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Part 647: Rules Of Procedure

(Statutory authority: Environmental Conservation Law, § 24-1103(1)(b))

[page 1 of 1]

Contents:

Sec.

§647.1 Scope of the rules and definitions

(a) This Part governs procedure in all appeals and applications to the Freshwater Wetlands Appeals Board (hereinafter "board"), authorized by the Freshwater Wetlands Act of the State of New York (hereinafter "act"), for such relief as the board, the chairman or any member thereof is competent to give. This Part shall be known and cited as the Rules of Procedure of the Freshwater Wetlands Appeals Board.

(b) This Part shall not be construed to extend or limit the jurisdiction of the board as established by law.

(c) This Part shall be construed to secure the just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every appeal or proceeding before the board.

(d) The language of this Part shall be construed according to its most obvious and commonly used sense. Where required, interpretation shall accord with the provisions of "Construction and Interpretation", chapter 6, Statutes, book 1 of McKinney's Consolidated Laws of New York. Where applicable, the following definitions and related procedures shall govern in this Part:

(1) Affidavit. A written statement of facts, made voluntarily, and confirmed by the person making the statement under oath or affirmation before a notary public or other officer with authority to administer an oath or affirmation. Exhibits may be annexed to the written statement, and verified by it.

(2) Amicus curiae. A "friend of the court", being a person who volunteers information upon a matter of law important to any given appeal and which may escape the notice of the board.

(3) Answer and appearance. A succinct statement in response to the notice of appeal, either specifically contesting allegations of fact or law, or generally denying the entire content of the notice. The appearance is a written statement by which the respondent advises the appellant and board that it wishes to be heard and designates a person to represent said respondent.

(4) Appeal and notice of appeal. A complaint to the board of an alleged error or unlawful or unjust act, as provided in section 24-1103(2) of the act, committed in the making of an order, determination or decision pursuant to authority of the act. The appeal is started by preparing a succinct statement specifying the alleged error or act: this statement is called the notice of appeal.

(5) Appellant. The party taking an appeal is called the appellant.

(6) Application. Once an appeal has been started, a written request in the form of a short statement to the board asking for any relief-either procedural, such as altering the time limits, or substantive, such as dismissing a given appeal because the board may lack jurisdiction-and succinctly stating the reasons in support of the request and explaining any statutory or other legal authority or factual support relevant to the request.

(7) Board. The Freshwater Wetlands Appeals Board, as framed under article 11 of the act.

(8) Brief. A written statement succinctly presenting all facts and points of law pertinent to, and all arguments for or against, an appeal before the board. The brief may include a summary of the essential facts in the record, a statement of the questions raised by the appeal, a statement of how the party submitting the brief wishes the board to rule on those questions, and what result or relief the party seeks in the board's ruling.

(9) Exhaustion of remedies. The doctrine that, once an appeal has been started, the questions presented to and the relief sought from the board must be ruled upon, and the remedy of taking an appeal to the board under sections 24-1101 and 24-1103 of the Freshwater Wetlands Act must be exhausted, before judicial review is sought under section 24-1105 of the act.

(10) Filing. Delivery in person or by U.S. mail of a document to the docket clerk of the board at the offices of the docket clerk, after providing a copy of the document to all parties as provided in this Part. Once filed, the document is a public record on permanent file with the board.

(11) Intervention. The act by which a third party, neither the appellant nor respondent, seeks to be received as a party in any given appeal, for the purpose of asserting issues on the side of either the appellant or respondent. Upon being granted permission to intervene, the intervenor has the obligation to participate as a full party to the appeal.

(12) Limited appearance. The act by which a third party, neither the appellant, respondent nor intervenor, seeks to advise the board of its views on a given appeal by filing a succinct two-page letter stating those views with the docket clerk of the board. Persons filing such a letter are not parties to an appeal.

