L. 92–500, 86 Stat. 816).

Source: 41 FR 17902, Apr. 29, 1976, unless otherwise noted.

§ 104.1 Applicability.
This part shall be applicable to hearings required by statute to be held in connection with the establishment of toxic pollutant effluent standards under section 307(a) of the Act.

§ 104.2 Definitions.
As used in this part, the term:

(a) Act means the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq., Public Law 92–500, 86 Stat. 816.

(b) Administrator means the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, or any employee of the Agency to whom the Administrator may by order delegate his authority to carry out his functions under section 307(a) of the Act, or any person who shall by operation of law be authorized to carry out such functions.

(c) Agency means the Environmental Protection Agency.

(d) Hearing Clerk means the Hearing Clerk, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 401 M Street SW., Washington, DC 20460.

(e) Party means the Environmental Protection Agency as the proponent of an effluent standard or standards, and any person who files an objection pursuant to §104.3 hereof.

(f) Person means an individual, corporation, partnership, association, state, municipality or other political subdivision of a state, or any interstate body.

(g) Effluent standard means any effluent standard or limitation, which may include a prohibition of any discharge, established or proposed to be established for any toxic pollutant under section 307(a) of the Act.

(h) Presiding Officer means the Chief Administrative Law Judge of the Agency or a person designated by the Chief Administrative Law Judge or by the Administrator to preside at a hearing under this part, in accordance with §104.6 hereof.

§ 104.3 Notice of hearing; objection; public comment.
(a) Notice of hearing. Whenever the Administrator publishes any proposed effluent standard, he shall simultaneously publish a notice of a public hearing to be held within thirty days following the date of publication of the proposed standard. Any person who has any objection to a proposed standard may file with the hearing clerk a concise statement of any such objection. No person may participate in the hearing on the proposed toxic pollutant effluent standards unless the hearing clerk has received within 25 days of the publication of the notice of the proposed standards a statement of objection as herein described. In exceptional circumstances and for good cause shown the Presiding Officer may allow an objection to be filed after the filing deadline prescribed in the preceding sentence, which good cause must include at a minimum lack of actual notice on the part of the objector or any representative of such objector of the proposed standards despite his exercise of due diligence, so long as such later filing will not cause undue delay in the proceedings or prejudice to any of the parties.

(b) Objections. Any objection to a proposed standard which is filed pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section shall meet the following requirements:

(1) It shall be filed in triplicate with the hearing clerk within the time prescribed in paragraph (a) of this section;

(2) It shall state concisely and with particularity each portion of the proposed standard to which objection is taken; to the greatest extent feasible it shall state the basis for such objection;

(3) To the greatest extent feasible it shall (i) state specifically the objector's proposed modification to any such standard proposed by the Agency to which objection is taken, (ii) set forth the reasons why such modification is sought, and (iii) identify and describe the scientific or other basis for such proposed modification, including reference to any pertinent scientific data or authority in support thereof.

Any objection which fails to comply with the foregoing provisions shall not be accepted for filing. The Presiding Officer shall promptly notify any person whose objection is not accepted for any of the reasons set forth in this section, stating the reasons therefor.

(c) Data in support of objection or modification. In the event that the time prescribed for filing objections pursuant to paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section is insufficient to permit an objecting party to fully set forth with such objection the basis therefor together with the information and data specified in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, he may so state at the time of the filing of such objection, and file a more complete statement of such basis, information, and data (hereinafter referred to as “supplemental data”) within the time prescribed by this paragraph (c). The supplemental data herein described shall be filed not later than 40 days following publication of the proposed effluent standards.

(d) Public comment. The notice required under paragraph (a) of this section shall also provide for the submission to the Agency of written comments on the proposed rulemaking by interested persons not filing objections pursuant to this section as hereinabove described, and hence not participating in the hearing as parties. The notice shall fix a time deadline for the submission of such comments which shall be not later than the date set for commencement of the hearing. Such comments shall be received in evidence at the commencement of the hearing. The Administrator in making any decision based upon the record shall take into account the unavailability of cross-examination in determining the weight to be accorded such comments.

(e) Promulgation in absence of objection. If no objection is filed pursuant to this section, then the Administrator shall promulgate the final standards on the basis of the Agency's statement of basis and purpose and any public comments received pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section.

§ 104.4 Statement of basis and purpose.
Whenever the Administrator publishes a proposed effluent standard, the notice thereof published in the Federal Register shall include a statement of the basis and purpose of the standard or a summary thereof. This statement shall include:

(a) The purpose of the proposed standard;

(b) An explanation of how the proposed standard was derived;

(c) Scientific and technical data and studies supporting the proposed standard or references thereto if the materials are published or otherwise readily available; and

(d) Such other information as may be reasonably required to set forth fully the basis of the standard.

