40 CFR § 71.11 - Administrative record, public participation, and administrative review.
The provisions of this section shall apply to all permit proceedings. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, paragraphs (a) through (h) and paragraph (j) of this section shall not apply to permit revisions qualifying as minor permit modifications or administrative amendments, except that public notice of the granting of appeals of such actions under paragraph (l)(3) of this section shall be provided pursuant to paragraph (d)(1)(i)(E) of this section, and except that affected States shall be provided notice of minor permit modifications under § 71.8 as pursuant to paragraph (d)(3)(i)(B) of this section.
(a) Draft permits.
(3) If the permitting authority initially decides to deny the permit application, it shall issue a notice of intent to deny. A notice of intent to deny the permit application is a type of draft permit and follows the same procedures as any draft permit prepared under this section. If the permitting authority's final decision is that the initial decision to deny the permit application was incorrect, it shall withdraw the notice of intent to deny and proceed to prepare a draft permit under paragraph (a)(4) of this section.
(5) All draft permits prepared under this section shall be publicly noticed and made available for public comment.
(b) Statement of basis. The permitting authority shall prepare a statement of basis for every draft permit subject to this section. The statement of basis shall briefly describe the derivation of the conditions of the draft permit and the reasons for them or, in the case of notices of intent to deny or terminate, reasons supporting the initial decision. The statement of basis shall be sent to the applicant and, on request, to any other person.
(c) Administrative record for draft permits.
(1) The provisions of a draft permit shall be based on the administrative record defined in this section.
(2) For preparing a draft permit, the administrative record shall consist of:
(i) The application and any supporting data furnished by the applicant;
(ii) The draft permit or notice of intent to deny the application or to terminate the permit;
(iii) The statement of basis;
(iv) All documents cited in the statement of basis; and
(3) Material readily available at the permitting authority or published material that is generally available, and that is included in the administrative record under paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section need not be physically included with the rest of the record as long as it is specifically referred to in the statement of basis.
(d) Public notice of permit actions and public comment period -
(i) The permitting authority shall give public notice that the following actions have occurred:
(A) A permit application has been initially denied under paragraph (a) of this section;
(C) A hearing has been scheduled under paragraph (f) of this section; and
(D) A public comment period has been reopened under paragraph (h) of this section;
(E) An appeal has been granted under paragraph (l)(3) of this section.
(ii) No public notice is required when a request for permit revision, revocation and reissuance, or termination has been denied under paragraph (a)(2) of this section. Written notice of that denial shall be given to the requester and to the permittee.
(iii) Public notices may describe more than one permit or permit action.
(i) Public notice of the preparation of a draft permit, (including a notice of intent to deny a permit application), shall allow at least 30 days for public comment.
(ii) Public notice of a public hearing shall be given at least 30 days before the hearing. Public notice of the hearing may be given at the same time as public notice of the draft permit and the two notices may be combined.
(3) Methods. Public notice of activities described in paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section shall be given by the following methods:
(i) By mailing a copy of a notice to the following persons (any person otherwise entitled to receive notice under paragraph (d) of this section may waive his or her rights to receive notice for any permit):
(A) The applicant;
(B) Affected States;
(C) Air pollution control agencies of affected States, Tribal and local air pollution control agencies which have jurisdiction over the area in which the source is located, the chief executives of the city and county where the source is located, any comprehensive regional land use planning agency and any State or Federal Land Manager whose lands may be affected by emissions from the source;
(D) The local emergency planning committee having jurisdiction over the area where the source is located, and State agencies having authority under State law with respect to the operation of such source;
(E) Persons on a mailing list, including those who request in writing to be on the list. As part of this requirement, the permitting authority shall notify the public of the opportunity to be put on the mailing list by way of generally accepted methods (e.g., hyperlink sign-up function or radio button on an agency Web site, sign-up sheet at a public hearing, etc.) that enable interested parties to subscribe to the mailing list. The permitting authority may update the mailing list from time to time by requesting written indication of continued interest from those listed. The permitting authority may delete from the list the name of any person who fails to respond to such a request within a reasonable timeframe.
(ii) By posting a notice on a public Web site identified by the permitting authority for the duration of the public comment period. The notice shall be consistent with paragraph (d)(4)(i) of this section and be accompanied by a copy of the draft permit.
(iii) By any other method reasonably calculated to give actual notice of the action in question to the persons potentially affected by it, including press releases or any other forum or medium to elicit public participation.
(4) Contents -
(i) All public notices. All public notices issued under this subpart shall contain the following minimum information:
(B) The name and address of the permittee or permit applicant and, if different, of the facility regulated by the permit, except in the case of draft general permits;
(C) The activity or activities involved in the permit action;
(D) The emissions change involved in any permit revision;
(E) The name, address, and telephone number of a person whom interested persons may contact for instructions on how to obtain additional information, such as a copy of the draft permit, the statement of basis, the application, relevant supporting materials, and other materials available to the permitting authority that are relevant to the permitting decision.
