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SOURCE: 32 FR 10363, July 14, 1967, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A-General

$5.7 Regulatory docket.

(a) Records of the Office of the Secretary of Transportation concerning rulemaking actions, including notices of proposed rule making, comments received in response to those notices, petitions for rulemaking or exemption, petitions for rehearing or reconsideration, grants and denials of exemptions, denials of petitions for rule making, and final rules are maintained in current docket form in the Office of the General Counsel.

(b) Any person may examine any docketed material at that office and may obtain a copy of any docketed material upon payment of the prescribed fee.

$5.1 Applicability.

(a) This part prescribes general rulemaking procedures that apply to the issue, amendment, and repeal of rules of the Secretary of Transportation. It does not apply to rules issued by the National Transportation Safety Board, U.S. Coast Guard, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Highway Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, Urban Mass Transportation Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.

(b) For the purposes of this part, Secretary means the Secretary of Transportation or the Under Secretary of Transportation, or any of the following to whom the Secretary has delegated authority to conduct rulemaking proceedings:

(1) Any Assistant Secretary.

(2) The General Counsel. Any of these officers may redelegate that authority to the head of any office who reports to him.

(c) Records relating to rulemaking proceedings are available for inspection as provided in part 7 of this subtitle.

Subpart B-Petitions for Rulemaking or Exemptions

$5.11 Filing of petitions.

(a) Any person may petition the Secretary to issue, amend, or repeal a rule, or for a permanent or temporary exemption from any rule.

(b) Each petition filed under this section must:

(1) Be submitted in duplicate to the Docket Clerk, Office of the General Counsel, Department of Transportation, Washington, DC 20590;

(2) Set forth the text or substance of the rule or amendment proposed, or of the rule from which the exemption is sought, or specify the rule that the petitioner seeks to have repealed, as the case may be;

(3) Explain the interest of the petitioner in the action requested including, in the case of a petition for an exemption, the nature and extent of the relief sought and a description of the persons to be covered by the exemption;

(32 FR 10363, July 14, 1967, as amended by Amdt. 5–2, 35 FR 5331, Mar. 31, 1970; Amdt. 5 3, 36 FR 430, Jan. 13, 1971)

$5.3 Initiation of rulemaking.

The Secretary initiates rulemaking on his own motion. However, in doing so, he may, in his discretion, consider the recommendations of other agencies of the United States and of other interested persons.

ticipate in the rulemaking proceedings described in $5.29 of this subpart.

(4) Contain any information and arguments available to the petitioner to support the action sought; and

(5) In the case of a petition for exemption, unless good cause is shown in that petition, be submitted at least 60 days before the proposed effective date of the exemption.

85.13 Processing of petitions.

(a) General. Each petition received under $5.11 of this part is referred to the head of the office responsible for the subject matter of that petition. No public hearing, argument, or other proceeding is held directly on a petition before its disposition under this section.

(b) Grants. If the Secretary determines that the petition contains adequate justification, he initiates rulemaking action under subpart of this part or grants the exemption, as the case may be.

(c) Denials. If the Secretary determines that the petition does not justify initiating rule-making action or granting the exemption, he denies the petition.

(d) Notification. Whenever the Secretary determines that petition should be granted or denied, the office concerned and the Office of the General Counsel prepare a notice of that grant or denial for issuance to the petitioner, and the Secretary issues it to the petitioner.

85.23 Contents of notices.

(a) Each notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the FEDERAL REGISTER, unless all persons sul ct to it are named and are personally served with a copy of it.

(b) Each notice, whether published in the FEDERAL REGISTER or personally served, includes:

(1) A statement of the time, place, and nature of the proposed rule-making proceeding;

(2) A reference to the authority under which it is issued;

(3) A description of the subjects or issues involved or the substance or terms of the proposed rule;

(4) A statement of the time within which written comments must be submitted and the required number of copies; and

(5) A statement of how and to what extent interested persons may participate in the proceeding.

$5.25 Petitions for extension of time to



Subpart C-Procedures

85.21 General.

(a) Unless the Secretary finds, for good cause, that notice is impractical, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, a notice of proposed rule making is issued and interested persons are invited to participate in the rulemaking proceedings with respect to each substantive rule.

(b) Unless the Secretary determines that notice and public rulemaking proceedings are necessary or desirable, interpretive rules, general statements of policy, and rules relating to organization, procedure, or practice are prescribed as final without notice or other public rulemaking proceedings.

(c) In his discretion, the Secretary may invite interested persons to par

(a) Any person may petition the Secretary for an extension of time to submit comments in response to a notice of proposed rulemaking. The petition must be submitted in duplicate not later than 3 days before expiration of the time stated in the notice. The filing of the petition does not automatically extend the time for petitioner's comments.

(b) The Secretary grants the petition only if the petitioner shows a substantive interest in the proposed rule and good cause for the extension, and if the extension is in the public interest. If an extension is granted, it is granted as to all persons and is published in the FEDERAL REGISTER.

