40 CFR 209.19 - Informal settlement and consent agreement.
(a)Settlement policy. The Agency encourages settlement of the proceeding at any time after the issuance of a complaint if settlement is consistent with the provisions and the objectives of the act and the regulations. Whether or not respondent requests a hearing, he or she may confer with complainant concerning the facts stated in the complaint or concerning the appropriateness of the proposed remedial order. The terms of any settlement agreement shall be expressed in a written consent agreement. Conferences with complainant concerning possible settlement shall not affect the 20 day time limit for filing an answer under § 209.6.
(b)Consent agreement. A written consent agreement signed by the complainant and respondent shall be prepared by the complainant and forwarded to the Environmental Appeals Board whenever settlement or compromise is proposed. A copy shall be served on all other parties to the proceeding, no later than the date the consent agreement is forwarded to the Environmental Appeals Board. The consent agreement shall state that, for the purpose of this proceeding, respondent (1) admits the jurisdictional allegations of the complaint; (2) admits the facts as stipulated in the consent agreement or neither admits nor denies specific factual allegations contained in the complaint; and (3) consents to the issuance of a given remedial order. The consent agreement shall include (i) the terms of the agreement; (ii) any appropriate conclusions regarding material issues of law, fact and/or discretion as well as reasons therefor; and (iii) the Environmental Appeals Board's proposed final order. The administrative law judge does not have jurisdiction over a consent agreement.
(c)Final order. No settlement or consent agreement shall be dispositive of any action pending under section 11(d) of the act without a final order of the Environmental Appeals Board. In preparing a final order, the Environmental Appeals Board may require that any or all of the parties to the settlement or other parties appear before it to answer inquiries relating to the proposed consent agreement. The hearing is terminated without further proceedings upon the filing of the final order with the hearing clerk.