Where the notice of the proposed rulemaking summarizes the full statement of basis and purpose, or incorporates documents by reference, the documents thus summarized or incorporated by reference shall thereupon be made available by the Agency for inspection and copying by any interested person.

§ 104.5 Docket and record.
Whenever the Administrator publishes a notice of hearing under this part, the hearing clerk shall promptly establish a docket for the hearing. The docket shall include all written objections filed by any party, any public comments received pursuant to §104.3(d), a verbatim transcript of the hearing, the statement of basis and purpose required by §104.4, and any supporting documents referred to therein, and other documents of exhibits that may be received in evidence or marked for identification by or at the direction of the Presiding Officer, or filed by any party in connection with the hearing. Copies of documents in the docket shall be available to any person upon payment to the Agency of such charges as the Agency may prescribe to cover the costs of duplication. The materials contained in the docket shall constitute the record.

§ 104.6 Designation of Presiding Officer.
The Chief Administrative Law Judge of the Agency may preside personally at any hearing under this part, or he may designate another Administrative Law Judge as Presiding Officer for the hearing. In the event of the unavailability of any such Administrative Law Judge, the Administrator may designate a Presiding Officer. No person who has any personal pecuniary interest in the outcome of a proceeding under this part, or who has participated in the development or enforcement of any standard or proposed standard at issue in a proceeding hereunder, shall serve as Presiding Officer in such proceeding.

§ 104.7 Powers of Presiding Officer.
The Presiding Officer shall have the duty to conduct a fair hearing within the time constraints imposed by section 307(a) of the Act. He shall take all necessary action to avoid delay and to maintain order. He shall have all powers necessary to these ends, including but not limited to the power to:

(a) Rule upon motions and requests;

(b) Change the time and place of the hearing, and adjourn the hearing from time to time or from place to place;

(c) Examine and cross-examine witnesses;

(d) Admit or exclude evidence; and

(e) Require any part or all of the evidence to be submitted in writing and by a certain date.

§ 104.8 Prehearing conferences.
Prehearing conferences are encouraged for the purposes of simplification of issues, identification and scheduling of evidence and witnesses, the establishment of an orderly framework for the proceedings, the expediting of the hearing, and such other purposes of a similar nature as may be appropriate.

(a) The Presiding Officer on his own motion may, and at the request of any party made within 20 days of the proposal of standards hereunder shall, direct all parties to appear at a specified time and place for an initial hearing session in the nature of a prehearing conference. Matters taken up at the conference may include, without limitation:

(1) Consideration and simplification of any issues of law or fact;

(2) Identification, advance submission, marking for identification, consideration of any objections to admission, and admission of documentary evidence;

(3) Possible stipulations of fact;

(4) The identification of each witness expected to be called by each party, and the nature and substance of his expected testimony;

(5) Scheduling of witnesses where practicable, and limitation of the number of witnesses where appropriate in order to avoid delay or repetition;

(6) If desirable, the segregation of the hearing into separate segments for different provisions of the proposed effluent standards and the establishment of separate service lists;

(7) Encouragement of objecting parties to agree upon and designate lead counsel for objectors with common interests so as to avoid repetitious questioning of witnesses.

(b) The Presiding Officer may, following a prehearing conference, issue an order setting forth the agreements reached by the parties or representatives, the schedule of witnesses, and a statement of issues for the hearing. In addition such order may direct the parties to file and serve copies of documents or materials, file and serve lists of witnesses which may include a short summary of the expected testimony of each and, in the case of an expert witness, his curriculum vitae, and may contain such other directions as may be appropriate to facilitate the proceedings.

§ 104.9 Admission of evidence.
(a) Where the Presiding Officer has directed identification of witnesses and production of documentation evidence by a certain date, the Presiding Officer may exclude any such evidence, or refuse to allow any witness to testify, when the witness was not identified or the document was not served by the time set by the Presiding Officer. Any such direction with respect to a party's case in chief shall not preclude the use of such evidence or testimony on rebuttal or response, or upon a showing satisfactory to the Presiding Officer that good cause existed for failure to serve testimony or a document or identify a witness by the time required. The Presiding Officer may require direct testimony to be in writing under oath and served by a certain date, and may exclude testimony not so served.

(b) At the first prehearing conference, or at another time before the beginning of the taking of oral testimony to be set by the Presiding Officer, the statement of basis and purpose, together with any publications or reference materials cited therein, except where excluded by stipulation, shall be received in evidence.