(13) Oral Argument. An oral presentation to the board or any member thereof, in a public hearing, by all parties of the position of each party, in an effort to establish the party's belief by making a short and reasoned statement. Presentation of the facts not in the record and new testimony are not a part of oral argument. Argument may be by an attorney or a competent expert or other designated representative of a party.

(14) Party. A person taking part in an appeal before the board, either as an appellant, respondent or intervenor.

(15) Person. Any corporation, firm, partnership, association, trust, estate, one or more individuals, and any unit of government or agency or subdivision thereof.

(16) Record. A written account of any order, determination or decision made pursuant to the Freshwater Wetlands Act, and all underlying documents and relevant written information, assembled under authority of law, by a proper officer, and constituting the permanent evidence providing the basis for the decision to which it relates.

Where a party contends that facts which should have been in the record were overlooked or omitted so as to constitute an error or unlawful or unjust act, as provided in section 24-1103(2) of the act, such party may file an affidavit to supplement the record and establish the presence of such facts as it claims have been overlooked or omitted.

(17) Respondent. The party which made the order, determination or decision appealed from. Specifically, under the act the respondent is either the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation (herein referred to as "commissioner"), or the competent official duly designated by the local government with jurisdiction over the wetlands, whether village, town, city or county therein referred to as "agency" or the members of the Adirondack Park Agency (herein referred to as "APA").

(18) Security. An obligation, pledge, bond, recognizance or other condition required of a party by the board in connection with any party's request for the board to stay an action pending decision of any given appeal, either to assure and secure that the stay will be honored or to provide indemnification for any injury incurred by the party whose action is stayed should the appeal prove meritless, or in connection with any other application of a party.

(19) Service. The act of delivering a copy of any given document to another party, either in person or by mail as provided in this Part.

(20) Stay. Temporarily to stop, arrest and suspend any order, determination or decision subject to an appeal, and to fix such terms and conditions as the circumstances may require, including stay of any conduct whatsoever affecting the freshwater wetlands subject to the appeal, until such time as the board may hear and decide the appeal.

(21) Stenographic transcript. A written record of oral proceedings by a duly certified person skilled in shorthand recording or writing. Where a party wishes a stenographic transcript of oral argument, it must make provision for such and provide a copy with the stenographer's original sworn certificate to the board, to be filed with the board's docket clerk.

(22) Stipulation. A written agreement by two or more parties on opposite sides of an issue, setting forth an agreed understanding relevant to procedure or substance of given appeal in which they are participants. Where the understanding requires the order of the board to be effective, the parties may make an application for such order.

§647.2 Suspension of the rules

On a finding that it is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety or general welfare, the board may suspend all or a part of the requirements or provisions of this Part in a particular case on application of a party, or on its own motion, and may order proceedings in accordance with its own direction.

§647.3 Appeals to the board

(a) Within 30 days after service or notice, whichever occurs later in time, of any decision, determination or order of the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation (hereinafter "commissioner") or of the competent agency of any village, town, city or county (hereinafter "agency"), or of the Adirondack Park Agency (hereinafter "APA") acting under authority of the act, any person may take an appeal to the board by the filing of a notice of appeal containing exceptions to that decision, determination or order or designated portions thereof.

(b) Every person filing an appeal (hereinafter "appellant") shall file a notice of appeal which must:

(1) specify whether or not wetlands are involved and, if they are, then state the nature and the size of the wetlands involved in the appeal;

(2) separately number each exception and state concisely, without supporting argumentation, the single error of fact or law which is being asserted in that exception;

(3) identify with particularity the portion of the decision, determination or order to which the exception is addressed; and

(4) name the commissioner, agency or APA as respondent, as the case may be.

c() Failure of any appellant to take any step, other than the timely filing of a notice of appeal, does not affect the validity of the appeal, but is ground for such action as the board deems appropriate, which may include dismissal of the appeal.

