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SEPA 4 OIG Criminal Investigative Index

and Files—EPAJOIG. TEPA-5 OIG Personnel Security Files—EPAJ

OIG.

(2) Authority. Under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(5), the head of any agency may by rule exempt any system of records within the agency from certain provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, if the system of records is investigatory material compiled solely for the purpose of determining suitability, eligibility, or qualifications for Federal civilian employment, Federal contracts, or access to classified information, but only to the extent that the disclosure of such material would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, or, prior to September 27, 1975, under an implied promise that the identity would be held in confidence.

(3) Scope of exemption. (i) The systems of records identified in $16.14(b)(1) are exempted from the following provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, subject to the limitations of 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(5): 5 U.S.C. 552a (c)(3); (d); (e)(1), (4)(H) and (I); and (f)(2) through (5).

(ii) To the extent that records contained in the systems of records identified in $16.14(b)(1) reveal a violation or potential violation of law, then an exemption under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2) is also claimed for these records.

(4) Reasons for exemption. The systems of records identified in $16.14(b)(1) are exempted from the above provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974 for the following reasons:

(i) 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) requires an agency to make the accounting of each disclosure of records available to the individual named in the record at his request. These accountings must state the date, nature, and purpose of each disclosure of a record and the name and address of the recipient. Making such an accounting could cause the identity of a confidential source to be revealed, endangering the physical safety of the confidential source, and could impair the future ability of the EPA to compile investigatory material for the purpose of determining suitability, eligibility, or qualifications for Federal ci

vilian employment, Federal contracts, or access to classified information.

(ii) 5 U.S.C. 552a(d) requires an agency to permit an individual to gain access to records pertaining to him, to request amendment to such records, to request a review of an agency decision not to amend such records, and to contest the information contained in such records. Granting such access could cause the identity of a confidential source to be revealed, endangering the physical safety of the confidential source, and could impair the future ability of the EPA to compile investigatory material for the purpose of determining suitability, eligibility, or qualifications for Federal civilian employment, Federal contracts, or access to classified information.

(iii) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(1) requires each agency to maintain in its records only such information about an individual as is relevant and necessary to accomplish a purpose of the agency required by statute or by executive order of the President. The application of this provision could impair investigations, because it is not always possible to detect the relevance or necessity of specific information in the early stages of an investigation. Relevance and necessity are often questions of judgment and timing, and it is only after the information is evaluated that the relevance and necessity of such information can be established.

(iv) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4)(H) requires an agency to publish a FEDERAL REGISTER notice concerning its procedures for notifying an individual at his request how he can gain access to any record pertaining to him and how he can contest its content. Since EPA is claiming that these systems of records are exempt from subsections (f)(2) through (5) of the Act, concerning agency rules, and subsection (b) of the Act, concerning access to records, these requirements are inapplicable and are exempted to the extent that these systems of records are exempted from subsections (f)(2) through (5) and (d) of the Act. Although EPA is claiming exemption from these requirements, EPA has published such a notice concerning its access and contest procedures because, under certain circumstances, EPA order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy and are in fact properly classified pursuant to such Executive order. Executive Order 12356 establishes criteria for classifying records which are to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy.

(3) Scope of exemption. To the extent that the system of records identified in $16.14(c)(1) contains records provided by other Federal agencies that are specifically authorized under criteria established by Executive Order 12356 to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy and are in fact properly classified by other Federal agencies pursuant to that Executive order, the system of records is exempted from the following provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974: 5 U.S.C. 552a (c)(3); (d); (e)(1), (4)(G), (H), and (I); and

might decide it is appropriate for an individual to have access to all or a portion of his records in these systems of records.

(v) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4)(I) requires an agency to publish a FEDERAL REGISTER notice concerning the categories of sources of records in the system of records. Exemption from this provision is necessary to protect the confidentiality of the sources of information, to protect the privacy and physical safety of confidential sources, and to avoid the disclosure of investigative techniques and procedures. Although EPA is claiming exemption from this requirement, EPA has published such a notice in broad generic terms in the belief that this is all subsection (e)(4)(I) of the Act requires.

(vi) 5 U.S.C. 552a(f)(2) through (5) require an agency to promulgate rules for obtaining access to records. Since EPA is claiming that these systems of records are exempt from subsection (d) of the Act, concerning access to records, the requirements of subsections (f)(2) through (5) of the Act, concerning agency rules for obtaining access to such records, are inapplicable and are exempted to the extent that this system of records is exempted from subsection (d) of the Act. Although EPA is claiming exemption from the requirements of subsections (f)(2) through (5) of the Act, EPA has promulgated rules which establish Agency procedures because, under certain circumstances, it might be appropriate for an individual to have access to all or a portion of his records in this system of records. These procedures are described elsewhere in this part.

(c) Exemption under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(1)-(1) System of records affected.

(f).

