US EPA has published a final rule revising the procedures used for appeals to various agency actions. This final rule will become effective on March 26, 2013.
The rule revises existing procedures for appeals from RCRA, UIC, NPDES, PSD or other final permit decisions that are filed with the Environmental Appeals Board in an effort to simplify and make more efficient the review process, particularly in appeals from permits issued under new source review provisions. The changes reconcile current provisions of the regulation governing appeals, and bring the regulation more fully in line with current practice.
Under the existing rule, a Petitioner was required to file a substantive petition for review demonstrating that review is warranted. The Environmental Appeals Board considered that substantive petition to determine whether to grant review. If review is granted, the existing rule assumed that a second substantive round of briefing began and another substantive review process occurs.
In practice, however, the Board has determined that a second round of briefing generally is unnecessary because in nearly all cases, a decision on the merits can be made based on the substantive briefs already filed. The changes to the rule clarify to practitioners that substantive briefing must be submitted at the outset of the appeal and that one substantive review will occur. Additional briefing may be ordered only when the Board determines it warranted.