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(i) In determining what type of auxiliary aid is necessary, the agency shall give primary consideration to the requests of the individuals with handiCapS. (ii) The agency need not provide individually prescribed devices, readers for personal use Or Study, or other devices of a personal nature. (2) Where the agency communicates with applicants and beneficiaries by telephone, teleCOmmunication devices for deaf persons (TDD’s) or equally effective telecommunication systems shall be used. (b) The agency Shall ensure that interested perSons, including persons with impaired vision or hearing, can Obtain information as to the existence and location of accessible Services, a Ctivities, and facilities. (c) The agency Shall provide Signage at a primary entrance to each of its inaccessible facilities, directing uSerS to a location at which they can obtain information about accessible facilities. The international Symbol for a CCeSSibility shall be used at each primary entrance Of an accessible facility. (d) This Section does not require the agency to take any action that it can demonstrate would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of a program Or activity Or in undue finanCial and administrative burdens. In those Circumstances where agency perSonnel believe that the proposed action would fundamentally alter the program Or activity Or would result in undue financial and administrative burdens, the agency has the burden of proving that compliance with $12.160 would reSult, in Such alteration or burdens. The decision that COmpliance would result, in Such alteration or burdens must be made by the agency head Or designee after Considering all agency resources available for use in the funding and Operation of the conducted program Or activity, and must be accompanied by a written Statement. Of the rea,SonS for reaching that conclusion. If an action required to comply with this Section Would result in Such an alteration or Such burdens, the agency shall take any other action that would not result in Such an alteration or such burdens but would nevertheless ensure that, to the maximum extent possible, individ

uals with handicaps receive the benefitS and Services of the program or activity.

§§ 12.161-12.169 [Reserved]

§ 12.170 Compliance procedures.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, this section applies to all allegations of discrimination on the basis of handicap in programs or activities Conducted by the agency. (b) The agency Shall process Complaints alleging violations of Section 504 with respect to employment according to the procedures established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 29 CFR part 1613 pursuant to Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 791). (c) Responsibility for coordinating implementation of this Section shall be vested in the Director of the Office of Civil Rights, EPA or his/her designate. (d) The COmplainant may file a COmplete complaint, at any EPA office. All COmplete ComplaintS must be filed within 180 days of the alleged act. Of discrimination. The agency may extend this time period for good Cause. The agency Shall accept and investigate all COmplete Complaint.S for which it has jurisdiction. (e) If the agency receives a complaint Over which it does not have jurisdiction, it Shall promptly notify the COmplainant and Shall make reasonable efforts to refer the complaint to the appropriate Government entity. (f) The agency Shall notify the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board upon receipt of any Complaint alleging that a building Of facility that is Subject to the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4151–4157), is not readily a CCessible to and usable by individuals with handicaps. (g) Within 180 days of the receipt of a complete complaint for which it has jurisdiction, the agency shall notify the Complainant Of the resultS Of the investigation in a letter Containing— (1) Findings of fact and conclusions Of law; (2) A description of a remedy for each violation found; and (3) A notice of the right to appeal.

(h) Appeals of the findings of fact and conclusions of law or remedies must be filed by the complainant within 90 days of receipt from the agency of the letter required by paragraph (g) of this Section. The agency may extend this time for good Cause. (i) Timely appeals Shall be accepted and processed by the Administrator or a designee. (j) The Administrator or a designee Shall notify the COmplainant Of the reSults of the appeal within 60 days of the receipt of the request. If the Administrator Or designee determines that additional information is needed from the complainant, he or she shall have 60 days from the date of receipt of the additional information to make his Or her determination. On the appeal. (k) The time limits cited in paragraphs (g) and (j) of this Section above may be extended with the permission Of the ASSistant Attorney General. (l) The agency may delegate its authority for Conducting complaint investigations to Other Federal agencies, except that the authority for making the final determination may not be delegated to another agency.

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This regulation prescribes Standards and procedures for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA's) collection and disposal of debts. These Standards and procedures are applicable to all debts for which a statute, regulation or contract does not prescribe different standards Or procedures. This regulation COverS EPA’s Collection, Compromise, SuspenSiOn, termination, and referral of debts.

§ 13.2 Definitions.

