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RULE §116.1418Public Participation

(a) With the exception of the permitting procedural requirements specified in any other chapter of this title, permits authorized under this subchapter are not subject to the requirements relating to a contested case hearing under Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 382; Texas Water Code; or Texas Government Code, Chapter 2001, Subchapters C - G. Permit applications under this chapter shall be subject to a notice and comment hearing as specified in subsections (b) - (n) of this section, as well as any applicable requirements in Chapters 39 and 55 of this title (relating to Public Notice and Requests for Reconsideration and Contested Case Hearings; Public Comment).

(b) Any hearing regarding a permit will be conducted under the procedures in this section and not under the Administrative Procedure Act.

(c) Any person who may be affected by emissions from a site regulated under this subchapter may request the executive director to hold a hearing on the draft permit. The request must be made during the 30-day public comment period.

(d) The executive director shall decide whether to conduct a hearing. The executive director is not required to hold a hearing if the basis of the request by a person who may be affected by emissions from a site is determined to be unreasonable. If a hearing is requested by a person who may be affected by emissions from a site regulated under this subchapter, and that request is reasonable, the executive director shall conduct a hearing.

(e) At the applicant's expense, notice of a hearing on a draft permit must be published in the public notice section of one issue of a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality in which the site or proposed site is located, or in the municipality nearest to the location of the site or proposed site. The notice must be published at least 30 days before the date of the hearing. The notice must include the following:

  (1) the time, place, and nature of the hearing;

  (2) a brief description of the purpose of the hearing; and

  (3) the name and phone number of the commission to be contacted to verify that a hearing will be held.

(f) The applicant shall submit a copy of the notice of hearing and date of publication to the executive director and all local air pollution control agencies having jurisdiction in the county in which the site is located.

(g) At the executive director's discretion, the hearing notice may be combined with the notice of the draft permit required by this subchapter.

(h) Any person, including the applicant, may submit oral or written statements and data concerning the draft permit.

  (1) Reasonable time limits may be set for oral comments, and the submission of comments in writing may be required.

  (2) The period for submitting written comments is automatically extended to the close of any hearing.

  (3) At the hearing, the period for submitting written comments may be extended beyond the close of the hearing.

(i) A tape recording or written transcript of the hearing must be made available to the public.

(j) Any person, including the applicant, who believes that any condition of the draft permit is inappropriate or that the preliminary decision to issue or deny the permit is inappropriate, shall raise all reasonably ascertainable issues and submit all reasonably available arguments supporting that position by the end of the public comment period.

(k) The executive director shall keep a record of all comments received and issues raised in the hearing. This record must be made available to the public.

(l) The draft permit may be changed based on comments.

(m) After the public comment period or the conclusion of any notice and comment hearing, the chief clerk of the commission shall send by first-class mail the executive director's decision, the executive director's response to any comments submitted during the comment period or at the public hearing specified in this section, and identification of any change in the condition of the draft permit and the reasons for the change to any person who commented during the public comment period or at the hearing, and to the applicant.

(n) The commission shall use public meetings, informal conferences, or advisory committees to gather the opinions and advice of interested persons for all permits issued under this subchapter.

  (1) Any public meetings held in accordance with this subsection shall follow the notice and comment hearing procedures in subsection (a) - (m) of this section.

  (2) The executive director shall hold a public meeting:

    (A) on the request of a member of the legislature who represents the general area in which the facility is located or proposed to be located; or

    (B) if the executive director determines that there is substantial public interest in the proposed activity.

Source Note: The provisions of this §116.1418 adopted to be effective March 29, 2006, 31 TexReg 2492

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