10 CFR § 851.7 - Requests for a binding interpretive ruling.

§ 851.7 Requests for a binding interpretive ruling.

(a)Right to file. Any person subject to this part shall have the right to file a request for an interpretive ruling that is binding on DOE with regard to a question as to how the regulations in this part would apply to particular facts and circumstances.

(b)How to file. Any person who wants to file a request under this section must file by mail or messenger in an envelop addressed to the Office of General Counsel, GC-1, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585.

(c)Content of request for interpretive ruling. A request under this section must:

(1) Be in writing;

(2) Be labeled “Request for Interpretive Ruling Under 10 CFR 851;”

(3) Identify the name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and any designated representative of the person filing the request;

(4) State the facts and circumstances relevant to the request;

(5) Be accompanied by copies of relevant supporting documents if any;

(6) Specifically identify the pertinent regulations and the related question on which an interpretive ruling is sought; and

(7) Include explanatory discussion in support of the interpretive ruling being sought.

(d)Public comment.DOE may give public notice of any request for an interpretive ruling and provide an opportunity for public comment.

(e)Opportunity to respond to public comment.DOE may provide an opportunity to any person who requests an interpretive ruling to respond to public comments relating to the request.

(f)Other sources of information.DOE may:

(1) Conduct an investigation of any statement in a request;

(2) Consider any other source of information in evaluating a request for an interpretive ruling; and

(3) Rely on previously issued interpretive rulings with addressing the same or a related issue.

(g)Informal conference.DOE may convene an informal conference with the person requesting the interpretive ruling.

(h)Effect of interpretive ruling. Except as provided in paragraph (i) of this section, an interpretive ruling under this section is binding on DOE only with respect to the person who requested the ruling.

(i)Reliance on interpretive ruling. If DOE issues an interpretive ruling under this section, then DOE may not subject the person who requested the ruling to an enforcement action for civil penalties for actions reasonably taken in reliance on the ruling, but a person may not act in reliance on an interpretive ruling that is administratively rescinded or modified after opportunity to comment, judicially invalidated, or overruled by statute or regulation.

(j)Denial of requests for an interpretive ruling.DOE may deny a request for an interpretive ruling if DOE determines that:

(1) There is insufficient information upon which to base an interpretive ruling;

(2) The interpretive question posed should be treated in a general notice of proposed rulemaking;

(3) There is an adequate procedure elsewhere in this part for addressing the interpretive question such as a petition for variance; or

(4) For other good cause.

(k)Public availability of interpretive rulings. For information of interested members of the public, DOE may file a copy of interpretive rulings on a DOE internet web site.

[71 FR 6931, Feb. 9, 2006; 71 FR 36661, June 28, 2006]