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e-CFR data is current as of August 6, 2020

Title 10Chapter IISubchapter EPart 501Subpart C → §501.34

Title 10: Energy
Subpart C—Written Comments, Public Hearings and Conferences During Administrative Proceedings

§501.34   Public hearing.

(a) A public hearing under this subsection is for the purpose of insuring that all issues are fully and properly developed, but is not a formal adjudicatory hearing subject to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 554 and 556.

(b) Opportunity to be heard at a public hearing. (1) Any interested person, may request, and OFE will provide, an opportunity to present oral or written data, views and arguments at a public hearing on any proposed prohibition rule or order, or on any petition for an exemption or permit. An interested person may file a request to be listed as a party to a hearing on the service list prepared by the Presiding Officer pursuant to §501.34(d) of this part.

(2) Participants at the public hearing will have an opportunity to present oral or written data, views and arguments.

(3) A request for a public hearing may be withdrawn by the requestor at any time. If other persons have requested to participate as parties in the public hearing, OFE may cancel the hearing only if all parties agree to cancellation. OFE will give notice, whenever possible, in the Federal Register of the cancellation of any hearings for which there has been prior notice.

(c) Presiding Officer. OFE will appoint a Presiding Officer to conduct the public hearing.

(d) Powers of the Presiding Officer. The Presiding Officer is responsible for orderly conduct of the hearing and for certification of the record of the public hearing. The Presiding Officer will not prepare any recommended findings, conclusions, or any other recommendations for disposition of a particular case, except those of a procedural nature. The Presiding Officer has, but is not limited to the following powers:

(1) Administer oaths, affirmations and protective orders;

(2) Issue administrative subpoenas and rule on motions to modify or withdraw subpoenas that he has issued;

(3) Rule on questions as to relevance and materiality of evidence;

(4) Regulate the course of the public hearing;

(5) Hold conferences for the simplification of issues by consent of the parties;

(6) Require submission of evidence in writing where appropriate;

(7) Establish service lists;

(8) Dispose of procedural requests and similar matters; and

(9) Take other actions authorized by these rules.

The Presiding Officer may also limit the number of witnesses to be presented by any party and may impose reasonable time limits for testimony. The Presiding Officer shall establish and maintain a service list that contains the names and addresses of all parties to the OFE proceeding. At the time the Presiding Officer certifies the record, he will provide the staff of OFE with an index of the issues addressed in the record.

(e) Notice. OFE will convene a public hearing only after publishing a notice in the Federal Register that states the time, place and nature of the public hearing.

(f) Opportunity to question at the public hearing. At any public hearing requested pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, with respect to disputed issues of material fact, OFE will provide any interested person an opportunity to question:

(1) Other interested persons who make oral presentations;

(2) Employees and contractors of the United States who have made written or oral presentations or who have participated in the development of the proposed rule or order or in the consideration of the petition for an exemption or permit; and

(3) Experts and consultants who have provided information to any person who makes an oral presentation and which is contained in or referred to in such presentation.

(g) OFE encourages persons who wish to question Government witnesses to submit their questions at least ten (10) days in advance of the hearing.

(h) The Presiding Officer will allow questions by any interested person to be asked of those making presentations or submitting information, data, analyses or views at the hearing. The Presiding Officer may restrict questioning if he determines that such questioning is duplicative or is not likely to result in a timely and effective resolution of issues pending in the administrative proceeding for which the hearing is being conducted.

(i) The Presiding Officer or OFE may exercise discretion to control a hearing by denying, temporarily or permanently, the privilege of participating in a particular OFE hearing if OFE finds, for example, that a person:

(1) Has knowingly made false or misleading statements, either orally or in writing;

(2) Has knowingly filed false affidavits or other writings;

(3) Lacks the specific authority to represent the person seeking an OFE action; or

(4) Has disrupted or is disrupting a hearing.

(j) Evidence. (1) The Presiding Officer is responsible for orderly submission of information, data, materials, views or other evidence into the record of the public hearing. The Presiding Officer may exclude any evidence that is irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitious. Judicial rules of evidence do not apply.

(2) Documentary material must be of a size consistent with ease of handling, transportation and filing, and a reasonable number of copies should be made available at the public hearing for the use of interested persons. An original and fourteen (14) copies shall be furnished to the Presiding Officer and one copy to each party listed on the service list. Large exhibits that are used during the hearing must be provided on no larger than 1112 × 14 legal size paper if they are to be submitted into the hearing record.

(k) Hearing record. OFE will have a verbatim transcript made of the public hearing. The hearing record shall remain open for a period of fourteen (14) days following the public hearing, unless extended by OFE, during which time the participants at the hearing may submit additional written statements which will be made part of the administrative record and will be served by the Presiding Officer upon those parties listed on the service list. OFE may also request additional information, data or analysis following the hearing in order to resolve disputed issues in the record. If OFE receives or obtains any relevant information or evidence that is placed in the record after the close of the public hearing or comment period, it will so notify all participants, and allow an additional fourteen (14) days for submission of evidence in rebuttal. In addition, OFE may, in its discretion, re-open the hearing at the request of a party or participant, to permit further rebuttal of evidence or statements submitted to OFE and made part of the hearing record after the close of the hearing. The transcript, together with any written comments submitted in the course of the proceeding, will be made part of the record available for public inspection and copying at the OFE Public Information Office, as provided in §501.12.

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