(4) Reasons for exemption. The system of records identified in $ 16.14(c)(1) is exempted from the above provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974 for the following reasons:

(i) 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) requires an agency to make the accounting of each disclosure of records available to the individual named in the record at his request. These accountings must state the date, nature, and purpose of each disclosure of a record and the name and address of the recipient. Making such an accounting could result in the release of properly classified information, which would compromise the national defense or disrupt foreign policy.

(ii) 5 U.S.C. 552a(d) requires an agency to permit an individual to gain access to records pertaining to him, to request amendment to such records, to request a review of an agency decision not to amend such records, and to contest the information contained in such records. Granting such access could cause the release of properly classified information, which would compromise the national defense or disrupt foreign policy.

(iii) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(1) requires each agency to maintain in its records only such information about an individual as is relevant and necessary to accomplish a purpose of the agency required by statute or by executive order of the

SEPA-5 OIG Personnel Security Files-EPA/

OIG.

(2) Authority. Under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(1), the head of any agency may by rule exempt any system of records within the agency from certain provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, if the system of records is subject to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(1). A system of records is subject to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(1) if it contains records that are specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive

President. The application of this provision could impair personnel security investigations which use properly classified information, because it is not always possible to know the relevance or necessity of specific information in the early stages of an investigation. Relevance and necessity are often questions of judgment and timing, and it is only after the information is evaluated that the relevance and necessity of such information can be established.

(iv) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4)(G) and (H) require an agency to publish a FEDERAL REGISTER notice concerning its procedures for notifying an individual at his request if the system of records contains a record pertaining to him, how he can gain access to such a record, and how he can contest its content. Since EPA is claiming that this system of records is exempt from subsection (f) of the Act, concerning agency rules, and subsection (d) of the Act, concerning access to records, these requirements are inapplicable and are exempted to the extent that this system of records is exempted from subsections (f) and (d) of the Act. Although EPA is claiming exemption from these requirements, EPA has published such a notice concerning its notification, access, and contest procedures because, under certain circumstances, EPA might decide it is appropriate for an individual to have access to all or a portion of his records in this system of records.

(v) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4)(I) requires an agency to publish a FEDERAL REGISTER notice concerning the categories of sources of records in the system of records. Exemption from this provision is necessary to prevent the release of properly classified information, which would compromise the national defense or disrupt foreign policy. Although EPA is claiming exemption from this requirement, EPA has published such a notice in broad generic terms in the belief that this is all subsection (e)(4)(I) of the Act requires.

(vi) 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(f)(1) requires an agency to promulgate rules which shall establish procedures whereby an individual can be notified in response to his request if any system of records named by the individual contains a record pertaining to him. The applica

tion of this provision could result in the release of properly classified information, which would compromise the national defense or disrupt foreign policy. Since EPA is claiming that this system of records is exempt from subsection (d) of the Act, concerning access to records, the requirements of subsections (f)(2) through (5) of the Act, concerning agency rules for obtaining access to such records, are inapplicable and are exempted to the extent that this system of records is exempted from subsection (d) of the Act. Although EPA is claiming exemption from the requirements of subsection (f) of the Act, EPA has promulgated rules which establish Agency procedures because, under certain circumstances, it might be appropriate for an individual to have access to all or a portion of his records in this system of records. These procedures are described elsewhere in this part.

(d) Exempt records provided by another agency. Individuals may not have access to records maintained by the EPA if such records were provided by another agency which has determined by regulation that such records are subject to general exemption under 5 U.S.C. 552a(j) or specific exemption under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k). If an individual requests access to such exempt records, EPA will consult with the source agency.

. (e) Exempt records included in a nonexempt system of records. All records obtained from a system of records which has en determined by regulation to be subject to specific exemption under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k) retain their exempt status even if such records are also included in a system of records for which a specific exemption has not been claimed. [51 FR 24147, July 2, 1986, as amended at 59 FR 17485, Apr. 13, 1994]

PART 17- IMPLEMENTATION OF THE

EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT IN EPA ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS

Subpart A-General Provisions

Sec. 17.1 Purpose of these rules. 17.2 Definitions.

17.3 Proceedings covered. 17.4 Applicability to EPA proceedings. 17.5 Eligibility of applicants. 17.6 Standards for awards. 17.7 Allowable fees and other expenses. 17.8 Delegation of authority.

Subpart B-Information Required From

Applicants

17.11 Contents of application. 17.12 Net worth exhibit. 17.13 Documentation of fees and expenses. 17.14 Time for submission of application.

(b) Administrator means the Adminis

b) trator of the Environmental Protection Agency

(c) Adversary adjudication means an adjudication required by statute to be held pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 554 in which the position of the United States is represented by counsel or otherwise, but excludes an adjudication for the purpose of granting or renewing a license.

(d) EPA means the Environmental Protection Agency, an Agency of the United States.

