40 CFR 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 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.