43 CFR 426.24 - Reclamation decisions and appeals.
(a) Reclamation decisions -
(1) Decisionmaker for Reclamation's final determinations. The appropriate regional director makes any final determination that these regulations require or authorize. If Reclamation's final determination is likely to involve districts, or landholders with landholdings located in more than one region, the Commissioner designates one regional director to make that final determination.
(2) Notice to affected parties. The appropriate regional director will transmit any final determination to any district and landholder, as appropriate, whose rights and interests are directly affected.
(3) Effective date for regional director's final determinations. A regional director's decisions will take effect the day after the expiration of the period during which a person adversely affected may file a notice of appeal unless a petition for stay is filed together with a timely notice of appeal.
(b) Appeal of final determinations -
(1) Appeal Submittal. Any district or landholder whose rights and interests are directly affected by a regional director's final determination can submit a written notice of appeal. Such notice of appeal must be submitted to the Commissioner of Reclamation within 30-calendar days from the date of the regional director's final determination.
(2) Submittal of supporting information. The affected party will have 60-calendar days from the date that the regional director issues a final determination to submit a supporting brief or memorandum to the Commissioner. The Commissioner may extend the time for submitting a supporting brief or memorandum, if:
(i) The affected party submits a request to the Commissioner in a timely manner;
(ii) The request includes the reason why additional time is needed; and
(iii) The Commissioner determines the appellant has shown good cause for such an extension and the extension would not prejudice Reclamation.
(3) Requests for stay of the final determination pending appeal.
(i) The Commissioner will determine whether to stay a regional director's final determination within 30 days after receiving a properly filed petition for stay if the requesting party:
(A) Submits a request for stay in writing to the Commissioner, with, or in advance of, the notice of appeal, and states the grounds upon which the party requests the stay; and
(B) Demonstrates that the harm that a district or landholder would suffer if the Commissioner does not grant the stay outweighs the interest of the United States in having the final determination take effect pending appeal.
(ii) A decision, or that portion of the decision, for which a stay is not granted will become effective immediately after the Commissioner denies or partially denies the petition for stay, or fails to act within 30 days after receiving the request.
(iii) A Commissioner's decision on a petition for a stay or any other Commissioner decision is appealable.
(c) Appeal of Commissioner's decision -
(1) Appeal to the Office of Hearing and Appeals. A party can appeal the Commissioner's decision to the Secretary by writing to the Director, Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA), U.S. Department of the Interior. For an appeal to be timely, OHA must receive the appeal within 30-calendar days from the date of mailing of the Commissioner's decision.
(2) Rules that govern appeals to OHA. 43 CFR part 4, subpart G, and other provisions of 43 CFR Part 4, where applicable, govern the OHA appeal process, except for the accrual of underpayment interest as specified in paragraph (e) of this section.
(d) Effective date of an appeal decision. Reclamation will apply decisions made by the Commissioner or by OHA under paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section as of the date of the violation or other problem that was addressed in the regional director's final determination. If, during the appeal process, irrigation water has been delivered to land subsequently found to be ineligible, for other than RRA forms submittal violations, the compensation rate may be applied to such deliveries retroactively.
(e) Accrual of interest on underpayments during appeal. Interest on any underpayments, as provided in § 426.21, continues to accrue during an appeal of a regional director's final determination, an appeal of the Commissioner's decision, or judicial review of final agency action. Underpayment interest accrual will continue even during a stay under paragraphs (b)(4) or (c)(3) of this section.
(f) Status of appeals made prior to the effective date of these regulations.
(1) Appeals to the Commissioner of a regional director's final determination which were decided by the Commissioner or his or her delegate prior to the effective date of these regulations are hereby validated.
(2) Appeals to the Commissioner of final determinations made by a regional director and appeals to OHA, which are pending on appeal as of the effective date of these regulations will be processed and decided in accordance with the regulations in effect immediately prior to the effective date of these regulations.
(g) Addresses. All requests for stays, appeals, or other communications to the United States under this section must be addressed as follows:
(1) Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation, Office of Policy, Attention: D-5200, P.O. Box 25007, Denver, Colorado 80225.
(2) Director, Office of Hearings and Appeals, Department of the Interior, 801 North Quincy Street, Arlington, Virginia 22203.