(a) Debt means an amount owed to the United States from sources which include loans insured Or guaranteed by the United States and all other amounts due the United States from fees, grantS, Contracts, leases, rents, royalties, Services, Sales of real or perSonal property, Overpayments, fines, penalties, damages, interest, forfeit– ures (except those arising under the Uniform Code of Military Justice), and all other Similar sources. As used in this regulation, the terms debt and claim are Synonymous. (b) Delinquent debt means any debt which has not been paid by the date Specified by the Government for payment. Or which has not been Satisfied in accordance with a repayment agreement. (C) Debtor means an individual, Organization, association, Corporation, or a State or local government indebted to the United States Or a person or entity with legal responsibility for a SSuming the debtor’s obligation. (d) Agency means the United States Environmental Protection Agency. (e) Administrator means the Administrator of EPA or an EPA employee or Official designated to act. On the Administrator’s behalf. (f) Administrative offset means the withholding of money payable by the United States to, or held by the United States for, a person to Satisfy a debt the perSon Owes the Government. (g) Creditor agency means the Federal agency to which the debt is owed. (h) Disposable pay means that part of Current basic pay, Special pay, incentive pay, retired pay, retainer pay, or in the Case of an employee not entitled to basic pay, Other authorized pay remaining after the deduction of any amount described in 5 CFR 581.105 (b) through (f). These deductions include, but are not limited to: Social Security withholdings; Federal, State and local tax withholdings; health insurance premiums; retirement contributions; and life insurance premiums.

(i) Employee means a current employee of the Federal Government inCluding a Current member of the Armed Forces. (j) Person means an individual, firm, partnership, Corporation, association and, except for purposes of administrative Offsets under Subpart C and interest, penalty and administrative costs under Subpart B of this regulation, includes State and local governments and Indian tribes and ComponentS Of tribal governments. (k) Employee salary offset means the administrative collection of a debt by deductions at One Or more Officially established pay intervals from the Current pay account of an employee without the enployee’s Consent. (1) Waiver means the Cancellation, remission, forgiveness or non-recovery of a debt or debt-related Charge as permitted Or required by law.

$13.3 Interagency claims.

This regulation does not apply to debts owed EPA by other Federal agencies. Such debts will be resolved by negotiation between the agencies or by referral to the General Accounting Office (GAO).

§ 13.4 Other remedies.

(a) This regulation does not superSede or require Omission or duplication Of administrative proceedings required by Contract, Statute, regulation or Other Agency procedures, e.g., resolution of audit findings under grants or Contracts, informal grant appeals, formal appeals, Or review under a procurement COntract.

(b) The remedies and Sanctions available to the Agency under this regulation for Collecting debts are not intended to be exclusive. The Agency may in pose, where authorized, other appropriate Sanctions upon a debtor for inexCuSable, prolonged Or repeated failure to pay a debt. For example, the Agency may stop doing business with a grantee, Contractor, borrower or lender; Convert, the method Of payment under a grant Or Contract from an advance payment to a reimbursement method; Or revoke a grantee’S Or COntractor’s letter-Of-Credit.

§ 13.5 Claims involving criminal activities or misconduct.

(a) The Administrator will refer Cases of Suspected Criminal activity or misconduct to the EPA Office of Inspector General. That office has the responSibility for investigating or referring the matter, where appropriate, to the Department of Justice (DOJ), and/or returning it to the Administrator for further actions. Examples of activities which should be referred are matters involving fraud, anti-trust violations, embezzlement, theft, false claims or misuse of Government money Or property.

(b) The Administrator will not administratively compromise, terminate, Suspend Or Otherwise dispose of debts involving Criminal activity or misconduct without the approval of DOJ.

§ 13.6 Subdivision of claims not authorized.

A claim will not be Subdivided to avoid the $20,000 limit on the Agency’s authority to COmpromise, Suspend, Or terminate a debt. A debtor’s liability arising from a particular transaction Or Contract is a Single claim.

§ 13.7 Omission not a defense.

Failure by the Administrator to COmply with any provision Of this regulation is not available to a debtor as a defense against payment of a debt.

Subport B–Collection

§ 13.8 Collection rule.

(a) The Administrator takes action to Collect all debts owed the United States arising Out of EPA activities and to reduce debt delinquencies. Collection actions may include Sending written demands to the debtor's last known address. Written demand may be preceded by Other appropriate a Ction, including innediate referral to DOJ for litigation, when Such action is necessary to protect the Government’s interest. The Administrator may Contact the debtor by telephone, in person and/or in writing to demand prompt payment, to discuss the debtor’s position regarding the existence, amount Or repayment Of the debt, to inform the debtor of its rights (e.g., to apply for

waiver of the indebtedness or to have an administrative review) and of the basis for the debt and the consequences of nonpayment or delay in payment. (b) The Administrator maintains an administrative file for each debt and/or debtor which documents the basis for the debt, all administrative collection actions regarding the debt (including Communications to and from the debtOr) and its final disposition. Information from a debt file relating to an individual may be disclosed only for purposes which are consistent with this regulation, the Privacy Act of 1974 and Other applicable law.