$5.27 Consideration of comments re


All timely comments are considered before final action is taken on a rulemaking proposal. Late filed comments may be considered so far as possible without incurring additional expense or delay.

which he determines that it is impractical to apply the standard time.

[Amdt. 5-1, 32 FR 11473, Aug. 9, 1967)

85.29 Additional rulemaking proceed

ings. The Secretary may initiate any further rulemaking proceedings that he finds necessary or desirable. For example, he may invite interested persons to present oral arguments, participate in conferences, appear at informal hearings, or participate in any other proceeding.



Subpart A-General Provisions

Sec. 6.1 Purpose of these rules. 6.3 Applicability. 6.5 Proceedings covered. 6.7 Eligibility of applications. 6.9 Standards for awards. 6.11 Allowable fees and expenses. 6.13 Delegations of authority.

85.31 Hearings.

(a) Sections 556 and 557 of title 5, United States Code, do not apply to hearings held under this part. As a fact-finding proceeding, each hearing is nonadversary and there are no formal pleadings or adverse parties. Any rule issued in a case in which a hearing is held is not necessarily based exclusively on the record of the hearing.

(b) The Secretary designates a representative to conduct any hearing held under this part. The General Counsel designates a member of his staff to serve as legal officer at the hearing.

Subpart B-Information Required from


6.17 Contents of application. 6.19 Net worth exhibit. 6.21 Documentation of fees and expenses.

Subpart C-Procedures for Considering


$5.33 Adoption of final rules.

Final rules are prepared by representatives of the office concerned and the Office of the General Counsel. The rule is then submitted to the Secretary for his consideration. If the Secretary adopts the rule, it is published in the FEDERAL REGISTER, unless all persons subject to it are named and are personally served with a copy of it.

6.23 Filing and service of documents. 6.25 Answer to application. 6.27 Comments by other parties. 6.29 Settlement. 6.31 Further proceedings. 6.33 Decision. 6.35 Agency review. 6.37 Judicial review. 6.39 Payment of award.

AUTHORITY: 5 U.S.C. 504; 28 U.S.C. 2412.

SOURCE: 48 FR 1070, Jan. 10, 1983, unless otherwise noted.


Subpart A-General Provisions

Pursuant to $5.1(b), the following officials of the Office of the Secretary of Transportation are authorized to conduct rulemaking proceedings under this part, as specified in this appendix:

(1) The General Counsel is authorized to conduct all rule-making proceedings, except the issuance of final rules, under the Act of March 19, 1918, ch. 24, as amended (15 U.S.C. 261-264); the Uniform Time Act of 1966 (80 Stat. 107, 15 U.S.C. 260-267); and section 6(e)(5) of the Department of Transportation Act (80 Stat. 939, 49 U.S.C. 1655 (e)(5)).

(2) The General Counsel is authorized to determine the practicability of applying the standard time of any standard time zone to the movements of any common carrier engaged in interstate or foreign commerce, and, under section 2 of the Act of March 19, 1918, ch. 24, as amended (15 U.S.C. 262), to issue operating exceptions in any case in

$6.1 Purpose of these rules.

The Equal Access to Justice Act, 5 U.S.C. 504 (called "the Act" in this part), provides for the award of attorney fees and other expenses to eligible individuals and entities who are parties to certain administrative proceedings (called "adversary adjudications") before government agencies, such as the Department of Transportation or any of its operating administrations. The rules in this part describe the parties eligible for awards and the proceedings that are covered. They also explain how to apply for awards, and the procedures and standards that this agency will use to make them. The use of the term “Department”, in this rule, will be understood to mean the Department of Transportation or any of its operating administrations, unless otherwise specified. The term "agency counsel” will be understood to mean counsel for the Department of Transportation or any of its operating administrations.


(48 FR 1070, Jan. 10, 1983, as amended at 62 FR 19233, Apr. 21, 1997)

$6.3 Applicability.

Section 6.9(a) applies to any adversary adjudication pending before the Department on or after October 1, 1981. In addition, applicants for awards must also meet the standards of $6.9(b) for any adversary adjudication commenced on or after March 29, 1996.

(49 CFR Part 511); Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) enforcement of motor carrier safety regulations under 49 U.S.C. 521 and 5123 (49 CFR 386); the Department's aviation economic enforcement proceedings conducted by its Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings pursuant to 49 U.S.C. Subtitle VII, 14 CFR Chapter II. Also covered are any appeal of a decision made pursuant to section 6 of the Contract Disputes Act of 1978 (41 U.S.C. 605) before an agency board of contract appeals as provided in section 8 of that Act (41 U.S.C. 607), any hearing conducted under Chapter 38 of title 31, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, 42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq.

(b) If a proceeding includes both matters covered by the Act and matters specifically excluded from coverage, any award made will include only fees and expenses related to covered issues.