(F) A brief description of the comment procedures required by paragraph (e) of this section, a statement of procedures to request a hearing (unless a hearing has already been scheduled) and other procedures by which the public may participate in the final permit decision;
(G) The physical location and/or Web site address of the administrative record, the times at which the record will be open for public inspection, and a statement that all data submitted by the applicant are available as part of the administrative record; and
(H) Any additional information considered necessary or proper.
(ii) Public notices for hearings. Public notice of a hearing may be combined with other notices required under paragraph (d)(1) of this section. Any public notice of a hearing under paragraph (f) of this section shall contain the following information:
(A) The information described in paragraph (d)(4)(i) of this section;
(B) Reference to the date of previous public notices relating to the permit;
(C) The date, time, and place of the hearing; and
(D) A brief description of the nature and purpose of the hearing, including the applicable rules and the comment procedures.
(e) Public comments and requests for public hearings. During the public comment period provided under paragraph (a) of this section, any interested person may submit written comments on the draft permit and may request a public hearing, if no hearing has already been scheduled. A request for a public hearing shall be in writing and shall state the nature of the issues proposed to be raised at the hearing. All comments shall be considered in making the final decision and shall be answered as provided in paragraph (j) of this section. The permitting authority will keep a record of the commenters and of the issues raised during the public participation process, and such records shall be available to the public.
(f) Public hearings.
(2) The permitting authority may also hold a public hearing at its discretion, whenever, for instance, such a hearing might clarify one or more issues involved in the permit decision.
(3) Public notice of the hearing shall be given as specified in paragraph (d) of this section.
(4) Whenever a public hearing is held, the permitting authority shall designate a Presiding Officer for the hearing who shall be responsible for its scheduling and orderly conduct.
(5) Any person may submit oral or written statements and data concerning the draft permit. Reasonable limits may be set upon the time allowed for oral statements, and the submission of statements in writing may be required. The public comment period under paragraph (d) of this section shall be automatically extended to the close of any public hearing under this section. The hearing officer may also extend the comment period by so stating at the hearing.
(6) A tape recording or written transcript of the hearing shall be made available to the public.
(g) Obligation to raise issues and provide information during the public comment period. All persons, including applicants, who believe any condition of a draft permit is inappropriate or that the permitting authority's initial decision to deny an application, terminate a permit, or prepare a draft permit is inappropriate, must raise all reasonably ascertainable issues and submit all reasonably ascertainable arguments supporting their position by the close of the public comment period (including any public hearing). Any supporting materials that are submitted shall be included in full and may not be incorporated by reference, unless they are already part of the administrative record in the same proceeding, or consist of State or Federal statutes and regulations, EPA documents of general applicability, or other generally available reference materials. In the case of a program delegated pursuant to § 71.10, if requested by the Administrator, the permitting authority shall make supporting materials not already included in the administrative record available to EPA. The permitting authority may direct commenters to provide such materials directly to EPA. A comment period longer than 30 days may be necessary to give commenters a reasonable opportunity to comply with the requirements of this section. Additional time shall be granted to the extent that a commenter who requests additional time demonstrates the need for such time.
(h) Reopening of the public comment period.
(1) The permitting authority may order the public comment period reopened if the procedures of paragraph (h) of this section could expedite the decision making process. When the public comment period is reopened under paragraph (h) of this section, all persons, including applicants, who believe any condition of a draft permit is inappropriate or that the permitting authority's initial decision to deny an application, terminate a permit, or prepare a draft permit is inappropriate, must submit all reasonably available factual grounds supporting their position, including all supporting material, by a date not less than 30 days after public notice under paragraph (h)(2) of this section, set by the permitting authority. Thereafter, any person may file a written response to the material filed by any other person, by a date, not less than 20 days after the date set for filing of the material, set by the permitting authority.
(2) Public notice of any comment period under this paragraph (h) shall identify the issues to which the requirements of paragraphs (h)(1) through (4) of this section shall apply.
(3) On its own motion or on the request of any person, the permitting authority may direct that the requirements of paragraph (h)(1) of this section shall apply during the initial comment period where it reasonably appears that issuance of the permit will be contested and that applying the requirements of paragraph (h)(1) of this section will substantially expedite the decision making process. The notice of the draft permit shall state whenever this has been done.
(4) A comment period of longer than 30 days may be necessary in complicated proceedings to give commenters a reasonable opportunity to comply with the requirements of this section. Commenters may request longer comment periods and they may be granted to the extent the permitting authority finds it necessary.
