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where in this chapter or otherwise imposed by EPA, State, interstate, or substate agencies. Procedures developed for adjudicatory hearings required by this chapter shall be consistent with the public participation objectives of this part, to the extent practicable.

(b) Notice. A notice of each hearing shall be well publicized, and shall also be mailed to the appropriate portions of the list of interested and affected parties required by § 25.4(b)(5). Except as otherwise specifically provided elsewhere in this chapter, these actions must occur at least 45 days prior to the date of the hearing. However, where EPA determines that there are no substantial documents which must be reviewed for effective hearing participation and that there are no complex or controversial matters to be addressed by the hearing, the notice requirement may be reduced to no less than 30 days. EPA may further reduce or waive the hearing notice requirement in emergency situations where EPA determines that there is an imminent danger to public health. To the extent not duplicative, the agency holding the hearing shall also provide informal notice to all interested persons or organizations that request it. The notice shall identify the matters to be discussed at the hearing and shall include or be accompanied by a discussion of the agency's tentative determination on major issues (if any), information on the availability of a bibliography of relevant materials (if deemed appropriate), and procedures for obtaining further information. Reports, documents and data relevant to the discussion at the public hearing shall be available to the public at least 30 days before the hearing. Earlier availability of materials relevant to the hearing will further assist public participation and is encouraged where possible.

(c) Locations and time. Hearings must be held at times and places which, to the maximum extent feasible, facilitate attendance by the public. Accessibility of public transportation, and use of evening and weekend hearings, should be considered. In the case of actions with Statewide in

terest, holding more than one hearing should be considered.

(d) Scheduling presentations. The agency holding the hearing shall schedule witnesses in advance, when necessary, to ensure maximum participation and allotment of adequate time for all speakers. However, the agency shall reserve some time for unscheduled testimony and may consider reserving blocks of time for major categories of witnesses.

(e) Conduct of hearing. The agency holding the hearing shall inform the audience of the issues involved in the decision to be made, the considerations the agency will take into account, the agency's tentative determinations (if any), and the information which is particularly solicited from the public. The agency should consider allowing a question and answer period. Procedures shall not unduly inhibit free expression of views (for example, by onerous written statement requirements or qualification of witnesses beyond minimum identification).

(f) Record. The agency holding the hearing shall prepare a transcript, recording or other complete record of public hearing proceedings and make it available at no more than cost to anyone who requests it. A copy of the record shall be available for public review.

§ 25.6 Public meetings.

Public meetings are any assemblies or gathering, (such as conferences, informational sessions, seminars, workshops, or other activities) which the responsible agency intends to be open to anyone wishing to attend. Public meetings are less formal than public hearings. They do not require formal presentations, scheduling of presentations and a record of proceedings. The requirements of § 25.5 (b) and (c) are applicable to public meetings, except that the agency holding the meeting may reduce the notice to not less than 30 days if there is good reason that longer notice cannot be provided.

§ 25.7 Advisory groups.

(a) Applicability. The requirements of this section on advisory groups

shall be met whenever provisions of this chapter require use of an advisory group by State, interstate, or substate agencies involved in activities supported by EPA financial assistance under any of the three Acts.

(b) Role. Primary responsibility for decision-making in environmental programs is vested by law in the elected and appointed officials who serve on public bodies and agencies at various levels of government. However, all segments of the public must have the opportunity to participate in environmental quality planning. Accordingly, where EPA identifies a need for continued attention of an informed core group of citizens in relation to activities conducted with EPA financial assistance, program regulations elsewhere in this chapter will require an advisory group to be appointed by the financially assisted agency. Such advisory groups will not be the sole mechanism for public participation, but will complement other mechanisms. They are intended to assist elected or appointed officials with final decisionmaking responsibility by making recommendations to such officials on important issues. In addition, advisory groups should foster a constructive interchange among the various interests present on the group and enhance the prospect of community acceptance of agency action.

(c) Membership. (1) The agency receiving

financial assistance shall assure that the advisory group reflects a balance of interests in the affected area. In order to meet this requirement, the assisted agency shall take positive action, in accordance with paragraph (c)(3) of this section, to establish an advisory group which consists of substantially equivalent proportions of the following four groups:

(i) Private citizens. No person may be included in this portion of the advisory group who is likely to incur a financial gain or loss greater than that of an average homeowner, taxpayer or consumer as a result of any action likely to be taken by the assisted agency.

(ii) Representatives of public interest groups. A "public interest group" is an organization which reflects a general civic, social, recreational, environmen

tal or public health perspective in the area and which does not directly reflect the economic interests of its membership.

(iii) Public officials.

(iv) Citizens or representatives of organizations with substantial economic interests in the plan or project.

(2) Generally, where the activity has a particular geographic focus, the advisory group shall be made up of persons who are residents of that geographic area.

