Within 30 days after the applicant or permittee is notified of the final decision of the Commission concerning the application for a permit, revision or renewal thereof, permit, application for transfer, sale, or assignment of rights, or concerning an application for coal exploration under §12.113 of this title (relating to Applications: Notice and Hearing for Exploration of More Than 250 Tons), the applicant, permittee, or any person with an interest which is or may be adversely affected may request a hearing on the reasons for the final decision in accordance with this section. (1) The Commission shall commence the hearing within 30 days of such request. This hearing shall be of record, adjudicatory in nature, and the examiner from any previous hearing on this matter shall not preside at the hearing, or participate in the decision following the hearing, or in any administrative appeal therefrom. (2) The Commission may, under such
conditions as it may prescribe, grant such temporary relief as it deems appropriate, pending final determination of the proceeding, if: (A) all parties to the proceeding have been notified and given an opportunity to be heard on a request for temporary relief; (B) the person requesting that relief shows that there is a substantial likelihood that he or she will prevail on the merits of the final determination of the proceeding; (C) the relief is not to affect adversely the public health or safety, or cause significant, imminent environmental harm to land, air, or water resources; and (D) the relief sought is not the issuance of a permit where a permit has been denied, in whole or in part, by the Commission. (3) With regard to public hearings, the following shall apply: (A) for the purpose of such hearing, the hearing examiner may administer oaths and affirmations,
subpoena witnesses, written, or printed materials, compel attendance of witnesses or production of those materials, compel discovery, and take evidence, including, but not limited to, site inspections of the land to be affected and other surface coal mining and reclamation operations carried on by the applicant in the general vicinity of the proposed operations; (B) a verbatim record of each public hearing required by this section shall be made, and a transcript made available on the motion of any party or by order of the hearing examiner; and (C) ex parte contacts between representatives of the parties before the hearing examiner and the hearing examiner shall be prohibited. (4) Within 30 days after the close of the record, the hearing examiner shall issue and furnish the applicant, and each person who participated in the hearing, with the written findings of fact, conclusions of law, and order of the Commission with respect
to the appeal. (5) The burden of proof at such hearings shall be on the party seeking to reverse the decision of the Commission.