(e) Presiding officer means the official, without regard to whether he is designated as an administrative law judge or a hearing officer or examiner, who presides at the adversary adjudication.

(f) Proceeding means an adversary adjudication as defined in $17.2(b).

Subpart C-Procedures for Considering

Applications

17.21 Filing and service of documents. 17.22 Answer to application. 17.23 Comments by other parties. 17.24 Settlement. 17.25 Extensions of time and further pro

ceedings. 17.26 Decision on application. 17.27 Agency review. 17.28 Judicial review. 17.29 Payment of award.

AUTHORITY: Section 504, Title 5 U.S.C., as amended by sec. 203(a)(1), Equal Access to Justice Act (Title 2 of Pub. L. 96-481, 94 Stat. 2323).

SOURCE: 48 FR 39936, Sept. 2, 1983, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A-General Provisions

$ 17.1 Purpose of these rules.

These rules are adopted by EPA pursuant to section 504 of title 5 U.S.C., as added by section 203(a)(1) of the Equal Access to Justice Act, Public Law No. 96-481. Under the Act, an eligible party may receive an award for attorney's fees and other expenses when it prevails over EPA in an adversary adjudication before EPA unless EPA's position as a party to the proceeding was substantially justified or special circumstances make an award unjust. The purpose of these rules is to establish procedures for the submission and consideration of applications for awards against EPA when the underlying decision is not reviewed by a court.

$ 17.3 Proceedings covered.

(a) These rules apply to adversary adjudications required by statute to be conducted by EPA under 5 U.S.C. 554. To the extent that they are adversary adjudications, the proceedings conducted by EPA to which these rules apply include:

(1) A hearing to consider the assessment of a noncompliance penalty under section 120 of the Clean Air Act as amended (42 U.S.C. 7420);

(2) A hearing to consider the termination of an individual National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit under section 402 of the Clean Water Act as amended (33 U.S.C. 1342);

(3) A hearing to consider the assessment of any civil penalty under section 16(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (15 U.S.C. 2615(a));

(4) A hearing to consider ordering a manufacturer of hazardous chemical substances or mixtures to take actions under section 6(b) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (15 U.S.C. 2605(b)), to decrease the unreasonable risk posed by a chemical substance or mixture;

(5) A hearing to consider the assessment of any civil penalty under section 14(a) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act as amended (7 U.S.C. 1361);

(6) A hearing to consider suspension of a registrant for failure to take appropriate steps in the development of registration data under section

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3(c)(2)(B) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act amended (7 U.S.C. 136a);

(7) A hearing to consider the suspension or cancellation of a registration under section 6 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act as amended (7 U.S.C. 136d);

(8) A hearing to consider the assessment of any civil penalty or the revocation or suspension of any permit under section 105(a) or 105(f) of the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act as amended (33 U.S.C. 1415(a), 33 U.S.C. 1415(f));

(9) A hearing to consider the issuance of a compliance order or the assessment of any civil penalty conducted under section 3008 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act as amended (42 U.S.C. 6928);

(10) A hearing to consider the issuance of a compliance order under section 11(d) of the Noise Control Act as amended (42 U.S.C. 4910(d)).

(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.

of not more than $5 million and not more than 500 employees;

(3) A charitable or other tax-exempt organization 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. 114j(a)) with not more than 500 employees; and

(5) Any other partnership, corporation, association, or public or private organization with a net worth of not more than $5 million and not more than 500 employees.

(c) For the purpose of eligibility, the net worth and number of employees of: an applicant shall be determined as of the date of adversary adjudication was initiated.

(d) An applicant who owns an unincorporated business will be considered as 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 interest.

(e) The employees of an applicant include all persons who regularly perform services for remuneration for the applicant under the applicant's direction and control. Part-time employees shall be included.

(f) The net worth and number of employees of the applicant and all of its affiliates shall be aggregated to determine eligibility. An individual or group of individuals, corporation, or other entity that directly or indirectly controls or owns a majority of the voting shares of another business' board of directors, trustees, or other persons exercising similar functions, shall be considered an affiliate of that business for purposes of this part. In addition, the Presiding Officer 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 is not eligible if it has participated in the proceeding on behalf of other persons or entities that are ineligible.

8 17.4 Applicability to EPA proceed

ings. The Act applies to an adversary adjudication pending before EPA at any time between October 1, 1981 and September 30, 1984. This includes proceedings begun before October 1, 1981 if final EPA action has not been taken before that date, and proceedings pending on September 30, 1984.

$ 17.5 Eligibility of applicants.

(a) To be eligible for an award of attorney's fees and other expenses under the Act, the applicant must be a prevailing party in the adversary adjudication for which it seeks an award. The term party is defined in 5 U.S.C. 551(3). The applicant must show that it meets all conditions of eligibility set out in this subpart and in subpart B.

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

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

(2) The sole owner of an unincorporated business which has a net worth

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