(3) In order to meet the advisory group membership requirements of paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the assisted agency shall:

(i) Identify public interest groups, economic interests, and public officials who are interested in or affected by the assisted activity.

(ii) Make active efforts to inform citizens in the affected area, and the persons or groups identified under paragraph (c)(3)(i) of this section, of this opportunity for participation on the advisory group. This may include such actions as placing notices or announcements in the newspapers or other media, mailing written notices to interested parties, contacting organizations or individuals directly, requesting organizations to notify their members through meetings, newsletters, or other means.

(iii) Where the membership composition set forth in paragraph (c)(1) of this section is not met after the above actions, the assisted agency shall identify the causative problems and make additional efforts to overcome such problems. For example, the agency should make personal contact with prospective participants to invite their participation.

(iv) Where problems in meeting the membership composition arise, the agency should request advice and assistance from EPA.

(d) The assisted agency shall record the names and mailing addresses of each member of the advisory group, with the attributes of each in relation to the membership requirements set forth in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, provide a copy to EPA, and make the list available to the public. In the event that the membership requirements set forth in paragraph (c)(1) of

this section are not met, the assisted agency shall append to the list a description of its efforts to comply with those requirements and an explanation of the problems which prevented compliance. EPA shall review the agency's efforts to comply and approve the advisory group composition or, if the agency's efforts were inadequate, require additional actions to achieve the required membership composition.

(e) Responsibilities of the assisted agency. (1) The assisted agency shall designate a staff contact who will be responsible for day-to-day coordination among the advisory group, the agency, and any agency contractors or consultants. The financial assistance agreement shall include a budget item for this staff contact. Where substantial portions of the assisted agency's responsibilities will be met under contract, the agency shall require a similar designation, and budget specification, of its contractor. In the latter event, the assisted agency does not have to designate a separate staff contact on its own staff, if the Regional Administrator determines that the contractor's designation will result in adequate coordination. The staff contact shall be located in the project area.

(2) The assisted agency has such responsibilities as providing the advisory group with information, identifying issues for the advisory group's consideration, consulting with the advisory group throughout the project, requesting the advisory group's recommendations prior to major decisions, transmitting advisory group recommendations to decision-making officials, and making written responses to


formal recommendation by the advisory group. The agency shall make any such written responses available to the public. To the maximum extent feasible, the assisted agency shall involve the advisory group in the development of the public participation program.

(3) The assisted agency shall identify professional and clerical staff time which the advisory group may depend upon for assistance, and provide the advisory group with an operating budget which may be used for technical assistance and other purposes

agreed upon between the advisory group and the agency.

(4) The assisted agency shall establish a system to make costs of reasonable out-of-pocket expenses of advisory group participation available to group members. Time away from work need not be reimbursed; however, assisted agencies are encouraged to schedule meetings at times and places which will not require members to leave their jobs to attend.

(f) Advisory group responsibilities and duties. The advisory group may select its own chairperson, adopt its own rules of order, and schedule and conduct its own meetings. Advisory group meetings shall be announced well in advance and shall be open to the public. At all meetings, the advisory group shall provide opportunity for public comment. Any minutes of advisory group meetings and recommendations to the assisted agency shall be available to the public. The advisory group should monitor the progress of the project and become familiar with issues relevant to project development. In the event the assisted agency and the advisory group agree that the advisory group will assume public participation responsibilities, the group should undertake those responsibilities promptly. The advisory group should make written recommendations directly to the assisted agency and to responsible decision-making officials on major decisions (including approval of the public participation program) and respond to any requests from the agency or decision-making officials for recommendations. The advisory group should remain aware of community attitudes and responses to issues as they arise. As part of this effort, the advisory group may, within the limitations of available resources, conduct public participation activities in conjunction with the assisted agency; solicit outside advice; and establish, in conjunction with the assisted agency, subcommittees, ad hoc groups, or task forces to investigate and develop recommendations on particular issues as they arise. The advisory group should undertake its responsibilities fully and promptly in accordance with the policies and requirements of this part. Nothing shall preclude the right of

the advisory group from requesting EPA to perform an evaluation of the assisted agency's compliance with the requirements of this part.

(g) Training and assistance. EPA will promptly provide appropriate written guidance and project information to the newly formed advisory group and may provide advice and assistance to the group throughout the life of the project. EPA will develop and, in conjunction with the State or assisted agency, carry out a program to provide a training session for the advisory group, and appropriate assisted agency representatives, promptly after the advisory group is formed. The assisted agency shall provide additional needed information or assistance to the advisory group.

§ 25.8 Responsiveness summaries.

