(a)General. In accordance with its delegated authority under part 1 of this title, the Associate Administrator may initiate investigations relating to compliance by any person with any provisions of this subchapter or subchapter C of this chapter, or any special permit, approval, or order issued thereunder, or any court decree relating thereto. The Associate Administrator encourages voluntary production of documents in accordance with and subject to § 105.45, and hearings may be conducted, and depositions taken pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 5121(a). The Associate Administrator may conduct investigative conferences and hearings in the course of any investigation.
(b)Investigations and Inspections. Investigations under 49 U.S.C. 5121(a) are conducted by personnel duly authorized for that purpose by the Associate Administrator. Inspections under 49 U.S.C. 5121(c) are conducted by Hazardous Materials Enforcement Specialists or Hazardous Materials Compliance Investigators, also known as “hazmat investigators” or “investigators,” whom the Associate Administrator has designated for that purpose.
(1) An investigator will, on request, present his or her credentials for examination, but the credentials may not be reproduced.
(2) An investigator may administer oaths and receive affirmations in any matter under investigation by the Associate Administrator.
(3) An investigator may gather information by reasonable means including, but not limited to, interviews, statements, photocopying, photography, and video- and audio-recording.
(4) With concurrence of the Director, Field Operations, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, an investigator may issue a subpoena for the production of documentary or other tangible evidence if, on the basis of information available to the investigator, the documents and evidence materially will advance a determination of compliance with this subchapter or subchapter C. Service of a subpoena shall be in accordance with § 105.50. A person to whom a subpoena is directed may seek review of the subpoena by applying to the Office of Chief Counsel in accordance with § 105.55(a). A subpoena issued under this paragraph may be enforced in accordance with § 105.55(b).
(c)Notification. Any person who is the subject of an Associate Administrator investigation and who is requested to furnish information or documentary evidence is notified as to the general purpose for which the information or evidence is sought.
(d)Termination. When the facts disclosed by an investigation indicate that further action is unnecessary or unwarranted at that time, the person being investigated is notified and the investigative file is closed without prejudice to further investigation by the Associate Administrator.
(e)Confidentiality. Information received in an investigation under this section, including the identity of the person investigated and any other person who provides information during the investigation, shall remain confidential under the investigatory file exception, or other appropriate exception, to the public disclosure requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552.