(d) If two or more persons are entitled to appeal from a given decision, determination or order, they may file a joint notice of appeal, or join in appeal after filing timely notices of appeal and thereafter appeal as a single appellant. Appeals may be consolidated upon application of any appellant or respondent, or by the board on its own motion.

(e) Each appellant shall serve a copy of the notice of appeal on the commissioner, and also on the agency or APA if the agency or APA is the named respondent, either by delivery a copy in person or by certified or registered mail.

(f) Each named respondent shall serve and file an answer to the notice of appeal and an appearance, attaching a copy of the decision, determination or order appealed from, within seven days of receiving the notice of appeal, and in the answer either generally or specifically denying the exceptions stated in the notice of appeal.

(g) Each appellant and respondent, respectively, shall filed the notice of appeal and the answer and appearance, after service, with the docket clerk of the board at the board's office in the Department of Environmental Conservation.

§647.4 Record on appeal

(a) Within 10 days of receiving a notice of appeal, weekends and holidays excluded, the respondent commissioner, agency or APA shall transmit to the docket clerk of the board the original papers and exhibits filed with it, the transcript of proceedings, if any, and any other materials presented to it, together with a copy of the decision or order appealed from and a copy of the local law or ordinance by which the decision or order is authorized.

(b) Appellant shall offer to assist respondent in assembling the record to assure that the full and original record of the decision or order appealed from is in fact transmitted to the board's docket clerk. The appellant may confer with and assist the respective clerk or other official designated by the commissioner, agency or APA as the official who is responsible for transmitting the record to the board's docket clerk. The commissioner, agency or APA may issue such regulations not inconsistent with this Part as may be necessary or desirable to facilitate and arrange for the consultation and assistance by the appellant, and transmittal of the record.

(c) Upon receiving the answer, the board's docket clerk shall give notice, in writing by mail, of the date the answer is received, and specify a briefing schedule.

(d) If anything material to a party is omitted from or misstated in the record, the parties may supplement or correct the record by stipulation or by affidavit, or the board may order the filing of a supplemental and corrected record.

§647.5 Briefs

(a) After service of a copy on respondent, the original and five copies of appellant's brief in support of the exceptions specified in the notice of appeal shall be filed with the board's docket clerk within 15 days of the date specified by the board's docket clerk as the date the record was received. The appellant's brief shall be confined to a consideration of the exceptions previously filed in the notice of appeal. The appellant's brief, which shall not exceed 15 typed pages (or 10 printed pages), shall contain under appropriate headings and in the order here indicated:

(1) short statement of the issues presented for review;

(2) statement summarizing the facts in the record;

(3) argument, including contentions as to the issues, reasons therefor, with citations to authorities, statutes, ordinances, regulations, and parts of the record relied upon;

(4) a short conclusion stating the precise relief sought; and

(5) as an appendix, a copy of the specific statutes or ordinances relied upon, and full copies of the principal case or cases relied upon. The appendix must not contain unrelated matter and its length is separate from and in addition to the page references stated in this subdivision.

(b) Within 15 days of the service and filing of appellant's brief, the respondent commissioner, agency or APA may serve and file the respondent's answering brief.

(c) After service on appellant of a copy of the answering brief of the respondent commissioner, agency or APA, the original and five copies shall be filed with the board's docket clerk. The respondent's brief shall not exceed 15 typed pages (or 10 printed pages). The respondent's brief shall include the same content and order as required for the appellant's brief.

(d) No further briefs from appellant or respondent may be filed without permission of the board. Appellant may serve and file a two-page letter of reply to respondent's brief with the board's docket clerk within five days of receipt of respondent's brief. No further briefs or written argument may be filed except with permission of the board or its chairman.

