(a) In any contested proceeding under this part:
(1) No interested person shall make an off-the-record communication or knowingly cause an off-the-record communication to be made to any decisional employee.
(2) No decisional employee shall make an off-the-record communication or knowingly cause an off-the-record communication to be made to any interested person.
(3) A decisional employee who receives, makes, or knowingly causes to be made an oral off-the-record communication prohibited by this section shall prepare a memorandum stating the substance of the communication and any responses made to it.
(4) Within forty-eight (48) hours of the off-the-record communication, a copy of all written off-the-record communications or memoranda prepared in compliance with paragraph (a)(3) of this section shall be delivered by the decisional employee to the Assistant Secretary and to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fuels Programs. The materials will then be made available for public inspection by placing them in the docket associated with the proceeding.
(5) Requests by a party for an opportunity to rebut, on the record, any facts or contentions in an off-the-record communication may be filed in writing with the Assistant Secretary. The Assistant Secretary shall grant such requests only for good cause.
(6) Upon being notified of an off-the-record communication made by a party in violation of this section, the Assistant Secretary may, to the extent consistent with the interests of justice and the policies of the NGA and the DOE Act, require the party to show cause why the party's claim or interest in the proceeding should not be dismissed, denied, disregarded, or otherwise adversely affected on account of the violation.
(b) The prohibitions of paragraph (a) of the section shall apply only to contested proceedings and begin at the time either a protest or a motion to intervene or notice of intervention in opposition to the application or other requested action is filed with FE, or a party otherwise specifically notifies the Assistant Secretary and the other parties in writing of its opposition to the application or other requested action, whichever occurs first.