40 CFR 179.85 - Purpose of preliminary conference.
The presiding officer will conduct one or more preliminary conferences for the following purposes:
(a) To determine the areas of factual disagreement to be considered at the hearing.
(b) To establish any necessary procedural rules to control the course of the hearing and the schedule for the hearing.
(c) To group parties with substantially similar interests, for purposes of presenting evidence, making objections, cross-examination, and presenting oral argument.
(d) To obtain stipulations and admissions of facts.
(e) To take other action that may expedite the hearing.