40 CFR 179.24 - Ex parte discussions; separation of functions.
(a) Any person may meet or correspond with any officer or employee of the Agency concerning a matter under parts 178 or 180 of this chapter prior to publication of a Notice of Hearing under § 179.20.
(b) Upon publication of a Notice of Hearing, the following separation of function rules apply:
(1) OCSPP, as a party to the hearing, is responsible for presentation of its position at the hearing and in any pleading or oral argument before the Administrator. The Pesticides and Toxic Substances Division of the Office of General Counsel shall advise and represent OCSPP with respect to the hearing and in any pleading or oral argument before the Administrator. An employee or other representatives of OCSPP may not participate in or advise the Administrator or any of his representatives on any decision under this part, other than as witness or counsel in public proceedings, except as provided by paragraph (b)(2) of this section. There is to be no other communication between representatives of OCSPP and the presiding officer or any representative of the Office of the Administrator concerning the merits of the hearing until after issuance of the decision of the Administrator.
(2) The Administrator may designate persons who otherwise would be regarded as representatives of OCSPP, to serve as representatives of the Office of the Administrator on matters pertaining to the hearing, and may also designate persons who otherwise would be regarded as representatives of the Office of the Administrator to serve as representatives of OCSPP. Such designations will be included in the Notice of Hearing published under§ 179.20.
(3) The Office of the Administrator is responsible for the final decision of the matter, with the advice and participation of anyone in the Agency other than representatives of OCSPP.
(c) Between the date of publication of the Notice of Hearing and the date of the Administrator's final decision on the matter, communication concerning the matter involved in the hearing will be restricted as follows:
(1) No person outside the Agency may have an ex parte communication with the presiding officer or any representative of the Office of the Administrator concerning the merits of the hearing. Neither the presiding officer nor any representative of the Office of the Administrator may have any ex parte communication with a person outside the Agency concerning the merits of the hearing.
(2) A written communication contrary to this section must be immediately served on all other participants and filed with the hearing clerk by the presiding officer at the hearing, or by the Administrator, depending on who received the communication. An oral communication contrary to this section must be immediately recorded in a written memorandum and similarly served on all other parties and filed with the hearing clerk. A person, including a representative of a party in the hearing, who is involved in an oral communication contrary to this section, must, to the extent necessary to determine the substance of the communication, be made available for cross-examination during the hearing with respect to the substance of that communication. Rebuttal testimony pertinent to a written or oral communication contrary to this section will be permitted.
(d) The prohibitions specified in paragraph (c) of this section also apply to a person who, in advance of the publication of a Notice of Hearing, knows that the notice has been signed. The prohibitions become applicable to such a person as of the time the knowledge is acquired.
(e) The making of a communication contrary to this section may, consistent with the interests of justice and the policies underlying the FFDCA, result in a decision adverse to the person knowingly making or causing the making of the communication.