§647.6 Intervention

Any person who desires to intervene in an appeal or proceeding shall serve on all parties a copy of an application to intervene, and shall file the original and five copies of the application with the board's docket clerk. The application shall contain a concise statement of the interest of the party seeking intervention and the grounds upon which intervention is sought. An application to intervene shall be filed within 40 days of the filing of a notice of appeal. Except as otherwise ordered by the board, an intervenor, after service of a copy on all parties, shall file the original and five copies of its brief with the board's docket clerk at the same time as the brief of the party whose position the intervenor supports, or, if such time has passed, then within 10 day after leave to intervene is granted by the board. All other parties may reply to an intervenor's brief by a letter of no more than five pages in length within five days after the filing of the intervenor's brief.

§647.7 Briefs of amicus curiae and limited appearances

(a) A brief of an amicus curiae may be filed on consent of all parties, or by permission of the board granted on application to the board by the person seeking to file the brief, or at the request of the board. A copy of the proposed brief of the amicus curiae shall be filed conditionally with the application. The application shall specify the interest of the amicus curiae and state the reasons why a brief of an amicus curiae is useful in the appeal. Except by agreement of all parties, or by order of the board for good cause shown, the application for permission to file a brief of an amicus curiae shall be served and filed at the same period as the party whose conclusion the brief supports.

(b) A person who is not a party, nor desires to intervene or file an amicus curiae brief, may, in the discretion of the board, file a letter of no more than two pages concisely stating that person's interest in and position on specific issues on appeal. The person making such a limited appearance shall transmit a copy of the letter to each party, and the board's docket clerk will provide on request the addresses of such parties to a person making a limited appearance. Such letters shall be filed with the board's docket clerk prior to the filing of respondent's brief, or prior to oral argument if oral argument is requested, and after copies have been mailed to all parties by the person making the limited appearance.

§647.8 Oral argument

(a) Any party desiring oral argument shall make a request for such at the same time as filing its brief. The request shall be served on each party and filed with the board's docket clerk. The party shall specify whether such argument is desired in Albany or in one of the counties wherein the affected wetlands are located, and if in the one of such counties, then the party shall specify the most convenient available public meeting hall wherein the oral argument may be heard.

(b) Upon receipt of any request for oral argument, where the board deems it advisable, the board or its chairman shall designate one member to hear the argument in one of the counties wherein the affected wetlands are located. The full board shall hear the oral argument in Albany or elsewhere if all parties waive election to hold the argument in one of the counties wherein the affected wetlands are located.

(c) If the parties agree to holding oral argument in Albany, it shall be held on the Monday or Tuesday of the first full week of the month immediately following the date on which the respondent's brief is filed. If the oral argument is to be held elsewhere than Albany, the oral argument shall be held at such time and place as the board or its chairman or the member designated to hear the appeal shall direct.

(d) It is the responsibility of any party desiring a stenographic transcript of any oral argument to arrange and pay for such to be taken by a duly certified stenographer and to furnish one copy of any such transcript to the board without cost and to filed such copy, with the stenographer's original verification, upon receipt from the stenographer with the board's docket clerk.

(e) Unless otherwise provided by order of the board or its chairman, each party will be allowed 30 minutes for argument of an appeal. A party is not obliged to use all of the time allowed. The board may grant additional time if a party requests it in writing prior to argument, and the board may terminate the argument whenever in its judgment further argument is unnecessary.

(f) Appellant is entitled to open and conclude the argument. The opening shall include a fair statement of the case. A party, its representative or counsel, will not be permitted to read at length from briefs, the record, or authorities. If a party fails to appear for oral argument, the board may hear argument from any other parties present and decide thereafter having considered the briefs of any absent party.

(g) If no oral argument is requested, then the appeal is deemed submitted on the basis of the briefs and/or record below.

§647.9 Applications and stays

(a) Upon showing unusual and special circumstances, any party may apply for an order of the board for relief additional to or different from that set forth elsewhere in this Part. Such applications shall not delay or suspend the briefing schedule fixed by the board's docket clerk unless for exceptional reasons the board or its chairman so orders. Such applications shall be made by short written statements, served on all parties and filed with the board's docket clerk; an answering statement to an application may be served and filed within five days after a party receives the application. Such applications shall specify the unusual and special circumstances which a party believes justify its application. Requests for clarification or dismissal generally are not of such unusual and special circumstances as to require an application: parties are expected to cooperate in good faith to assure that each understands the position of the other.