(c) The Presiding Officer may exclude evidence which is immaterial, irrelevant, unduly repetitious or cumulative, or would involve undue delay, or which, if hearsay, is not of the sort upon which responsible persons are accustomed to rely.

(d) If relevant and material evidence is contained in a report or document containing immaterial or irrelevant matter, such immaterial or irrelevant matter may be excluded.

(e) Whenever written testimony or a document or object is excluded from evidence by the Presiding Officer, it shall at the request of the proponent be marked for identification. Where oral testimony is permitted by the Presiding Officer, but the Presiding Officer excludes particular oral testimony, the party offering such testimony may make a brief offer of proof.

(f) Any relevant and material documentary evidence, including but not limited to affidavits, published articles, and official documents, regardless of the availability of the affiant or author for cross-examination, may be admitted in evidence, subject to the provisions of paragraphs (a), (c), and (d) of this section. The availability or nonavailability of cross-examination shall be considered as affecting the weight to be accorded such evidence in any decision based upon the record.

(g) Official notice may be taken by the Presiding Officer or the Administrator of any matter which could be judicially noticed in the United States District Courts, and of other facts within the specialized knowledge and experience of the Agency. Opposing parties shall be given adequate opportunity to show the contrary.

§ 104.10 Hearing procedures.
(a) Following the admission in evidence of the materials described in §104.9(b), the Agency shall have the right at the commencement of the hearing to supplement that evidence or to introduce additional relevant evidence. Thereafter the evidence of each objector shall be presented in support of its objection and any proposed modification. The Agency staff shall then be given an opportunity to rebut or respond to the objectors' presentation, including at its option the introduction of evidence which tends to support a standard or standards other than as set forth in the Agency's own initially proposed standards. In the event that evidence which tends to support such other standard or standards is offered and received in evidence, then the objectors may thereafter rebut or respond to any such new evidence.

(b) The burden of proof as to any modification of any standard proposed by the Agency shall be upon the party who advocates such modification to show that the proposed modification is justified based upon a preponderance of the evidence.

(c) Where necessary in order to prevent undue prolongation of the hearing, or to comply with time limitations set forth in the Act, the Presiding Officer may limit the number of witnesses who may testify, and the scope and extent of cross-examination.

(d) A verbatim transcript of the hearing shall be maintained and shall constitute a part of the record.

(e) If a party objects to the admission or rejection of any evidence or to any other ruling of the Presiding Officer during the hearing, he shall state briefly the grounds of such objection. With respect to any ruling on evidence, it shall not be necessary for any party to claim an exception in order to preserve any right of subsequent review.

(f) Any party may at any time withdraw his objection to a proposed effluent standard.

§ 104.11 Briefs and findings of fact.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the Presiding Officer shall set a schedule for the submission by the parties of briefs and proposed findings of fact and conclusions. In establishing the aforesaid time schedule, the Presiding Officer shall consider the time constraints placed upon the parties and the Administrator by the statutory deadlines.

§ 104.12 Certification of record.
As soon as possible after the hearing, the Presiding Officer shall transmit to the hearing clerk the transcript of the testimony and exhibits introduced in the hearing. The Presiding Officer shall attach to the original transcript his certificate stating that, to the best of his knowledge and belief, the transcript is a true transcript of the testimony given at the hearing except in such particulars as he shall specify, and that the exhibits transmitted are all the exhibits as introduced at the hearing with such exceptions as he shall specify.

§ 104.13 Interlocutory and post-hearing review of rulings of the Presiding Officer; motions.
(a) The Presiding Officer may certify a ruling for interlocutory review by the Administrator where a party so requests and the Presiding Officer concludes that (1) the ruling from which review is sought involves an important question as to which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion, and (2) either (i) a subsequent reversal of his ruling would be likely to result in substantial delay or expense if left to the conclusion of the proceedings, or (ii) a ruling on the question by the Administrator would be of material assistance in expediting the hearing. The certificate shall be in writing and shall specify the material relevant to the ruling certified. If the Administrator determines that interlocutory review is not warranted, he may decline to consider the ruling which has been certified.

(b) Where the Presiding Officer declines to certify a ruling the party who had requested certification may apply to the Administrator for interlocutory review, or the Administrator may on his own motion direct that any matter be submitted to him for review, subject to the standards for review set forth in paragraph (a) of this section. An application for review shall be in writing and shall briefly state the grounds relied on. If the Administrator takes no action with respect to such application for interlocutory review within 15 days of its filing, such application shall be deemed to have been denied.

(c) Unless otherwise ordered by the Presiding Officer or the Administrator, the hearing shall continue pending consideration by the Administrator of any ruling or request for interlocutory review.

