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Title 40

Displaying title 40, up to date as of 9/23/2021. Title 40 was last amended 9/23/2021.

Title 40

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§ 22.19 Prehearing information exchange; prehearing conference; other discovery.

(a) Prehearing information exchange.

(1) In accordance with an order issued by the Presiding Officer, each party shall file a prehearing information exchange. Except as provided in § 22.22(a), a document or exhibit that has not been included in prehearing information exchange shall not be admitted into evidence, and any witness whose name and testimony summary has not been included in prehearing information exchange shall not be allowed to testify. Parties are not required to exchange information relating to settlement which would be excluded in the federal courts under Rule 408 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. Documents and exhibits shall be marked for identification as ordered by the Presiding Officer.

(2) Each party's prehearing information exchange shall contain:

(i) The names of any expert or other witnesses it intends to call at the hearing, together with a brief narrative summary of their expected testimony, or a statement that no witnesses will be called; and

(ii) Copies of all documents and exhibits which it intends to introduce into evidence at the hearing.

(3) If the proceeding is for the assessment of a penalty and complainant has already specified a proposed penalty, complainant shall explain in its prehearing information exchange how the proposed penalty was calculated in accordance with any criteria set forth in the Act, and the respondent shall explain in its prehearing information exchange why the proposed penalty should be reduced or eliminated.

(4) If the proceeding is for the assessment of a penalty and complainant has not specified a proposed penalty, each party shall include in its prehearing information exchange all factual information it considers relevant to the assessment of a penalty. Within 15 days after respondent files its prehearing information exchange, complainant shall file a document specifying a proposed penalty and explaining how the proposed penalty was calculated in accordance with any criteria set forth in the Act.

(b) Prehearing conference. The Presiding Officer, at any time before the hearing begins, may direct the parties and their counsel or other representatives to participate in a conference to consider:

(1) Settlement of the case;

(2) Simplification of issues and stipulation of facts not in dispute;

(3) The necessity or desirability of amendments to pleadings;

(4) The exchange of exhibits, documents, prepared testimony, and admissions or stipulations of fact which will avoid unnecessary proof;

(5) The limitation of the number of expert or other witnesses;

(6) The time and place for the hearing; and

(7) Any other matters which may expedite the disposition of the proceeding.

(c) Record of the prehearing conference. No transcript of a prehearing conference relating to settlement shall be made. With respect to other prehearing conferences, no transcript of any prehearing conferences shall be made unless ordered by the Presiding Officer. The Presiding Officer shall ensure that the record of the proceeding includes any stipulations, agreements, rulings or orders made during the conference.

(d) Location of prehearing conference. The prehearing conference shall be held in the county where the respondent resides or conducts the business which the hearing concerns, in the city in which the relevant Environmental Protection Agency Regional Office is located, or in Washington, DC, unless the Presiding Officer determines that there is good cause to hold it at another location or by telephone.

(e) Other discovery.

(1) After the information exchange provided for in paragraph (a) of this section, a party may move for additional discovery. The motion shall specify the method of discovery sought, provide the proposed discovery instruments, and describe in detail the nature of the information and/or documents sought (and, where relevant, the proposed time and place where discovery would be conducted). The Presiding Officer may order such other discovery only if it:

(i) Will neither unreasonably delay the proceeding nor unreasonably burden the non-moving party;

(ii) Seeks information that is most reasonably obtained from the non-moving party, and which the non-moving party has refused to provide voluntarily; and

(iii) Seeks information that has significant probative value on a disputed issue of material fact relevant to liability or the relief sought.

(2) Settlement positions and information regarding their development (such as penalty calculations for purposes of settlement based upon Agency settlement policies) shall not be discoverable.

(3) The Presiding Officer may order depositions upon oral questions only in accordance with paragraph (e)(1) of this section and upon an additional finding that:

(i) The information sought cannot reasonably be obtained by alternative methods of discovery; or

(ii) There is a substantial reason to believe that relevant and probative evidence may otherwise not be preserved for presentation by a witness at the hearing.

(4) The Presiding Officer may require the attendance of witnesses or the production of documentary evidence by subpoena, if authorized under the Act. The Presiding Officer may issue a subpoena for discovery purposes only in accordance with paragraph (e)(1) of this section and upon an additional showing of the grounds and necessity therefor. Subpoenas shall be served in accordance with § 22.5(b)(1). Witnesses summoned before the Presiding Officer shall be paid the same fees and mileage that are paid witnesses in the courts of the United States. Any fees shall be paid by the party at whose request the witness appears. Where a witness appears pursuant to a request initiated by the Presiding Officer, fees shall be paid by the Agency.

(5) Nothing in this paragraph (e) shall limit a party's right to request admissions or stipulations, a respondent's right to request Agency records under the Federal Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, or EPA's authority under any applicable law to conduct inspections, issue information request letters or administrative subpoenas, or otherwise obtain information.

(f) Supplementing prior exchanges. A party who has made an information exchange under paragraph (a) of this section, or who has exchanged information in response to a request for information or a discovery order pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section, shall promptly supplement or correct the exchange when the party learns that the information exchanged or response provided is incomplete, inaccurate or outdated, and the additional or corrective information has not otherwise been disclosed to the other party pursuant to this section.

(g) Failure to exchange information. Where a party fails to provide information within its control as required pursuant to this section, the Presiding Officer may, in his discretion:

(1) Infer that the information would be adverse to the party failing to provide it;

(2) Exclude the information from evidence; or

(3) Issue a default order under § 22.17(c).