50 CFR § 221.25 - How will NOAA respond to any hearing requests?
(a) General. Within 50 days after the deadline in § 221.21(a)(2) or 30 days after the expiration of any stay period under § 221.24, whichever is later, NOAA may file with the Office of Habitat Conservation an answer to any hearing request under § 221.21.
(b) Content. If NOAA files an answer:
(1) For each of the numbered factual issues listed under § 221.21(b)(1), the answer must explain NOAA's position with respect to the issues of material fact raised by the requester, including one or more of the following statements as appropriate:
(i) That NOAA is willing to stipulate to the facts as alleged by the requester;
(ii) That NOAA believes the issue listed by the requester is not a factual issue, explaining the basis for such belief;
(iii) That NOAA believes the issue listed by the requester is not material, explaining the basis for such belief; or
(iv) That NOAA agrees that the issue is factual, material, and in dispute.
(2) The answer must also indicate whether the hearing request will be consolidated with one or more other hearing requests under § 221.23 and, if so:
(i) Identify any other hearing request that will be consolidated with this hearing request; and
(c) Witnesses and exhibits. NOAA's answer must also list the witnesses and exhibits that it intends to present at the hearing, other than solely for impeachment purposes.
(1) For each witness listed, NOAA must provide:
(i) His or her name, address, telephone number, and qualifications; and
(ii) A brief narrative summary of his or her expected testimony.
(d) Page limits.
(1) For each disputed factual issue, the information provided under paragraph (b)(1) of this section may not exceed two pages.
(2) For each witness, the information provided under paragraph (c)(1) of this section may not exceed one page.
(e) Notice in lieu of answer. If NOAA elects not to file an answer to a hearing request:
(1) NOAA is deemed to agree that the issues listed by the requester are factual, material, and in dispute;
(3) NOAA must file a notice containing the information required by paragraph (b)(2) of this section, if the hearing request will be consolidated with one or more other hearing requests under § 221.23, and the statement required by paragraph (b)(4) of this section.
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