(b) An application for the board to stay the effectiveness of any decision, determination or order of the commissioner, agency or APA, in order to maintain the status quo to avert alteration of wetlands pending the ruling on an appeal, may be made to the board, or its chairman, or a member of the board designated by the chairman, at any time. A copy of the application shall be served on the respondent commissioner, agency or APA, and the original and five copies filed with the board's docket clerk. Any opposing papers shall be served and filed within 10 days of the filing of the application, the original and five copies being filed with the board's docket clerk.

(c) The application shall concisely state the reasons for the relief requested and the facts relied upon, and shall be accompanied by affidavits or other sworn testimony, and, if available, a copy of the order or decision for which a stay is sought.

(d) The application will be heard by the board on the first Monday of the month immediately following the day on which the application is filed. Filing of such an application automatically stays any conduct or action whatsoever affecting the wetlands subject to the appeal, until such time as the board rules on the application for a stay. The applicant shall personally serve notice of the restraints of this provision on the person whose conduct is affecting or would affect or alter the wetland, and serve all other parties by mail, including the respondent commissioner, agency or APA, and file with the board's docket clerk an affidavit of such personal service setting forth the time and place service was made, by whom and on whom.

(e) The board may condition relief available under this section upon applicant's filing of a bond or other appropriate security or stipulation with the board's docket clerk. If security by bond or undertaking is given, each surety submits to the jurisdiction of the board and irrevocably appoints the board's docket clerk as the surety's agent upon whom any papers affecting his liability on the bond, undertaking or other surety may be served. The surety's liability may be enforced in a special term of the Supreme Court, Albany County, pursuant to article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules. The board's docket clerk shall forthwith mail copies of any enforcement motion served on the docket clerk to the sureties if their addresses are known.

(f) The board may modify the security provisions of this Part or order such other terms and conditions as it deems required in the circumstances.

(g) Upon rendering its decision, the board may modify or dissolve any stay granted or may adjourn the effective date of its decision for a reasonable time while the stay continues in effect, with the terms as granted or subsequently modified, in order to afford any of the parties an opportunity to apply to the Supreme court for any further stay or other relief pursuant to section 24-1105 of the act, while the board's decision is being filed, with the county clerk of the county or counties in which the wetlands are located.

§647.10 Exhaustion of remedies before the board

(a) The timely filing of any notice of appeal before the board shall preclude any party seeking judicial review of the decision or order of the commissioner, agency or APA until after such time as the board has ruled.

(b) The institution of any judicial proceeding to review a decision, determination or order of the commissioner, agency or APA, prior to the filing of a notice of appeal with the board, shall preclude the institution of any proceeding before the board to review such decision, determination or order.

§647.11 Filing of board decisions with the county clerk

(a) Once the board has decided any appeal or application for a stay, and filed the original of its decision with the board's docket clerk, a copy of such decision shall be sent by the board's docket clerk to every party and each person appearing as amicus curiae or submitting a limited appearance letter under section 647.7 of this Part.

(b) At the same time, the board's docket clerk shall transmit a copy of said decision to the county clerk of any county or counties in which the affected wetlands are located. The county clerk shall maintain a copy of such decision with the maps of, and other materials related to, the affected wetlands as required under the act, and the county clerk shall record the date said county clerk files the board's decision or order for purposes of section 24-1105(2) of the act.