(5) If any data, information, or arguments submitted during the public comment period appear to raise substantial new questions concerning a permit, the permitting authority may take one or more of the following actions:
(i) Prepare a new draft permit, appropriately modified;
(ii) Prepare a revised statement of basis, and reopen the comment period; or
(iii) Reopen or extend the comment period to give interested persons an opportunity to comment on the information or arguments submitted.
(6) Comments filed during the reopened comment period shall be limited to the substantial new questions that caused the reopening. The public notice shall define the scope of the reopening.
(7) Public notice of any of the above actions shall be issued under paragraph (d) of this section.
(i) Issuance and effective date of permit.
(1) After the close of the public comment period on a draft permit, the permitting authority shall issue a final permit decision. The permitting authority shall notify the applicant and each person who has submitted written comments or requested notice of the final permit decision. This notice shall include reference to the procedures for appealing a decision on a permit. For the purposes of this section, a final permit decision means a final decision to issue, deny, revise, revoke and reissue, renew, or terminate a permit.
(2) A final permit decision shall become effective 30 days after the service of notice of the decision, unless:
(i) A later effective date is specified in the decision;
(ii) Review is requested under paragraph (l) of this section (in which case the specific terms and conditions of the permit which are the subject of the request for review shall be stayed); or
(iii) No comments requested a change in the draft permit, in which case the permit shall become effective immediately upon issuance.
(j) Response to comments.
(ii) Briefly describe and respond to all significant comments on the draft permit raised during the public comment period, or during any hearing.
(2) Any documents cited in the response to comments shall be included in the administrative record for the final permit decision as defined in paragraph (k) of this section. If new points are raised or new material supplied during the public comment period, the permitting authority may document its response to those matters by adding new materials to the administrative record.
(3) The response to comments shall be available to the public.
(4) The permitting authority will notify in writing any affected State of any refusal to accept recommendations for the permit that the State submitted during the public or affected State review period.
(k) Administrative record for final permits.
(2) The administrative record for any final permit shall consist of:
(i) All comments received during any public comment period, including any extension or reopening;
(ii) The tape or transcript of any hearing(s) held;
(iii) Any written material submitted at such a hearing;
(iv) The response to comments and any new materials placed in the record;
(v) Other documents contained in the supporting file for the permit;
(vi) The final permit;
(vii) The application and any supporting data furnished by the applicant;
(viii) The draft permit or notice of intent to deny the application or to terminate the permit;
(ix) The statement of basis for the draft permit;
(x) All documents cited in the statement of basis;
(3) The additional documents required under paragraph (k)(2) of this section should be added to the record as soon as possible after their receipt or publication by the permitting authority. The record shall be complete on the date the final permit is issued.
(4) Material readily available at the permitting authority, or published materials which are generally available and which are included in the administrative record under the standards of paragraph (j) of this section need not be physically included in the same file as the rest of the record as long as it is specifically referred to in the statement of basis or in the response to comments.
(l) Appeal of permits.
(1) Permit decisions may be appealed under the permit appeal procedures of 40 CFR 124.19.
(m) Computation of time.
(3) If the final day of any time period falls on a weekend or legal holiday, the time period shall be extended to the next working day.
(4) Whenever a party or interested person has the right or is required to act within a prescribed period after the service of notice or other paper upon him or her by mail, 3 days shall be added to the prescribed time.
(n) Public petitions to the Permitting Authority.
(1) Any interested person (including the permittee) may petition the permitting authority to reopen a permit for cause, and the permitting authority may commence a permit reopening on its own initiative. However, the permitting authority shall not revise, revoke and reissue, or terminate a permit except for the reasons specified in § 71.7(f)(1) or § 71.6(a)(6)(i). All requests shall be in writing and shall contain facts or reasons supporting the request.
(2) If the permitting authority decides the request is not justified, it shall send the requester a brief written response giving a reason for the decision. Denials of requests for revision, revocation and reissuance, or termination are not subject to public notice, comment, or hearings. Denials by the permitting authority may be informally appealed to the Environmental Appeals Board by a letter briefly setting forth the relevant facts. The Board may direct the permitting authority to begin revision, revocation and reissuance, or termination proceedings under paragraph (n)(3) of this section. The appeal shall be considered denied if the Board takes no action within 60 days after receiving it. This informal appeal is, under 42 U.S.C. 307, a prerequisite to seeking judicial review of EPA action in denying a request for revision, revocation and reissuance, or termination.
(3) If the permitting authority decides the request is justified and that cause exists to revise, revoke and reissue or terminate a permit, it shall initiate proceedings to reopen the permit pursuant to § 71.7(f) or § 71.7(g).