§ 13.9 Initial notice.

(a) When the Administrator determines that a debt is owed EPA, he provides a Written initial notice to the debtor. Unless otherwise provided by agreement, COntract. Or Order, the initial notice informs the debtor: (1) Of the amount, nature and basis of the debt; (2) That payment is due inmediately upon receipt of the notice; (3) That the debt is considered delinQuent if it is not paid within 30 days Of the date mailed Or hand-delivered; (4) That interest Charges and, except for State and local governments and Indian tribes, penalty charges and administrative COStS may be assessed against a delinquent debt; (5) Of any rights available to the debtor to dispute the validity of the debt or to have recovery of the debt waived (Citing the available review or Waiver authority, the conditions for reView or waiver, and the effects of the review or waiver request. On the collection of the debt), and of the possibility Of a SSessment Of interest, penalty and administrative COStS; and (6) The address, telephone number and name of the person available to discuss the debt. (b) EPA will respond promptly to COmmunications from the debtor. ReSponse generally will be within 20 days of receipt of communication from the debtor. (c) Subsequent demand letters also will advise the debtor of any interest, penalty or administrative costs which have been assessed and will advise the debtor that the debt may be referred to a credit reporting agency (see $13.14), a collection agency (see $13.13) or to DOJ (see $13.33) if it is not paid.

§ 13.10 Aggressive collection actions; documentation.

(a) EPA takes actions and effective follow-up On a timely basis to Collect all claims Of the United States for money and property arising out of EPA’s activities. EPA cooperates with Other Federal agencies in their debt Collection activities.

(b) All administrative collection actions are documented in the claim file, and the baseS for any compromise, termination Or SuSpenSiOn Of Collection actions is Set Out in detail. This documentation, including the Claims Collection Litigation Report required $13.33, is retained in the appropriate debt file.

§ 13.11 Interest, penalty and administrative costs.

(a) Interest. EPA will assess interest, On all delinquent debts unless prohibited by Statute, regulation Or COntract. (1) Interest begins to accrue On all debts from the date Of the initial notice to the debtor. EPA will not reCover interest, where the debt is paid within 30 days Of the date of the notice. EPA will assess an annual rate of interest that is equal to the rate of the Current value of funds to the United States Treasury (i.e., the Treasury tax and loan account rate) as prescribed and published by the Secretary of the Treasury in the FEDERAL REGISTER and the Trea,Sury Fiscal Requirements Manual Bulletins, unless a different rate is necessary to protect the interest of the Government. EPA will notify the debtor of the basis for its finding that a different rate is necessary to protect the interest of the Government. (2) The Administrator may extend the 30-day period for payment where he determines that Such action is in the best interest Of the GOvernment. A deCision to extend Or not to extend the payment period is final and is not Subject to further review. (3) The rate of interest, as initially aSSessed, remains fixed for the duration Of the indebtedness. If a debtor defaults On a repayment agreement, interest

may be Set at the Treasury rate in effect on the date a new agreement is executed. (4) Interest will not be assessed on interest charges, administrative costs or later payment penalties. However, where a debtor defaults on a previous repayment agreement, and interest, administrative costs and penalties Charges have been waived under the defaulted agreement, these charges can be reinstated and added to the debt principal under any new agreement and interest charged on the entire amount Of the debt. (b) Administrative costs of collecting overdue debts. The costs of the Agency’s administrative handling of Overdue debts, based On either actual Or average Cost incurred, will be charged On all debts except those owed by State and local governments and Indian tribes. These CoSt.S include both direct, and indirect CostS. Administrative COstS will be assessed monthly throughout the period the debt is overdue except as provided by § 13.12. (c) Penalties. As provided by 31 U.S.C. 3717(e)(2), a penalty Charge will be a SSeSSed On all debts, except those Owned by State and local governments and Indian tribes, more than 90 days delinQuent. The penalty charge will be at a rate not to exceed 6% per annum and will be assessed monthly. (d) Allocation of payments. A partial payment by a debtor will be applied first to Outstanding administrative COStS, Second to penalty assessments, third to accrued interest and then to the Outstanding debt principal. (e) Waiver. (1) The Administrator may (without regard to the amount of the debt) waive collection of all or part Of accrued interest, penalty Or administrative COSt.S, where he determines that— (i) Waiver is justified under the Criteria. Of $13.25; (ii) The debt Or the Charges resulted from the Agency’s error, action or inaction, and without fault by the debtOr; or (iii) Collection of these Charges would be against equity and good ConScience Or not in the best interest Of the United States. (2) A decision to waive interest, penalty charges or administrative CostS

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