40 CFR § 25.12 - Assuring compliance with public participation requirements.

§ 25.12 Assuring compliance with public participation requirements.

(a) Financial assistance programs -

(1) Applications. EPA shall review the public participation work plan (or, if no work plan is required by this chapter for the particular financial assistance agreement, the public participation element) included in the application to determine consistency with all policies and requirements of this part. No financial assistance shall be awarded unless EPA is satisfied that the public participation policies and requirements of this part and, any applicable public participation requirements found elsewhere in this chapter, will be met.

(2) Compliance -

(i) Evaluation. EPA shall evaluate compliance with public participation requirements using the work plan, responsiveness summary, and other available information. EPA will judge the adequacy of the public participation effort in relation to the objectives and requirements of § 25.3 and § 25.4 and other applicable requirements. In conducting this evaluation, EPA may request additional information from the assisted agency, including records of hearings and meetings, and may invite public comment on the agency's performance. The evaluation will be undertaken as part of any mid-project review required in various programs under this chapter; where no such review is required the review shall be conducted at an approximate mid-point in continuing EPA oversight activity. EPA may, however, undertake such evaluation at any point in the project period, and will do so whenever it believes that an assisted agency may have failed to meet public participation requirements.

(ii) Remedial actions. Whenever EPA determines that an assisted agency has not fully met public participation requirements, EPA shall take actions which it deems appropriate to mitigate the adverse effects of the failure and assure that the failure is not repeated. For ongoing projects, that action shall include, at a minimum, imposing more stringent requirements on the assisted agency for the next budget period or other period of the project (including such actions as more specific output requirements and milestone schedules for output achievement; interim EPA review of public participation activities and materials prepared by the agency, and phased release of funds based on compliance with milestone schedules.) EPA may terminate or suspend part or all financial assistance for non-compliance with public participation requirements, and may take any further actions that it determines to be appropriate in accordance with parts 30 and 35 of this chapter (see, in particular, §§ 30.340, Noncompliance and 30.615-3, Withholding of Payments, and subpart H of part 30, Modification, Suspension, and Termination).

(b) State programs approved in lieu of Federal programs. State compliance with applicable public participation requirements in programs specified in § 25.2(a) (6) and (7) and administered by approved States shall be monitored by EPA during the annual review of the State's program, and during any financial or program audit or review of these programs. EPA may withdraw an approved program from a State for failure to comply with applicable public participation requirements.

(c) Other covered programs. Assuring compliance with these public participation requirements for programs not covered by paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section is the responsibility of the Administrator of EPA. Citizens with information concerning alleged failures to comply with the public participation requirements should notify the Administrator. The Administrator will assure that instances of alleged non-compliance are promptly investigated and that corrective action is taken where necessary.

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