Each agency which conducts any activities required under this part shall prepare a Responsiveness Summary at specific decision points as specified in program regulations or in the approved public participation work plan. Responsiveness Summaries are also required for rulemaking activities under § 25.10. Each Responsiveness Summary shall identify the public participation activity conducted; describe the matters on which the public was consulted; summarize the public's views, significant comments, criticisms and suggestions; and set forth the agency's specific responses in terms of modifications of the proposed action or an explanation for rejection of proposals made by the public. Responsiveness Summaries prepared by agencies receiving EPA financial assistance shall also include evaluations by the agency of the effectiveness of the public participation program. Assisted agencies shall request such evaluations from any advisory group and provide an opportunity for other participating members of the public to contribute to the evaluation. (In the case of programs with multiple responsiveness summary requirements, these analyses need only be prepared and submitted with the final summary required.) Responsiveness summaries shall be forwarded to the appropriate decision-making official and shall be made available to the public. Responsiveness Summaries

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(a) EPA shall invite and consider written comments on proposed and interim regulations from any interested or affected persons and organizations. All such comments shall be part of the public record, and a copy of each comment shall be available for public inspection. EPA will maintain a docket of comments received and any Agency responses. Notices of proposed and interim rulemaking, as well as final rules and regulations, shall be distributed in accordance with § 25.4(c) to interested or affected persons promptly after publication. Each notice shall include information as to the availability of the full texts of rules and regulations (where these are not set forth in the notice itself) and places where copying facilities are available at reasonable cost to the public. Under Executive Order 12044 (March 23, 1978), further EPA guidance will be issued concerning public participation in EPA rulemaking. A Responsiveness Summary shall be published as part of the preamble to interim and final regulations. In addition to providing opportunity for written comments on proposed and interim regulations, EPA may choose to hold a public hearing.

(b) State rulemaking specified in § 25.2(a)(1) shall be in accord with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section or with the State's administrative procedures act, if one exists. However, in the event of conflict between a provision of paragraph (a) of this section and a provision of a State's ad

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§ 25.11 Work elements in financial assistance agreements.

(a) This section is applicable to activities under § 25.2(a)(5) except as otherwise provided in Part 30 or Part 35.

(b) Each applicant for EPA financial assistance shall set forth in the application a public participation work plan or work element which reflects how public participation will be provided for, encouraged, and assisted in accordance with this part. This work plan or element shall cover the project period. At a minimum, the work plan or element shall include:

(1) Staff contacts and budget resources to be devoted to public participation by category;

(2) A proposed schedule for public participation activities to impact major decisions, including consultation points where responsiveness summaries will be prepared;

(3) An identification of consultation and information mechanisms to be used;

(4) The segments of the public targeted for involvement.

(c) All reasonable costs of public participation incurred by assisted agencies which are identified in an approved public participation work plan or element, or which are otherwise approved by EPA, shall be eligible for financial assistance.

(d) The work plan or element may be revised as necessary throughout the project period with approval of the Regional Administrator.

§ 25.12 Assuring compliance with public participation requirements.

(a) Financial assistance programs— (1) Applications. EPA shall review the public participation work plan (or, if no work plan is required by this chapter for the particular financial assistance agreement, the public participation element) included in the application to determine consistency with all policies and requirements of this part. No financial assistance shall be awarded unless EPA is satisfied that the public participation policies and requirements of this part and, any appli

cable public participation requirements found elsewhere in this chapter, will be met.

(2) Compliance—(i) Evaluation. EPA shall evaluate compliance with public participation requirements using the work plan, responsiveness summary, and other available information. EPA will judge the adequacy of the public participation effort in relation to the objectives and requirements of § 25.3 and 25.4 and other applicable requirements. In conducting this evaluation, EPA may request additional information from the assisted agency, including records of hearings and meetings, and may invite public comment on the agency's performance. The evaluation will be undertaken as part of any mid-project review required in various programs under this chapter; where no such review is required the review shall be conducted at an approximate mid-point in continuing EPA oversight activity. EPA may, however, undertake such evaluation at any point in the project period, and will do so whenever it believes that an assisted agency may have failed to meet public participation requirements.

(ii) Remedial actions. Whenever EPA determines that an assisted agency has not fully met public participation requirements, EPA shall take actions which it deems appropriate to mitigate the adverse effects of the failure and assure that the failure is not repeated. For ongoing projects, that action shall include, at a minimum, imposing more stringent requirements on the assisted agency for the next budget period or other period of the project (including such actions as more specific output requirements and milestone schedules for output achievement; interim EPA review of public participation activities and materials prepared by the agency, and phased release of funds based on compliance with milestone schedules.) EPA may terminate or suspend part or all financial assistance for non-compliance with public participation requirements, and may take any further actions that it determines to be appropriate in accordance with Parts 30 and 35 of this chapter (see, in particular, §§ 30.340, Noncompliance and 30.615

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