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be reviewed for effective hearing par- the public. The agency should considticipation and that there are no com- er allowing a question and answer plex or controversial matters to be ad period. Procedures shall not unduly indressed by the hearing, the notice re hibit free expression of views (for exquirement may be reduced to no less ample, by onerous written statement than 30 days. EPA may further reduce requirements or qualification of witor waive the hearing notice require nesses beyond minimum identificament in emergency situations where tion). EPA determines that there is an immi. (f) Record. The agency holding the nent danger to public health. To the hearing shall prepare a transcript, reextent not duplicative, the agency cording or other complete record of holding the hearing shall also provide public hearing proceedings and make informal notice to all interested per- it available at no more than cost to sons or organizations that request it. anyone who requests it. A copy of the The notice shall identify the matters
record shall be available for public to be discussed at the hearing and review. shall include or be accompanied by a discussion of the agency's tentative de 8 25.6 Public meetings. termination on major issues (if any),
Public meetings are any assemblies information on the availability of a bibliography of relevant materials (if
or gathering, (such as conferences, in
formational sessions, seminars, workdeemed appropriate), and procedures for obtaining further information. Re
shops, or other activities) which the ports, documents and data relevant to
responsible agency intends to be open the discussion at the public hearing
to anyone wishing to attend. Public shall be available to the public at least
meetings are less formal than public 30 days before the hearing. Earlier
hearings. They do not require formal availability of materials relevant to
presentations, scheduling of presentathe hearing will further assist public
tions and a record of proceedings. The participation and is encouraged where
requirements of $ 25.5 (b) and (c) are possible.
applicable to public meetings, except (c) Locations and time. Hearings
that the agency holding the meeting must be held at times and places
may reduce the notice to not less than which, to the maximum extent feasi
30 days if there is good reason that ble, facilitate attendance by the
longer notice cannot be provided. public. Accessibility of public transportation, and use of evening and week
8 25.7 Advisory groups. end hearings, should be considered. In (a) Applicability. The requirements the case of actions with Statewide in of this section on advisory groups terest, holding more than one hearing shall be met whenever provisions of should be considered.
this chapter require use of an advisory (d) Scheduling presentations. The group by State, interstate, or substate agency holding the hearing shall agencies involved in activities supportschedule witnesses in advance, when ed by EPA financial assistance under necessary, to ensure maximum partici- any of the three Acts. pation and allotment of adequate time (b) Role. Primary responsibility for for all speakers. However, the agency decision-making in environmental proshall reserve some time for unsched- grams is vested by law in the elected uled testimony and may consider re- and appointed officials who serve on serving blocks of time for major cate public bodies and agencies at various gories of witnesses.
levels of government. However, all seg(e) Conduct of hearing. The agency ments of the public must have the opholding the hearing shall inform the portunity to participate in environaudience of the issues involved in the mental quality planning. Accordingly, decision to be made, the consider where EPA identifies a need for conations the agency will take into ac- tinued attention of an informed core count, the agency's tentative determi- group of citizens in relation to activinations (if any), and the information ties conducted with EPA financial aswhich is particularly solicited from sistance, program regulations else
where in this chapter will require an advisory group to be appointed by the financially assisted agency. Such advi. sory 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, environmental 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, ransmitting advisory group recommendations to decision-making officials, and making written responses to any 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 techni. cal 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, as sisted 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 addi
tional needed information or assist- $25.10 Rulemaking. ance to the advisory group.
(a) EPA shall invite and consider 8 25.8 Responsiveness summaries.
written comments on proposed and in
terim regulations from any interested Each agency which conducts any ac or affected persons and organizations. tivities required under this part shall All such comments shall be part of the prepare a Responsiveness Summary at public record, and a copy of each comspecific decision points as specified in ment shall be available for public inprogram regulations or in the ap spection. EPA will maintain a docket proved public participation work plan. of comments received and any Agency Responsiveness Summaries are also re responses. Notices of proposed and inquired for rulemaking activities under terim rulemaking, as well as final rules $ 25.10. Each Responsiveness Sum- and regulations, shall be distributed in mary shall identify the public partici accordance with $ 25.4(c) to interested pation activity conducted; describe the or affected persons promptly after matters on which the public was con- publication. Each notice shall include sulted; summarize the public's views, information as to the availability of significant comments, criticisms and the full texts of rules and regulations suggestions; and set forth the agency's (where these are not set forth in the specific responses in terms of modifi- notice itself) and places where copying cations of the proposed action or an facilities are available at reasonable explanation for rejection of proposals cost to the public. Under Executive made by the public. Responsiveness Order 12044 (March 23, 1978), further Summaries prepared by agencies re- EPA guidance will be issued concernceiving EPA financial assistance shall ing public participation in EPA rulealso include evaluations by the agency making. A Responsiveness Summary of the effectiveness of the public par- shall be published as part of the preticipation program. Assisted agencies amble to interim and final regulations. shall request such evaluations from In addition to providing opportunity any advisory group and provide an op. for written comments on proposed and portunity for other participating mem- interim regulations, EPA may choose bers of the public to contribute to the to hold a public hearing. evaluation. (In the case of programs (b) State rulemaking specified in with multiple responsiveness summary $ 25.2(a)(1) shall be in accord with the requirements, these analyses need requirements of paragraph (a) of this only be prepared and submitted with section or with the State's administrathe final summary required.) Respon- tive procedures act, if one exists. Howsiveness summaries shall be forwarded ever, in the event of conflict between a to the appropriate decision-making of provision of paragraph (a) of this secficial and shall be made available to tion and a provision of a State's adthe public. Responsiveness Summaries ministrative procedures act, the shall be used as part of evaluations re- State's law shall apply. quired under this part or elsewhere in this chapter.