[62 FR 19233, Apr. 21, 1997)

[48 FR 1070, Jan. 10, 1983, as amended at 62 FR 19233, Apr. 21, 1997)

86.5 Proceedings covered.

(a) The Act applies to adversary adjudications conducted by the Department of Transportation. These are adjudications under 5 U.S.C. 554 in which the position of the Department is represented by an attorney or other representative who enters an appearance and participates in the proceeding. Coverage of the Act begins at designation of a proceeding or issuance of a charge sheet. Any proceeding in which the Department may prescribe or establish a lawful present or future rate is not covered by the Act. Proceedings to grant or renew licenses are also excluded, but proceedings to modify, suspend, or revoke licenses are covered if they are otherwise "adversary adjudications." For the Department of Transportation, the types of proceedings covered include, but may not be limited to: Coast Guard suspension or revocation of licenses, certificates or documents under 46 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.; Coast Guard class II civil penalty proceedings under the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1321(b)(6)(B)(ii); Coast Guard class II penalty proceedings under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. 9609(b); suspension and revocation of Certificates of Registry proceedings for Great Lakes Pilots pursuant to 46 CFR Part 401; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) automotive fuel economy enforcement under 49 U.S.C. Chapter 329

86.7 Eligibility of applications.

(a) To be eligible for an award of attorney fees and other expenses under the Act, the applicant must be a party to an adversary adjudication for which it seeks an award. The term "party" is defined in 5 U.S.C. 504(b)(1)(B). The applicant must show that it meets all conditions of eligibility set out in this subpart and in paragraph (b) of this section.

(b) The types of eligible applicants are as follows:

(1) An individual with a net worth of not more than $2 million;

(2) The sole owner of an unincorporated business who has a net worth of not more than $7 million, including both personal and business interests, and not more than 500 employees.

(3) A charitable or other tax-exempt organization as described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3)) with not more than 500 employees;

(4) A cooperative association as defined in section 15(a) of the Agricultural Marketing Act (12 U.S.C. 1141)(a)) with a net worth of not more than $5 million and not more than 500 employees.

(5) Any other partnership, corporation, association, or public or private for other expenses is not affected by pro se representation.

(48 FR 1070, Jan. 10, 1983, as amended at 62 FR 19234, Apr. 21, 1997]

86.9 Standards for awards.


organization with a net worth of not more than $7 million and not more than 500 employees.

(6) For the purposes of $6.9(b), eligible applicants include small entities as defined in 5 U.S.C. 601.

(c) For the purpose of eligibility, the net worth and number of employees of an applicant shall be determined as of the date the proceeding was designated.

(d) An applicant who owns an unincorporated business will be considered an "individual” rather than a “sole owner of an unincorporated business' if the issues on which the applicant prevails are related primarily to personal interests rather than to business interests.

(e) The number of employees of an applicant includes all persons who regularly perform services for remuneration for the applicant, under the applicant's direction and control. Part-time employees shall be included on a proportional basis.

(f) The net worth and number of employees of the applicant and all of its affiliates shall be aggregated to determine eligibility. Any individual, corporation or other entity that directly or indirectly controls or owns a majority of the voting shares or other interest of the applicant, or any corporation or other entity of which the applicant directly or indirectly owns or controls a majority of the voting shares or other interest, will be considered an affiliate for purposes of this part, unless the administrative law judge determines that such treatment would be unjust and contrary to the purposes of the Act in light of the actual relationship between the affiliated entities. In addition, the administrative law judge may determine that financial relationships of the applicant other than those described in this paragraph constitute special circumstances that would make an award unjust.

(g) An applicant that participates in a proceeding primarily on behalf of one or more other persons or entities that would be ineligible is not itself eligible for an award.

(h) An applicant who appears pro se in a proceeding is ineligible for award of attorney fees. However, eligibility

(a) An eligible applicant may receive an award for fees and expenses incurred by that party in connection with a decision in favor of the applicant in a proceeding covered by this Part, unless the position of the Department over which the applicant has prevailed was substantially justified or special circumstances make the award sought unjust. The burden of proof that an award should not be made to an eligible applicant is on the Department where it has initiated the proceeding. No presumption arises that the Department's position was not substantially justified simply because the Department did not prevail. Whether or not the position of the Department was substantially justified shall be determined on the basis of the administrative record, as whole, in the adversary adjudication for which fees and other expenses are sought. The “position of the Department" means, in addition to the position taken by the agency in the adversary adjudication, the action or failure to act by the Department upon which the adversary adjudication may be based.

(b) In the context of a Departmental proceeding to enforce a party's compliance with a statutory or regulatory requirement, if the demand by the Department is substantially in excess of the amount awarded to the government pursuant to the decision of the adjudicative officer and is unreasonable when compared with such decision, under the facts and circumstances of the case, the adjudicative officer shall award to an eligible applicant party the fees and expenses related to defending against the excessive demand, unless the applicant party has committed a willful violation of law or otherwise acted in bad faith, or special circumstances make an award unjust. Fees and expenses awarded under this paragraph shall be paid only as a consequence of appropriations provided in advance. As used in this section, "demand” means the express demand of

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