(d) Unless otherwise ordered by the Presiding Officer or the Administrator, briefs in response to any application for interlocutory review may be filed by any party within five days of the filing of the application for review.

(e) Failure to request or obtain interlocutory review does not waive the rights of any party to complain of a ruling following completion of the hearing. Within five days following the close of a hearing under this part, any party may apply to the Administrator for post-hearing review of any procedural ruling, or any ruling made by the Presiding Officer concerning the admission or exclusion of evidence to which timely objection was made. Within seven days following the filing of any such application any other party may file a brief in response thereto.

(f) If the Administrator on review under paragraph (e) of this section determines that evidence was improperly excluded, he may order its admission without remand for further proceedings, or may remand with such instructions as he deems appropriate concerning cross-examination, or opportunity for any party to submit further evidence, with respect to such evidence as he directs should be admitted. In making his determination whether to remand, the Administrator shall consider whether the statutory time restraints permit a remand, and whether it would be constructive to allow cross-examination or further evidence with respect to the newly admitted evidence. If evidence is admitted without cross-examination, the Administrator shall consider the lack of opportunity for cross-examination in determining the weight to be given such evidence.

(g) Motions shall be brief, in writing, and may be filed at any time following the publication of the proposed effluent standards, unless otherwise ordered by the Presiding Officer or the Administrator. Unless otherwise ordered or provided in these rules, responses to motions may be filed within seven days of the actual filing of the motion with the hearing clerk.

§ 104.14 Tentative and final decision by the Administrator.
(a) As soon as practicable following the certification of the record and the filing by the parties of briefs and proposed findings of fact and conclusions under §104.11, the Administrator, with such staff assistance as he deems necessary and appropriate, shall review the entire record and prepare and file a tentative decision based thereon. The tentative decision shall include findings of fact and conclusions, and shall be filed with the hearing clerk who shall at once transmit a copy thereof to each party who participated at the hearing, or his attorney or other representative.

(b) Upon filing of the tentative decision, the Administrator may allow a reasonable time for the parties to file with him any exceptions to the tenative decision, a brief in support of such exceptions containing appropriate references to the record, and any proposed changes in the tentative decision. Such materials shall, upon submission, become part of the record. As soon as practicable after the filing thereof the Administrator shall prepare and file a final decision, copies of which shall be transmitted to the parties or their representatives in the manner prescribed in paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) In the event that the Administrator determines that due and timely execution of his functions, including compliance with time limitations established by law, imperatively and unavoidably so requires, he may omit the preparation and filing of the tentative decision and related procedures set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, and shall instead prepare and file a final decision, copies of which shall be transmitted to the parties or their representatives in the manner prescribed in paragraph (a) of this section.

(d) Any decision rendered by the Administrator pursuant to this section shall include a statement of his findings and conclusions, and the reasons and basis therefor, and shall indicate the toxic pollutant effluent standard or standards which the Administrator is promulgating or intends to promulgate based thereon.

§ 104.15 Promulgation of standards.
Upon consideration of the record, at the time of his final decision the Administrator shall determine whether the proposed effluent standard or standards should be promulgated as proposed, or whether any modification thereof is justified based upon a proponderance of the evidence adduced at the hearing, regardless of whether or not such modification was actually proposed by any objecting party. If he determines that a modification is not justified, he shall promulgate the standard or standards as proposed. If he determines that a modification is justified, he shall promulgate a standard or standards as so modified.

§ 104.16 Filing and time.
(a) All documents or papers required or authorized by the foregoing provisions of this part including, but not limited to, motions, applications for review, and briefs, shall be filed in duplicate with the hearing clerk, except as otherwise expressly provided in these rules. Any document or paper so required or authorized to be filed with the hearing clerk, if it is filed during the course of the hearing, shall be also filed with the Presiding Officer. A copy of each document or paper filed by any party with the Presiding Officer, with the hearing clerk, or with the Administrator shall be served upon all other parties, except to the extent that the list of parties to be so served may be modified by order of the Presiding Officer, and each such document or paper shall be accompanied by a certificate of such service.

(b) A party may be represented in any proceeding under this part by an attorney or other authorized representative. When any document or paper is required under these rules to be served upon a party such service shall be made upon such attorney or other representative.

(c) Except where these rules or an order of the Presiding Officer require receipt of a document by a certain date, any document or paper required or authorized to be filed by this part shall be deemed to be filed when postmarked, or in the case of papers delivered other than by mail, when received by the hearing clerk.

(d) Sundays and legal holidays shall be included in computing the time allowed for the filing of any document or paper, provided, that when such time expires on a Sunday or legal holiday, such period shall be extended to include the next following business day.