8 25.11 Work elements in financial assist
ance agreements. 8 25.9 Permit enforcement.
(a) This section is applicable to acEach agency administering a permittivities under $ 25.2(a)(5) except as program shall develop internal proce- otherwise provided in Part 30 or Part dures for receiving evidence submitted 35. by citizens about permit violations and (b) Each applicant for EPA financial ensuring that it is properly considered. assistance shall set forth in the appliPublic effort in reporting violations cation a public participation work plan shall be encouraged, and the agency or work element which reflects how shall make available information on public participation will be provided reporting procedures. The agency for, encouraged, and assisted in acshall investigate alleged violations cordance with this part. This work promptly.
plan or element shall cover the project period. At a minimum, the work plan ment on the agency's performance. or element shall include:
The evaluation will be undertaken as (1) Staff contacts and budget re- part of any mid-project review resources to be devoted to public partici quired in various programs under this pation by category;
chapter; where no such review is re(2) A proposed schedule for public quired the review shall be conducted participation activities to impact at an approximate mid-point in conmajor decisions, including consultation tinuing EPA oversight activity. EPA points where responsiveness summar
may, however, undertake such evaluaies will be prepared;
tion at any point in the project period, (3) An identification of consultation
and will do so whenever it believes and information mechanisms to be
that an assisted agency may have used;
failed to meet public participation re(4) The segments of the public tar
quirements. geted for involvement.
(ii) Remedial actions. Whenever (c) All reasonable costs of public par
EPA determines that an assisted ticipation incurred by assisted agen
agency has not fully met public parcies which are identified in an ap
ticipation requirements, EPA shall proved public participation work plan
take actions which it deems approprior element, or which are otherwise approved by EPA, shall be eligible for fi
ate to mitigate the adverse effects of nancial assistance.
the failure and assure that the failure (d) The work plan or element may
is not repeated. For ongoing projects, be revised as necessary throughout the
that action shall include, at a miniproject period with approval of the
mum, imposing more stringent reRegional Administrator.
quirements on the assisted agency for
the next budget period or other period 8 25.12 Assuring compliance with public of the project (including such actions participation requirements.
as more specific output requirements (a) Financial assistance programs
and milestone schedules for output (1) Applications. EPA shall review the
achievement; interim EPA review of public participation work plan (or, if
public participation activities and mano work plan is required by this chap
terials prepared by the agency, and ter for the particular financial assist
phased release of funds based on comance agreement, the public participa
pliance with milestone schedules.) tion element) included in the applica
EPA may terminate or suspend part or tion to determine consistency with all
all financial assistance for non-complipolicies and requirements of this part.
ance with public participation requireNo financial assistance shall be award
ments, and may take any further aced unless EPA is satisfied that the
tions that it determines to be appropublic participation policies and re
priate in accordance with Parts 30 and quirements of this part and, any appli
35 of this chapter (see, in particular, cable public participation require
88 30.340, Noncompliance and 30.615ments found elsewhere in this chapter,
3, Withholding of Payments, and Subwill be met.
part H of Part 30, Modification, Sus(2) Compliance-(i) Evaluation. EPA pension, and Termination). shall evaluate compliance with public (b) State programs approved in lieu participation requirements using the of Federal programs. State compliance work plan, responsiveness summary, with applicable public participation reand other available information. EPA quirements in programs specified in will judge the adequacy of the public $ 25.2(a) (6) and (7) and administered participation effort in relation to the by approved States shall be monitored objectives and requirements of 8 25.3 by EPA during the annual review of and $ 25.4 and other applicable re- the State's program, and during any quirements. In conducting this evalua- financial or program audit or review of tion, EPA may request additional in these programs. EPA may withdraw formation from the assisted agency, an approved program from a State for including records of hearings and failure to comply with applicable meetings, and may invite public com- public participation requirements.