§647.12 Filing and Service of Papers with the board

Except for the filing of the record and letters of limited appearance governed separately by this Part, all other papers required or permitted to be filed by the act and this Part shall be filed after service with the docket clerk of the Freshwater Wetlands Appeals Board at the board's office in the Department of Environmental Conservation. An original and five copies shall be filed of each such paper. Papers may be filed in person or by mail, and if by mail shall be deemed filed as of the day actually mailed. Copies of all such papers shall be served personally or by mail on all other parties to an appeal, and an affidavit of proof of service submitted with the original and five copies to be filed. Except for papers in or supplementing the record, all papers filed shall be eight and a half by eleven inches in size. The record shall be transmitted to the docket clerk without the necessity of service of copies or an affidavit of service. Copies of letter of limited appearance shall be sent to each party by mail by the writer of such letters, without the necessity of filing an affidavit of service.

§647.13 Computation and extension of time

In computing any time period, the last day of the period shall be included, unless it is a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, in which event the last day shall be the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday. Any time period may upon application of a party be enlarged for good cause shown, for the doing of any act, other than the 30-day time period within which a notice of appeal must be filed. Whenever a party is required or permitted to perform an act within a prescribed period of service of a paper upon such party, and the service is by mail, three days shall be added to the prescribed period.

§647.14 Prehearing conference

The board may direct the parties, their representatives or attorneys, to appear before the board, or the chairman or any member thereof, for a prehearing conference to consider the simplification of the issues and such other matters as may aid in the disposition of the appeal by the board. The board, its chairman or any member, shall make an order which recites the action taken at the conference and the agreements made by the parties as to any of the matters considered, and which limits the issues to those not disposed of by stipulation or agreement of the parties. Such order when entered controls the subsequent course of the proceeding, unless modified.

§647.15 Entry of decision

The notation by the board's docket clerk of a decision or order of the board, its chairman or any member thereof, constitutes entry of the decision or order. The board's docket clerk shall, on the date the decision or order is entered, mail to all parties a copy of the decision or order. Copies of final decisions of appeals shall be sent to all persons making a limited appearance or appearing as amicus curiae, and be sent to the county clerks for the counties wherein the affected wetlands are located.

§647.16 Costs and fees

Any person filing a notice of appeal shall pay to the docket clerk a filing fee as the board shall set, in postal money order, certified or bank check, or attorney's check.

§647.17 Application for rehearing

Any party may apply to the board for rehearing within 10 days after entry of a final decision on an appeal, unless such time is shortened or increased by order of the board. The application shall be served and filed and shall state with particularity the points of law or fact which the applicant believes the board has overlooked or misapprehended. No oral argument on the application will be permitted; no answer is required.

§647.18 Substitution of parties

If a party dies or a public officer who is a party dies, resigns or otherwise ceases in office, the appeal does not abate and such party's successor shall automatically be substituted as a party.

§647.19 Docket Clerk

(a) The chairman of the board shall appoint a docket clerk for the board. The docket clerk shall take an oath to faithfully execute the duties set forth in this Part for the docket clerk. The office of the docket clerk shall be in the Department of Environmental Conservation.

(b) The office of the docket clerk shall be deemed open every day but Saturday, Sunday and legal holidays for the filing of any paper required or permitted by this Part. At such times as the docket clerk's office is closed, application for a stay may be made directly to the board's chairman as provided in section 647.9 of this Part.

(c) The docket clerk shall keep a book known as the board's docket, in such form and style as the chairman shall direct. Appeals annually shall be assigned consecutive file numbers. The file number of each appeal shall be noted on the file jacket of each file. All papers submitted on each appeal shall be entered consecutively on the file jacket and attached therein. Entries shall be brief but shall clearly state the nature of the paper filed therein. The docket and the file for each appeal shall be available for public inspection and copying whenever the docket clerk's office is open.

(d) The docket clerk shall send out all notices to parties or other communications required by this Part. The docket clerk shall prepare, under the direction of the board's chairman, a monthly calendar of all appeals and their status pending decision. The docket clerk shall keep such other books and records as the board or its chairman may require, or as otherwise required by law.

(e) The docket clerk shall have custody of the records and papers of the board. The docket clerk shall not allow nor permit any original record or paper to be taken from the custody of the docket clerk, except as authorized by court order or at the direction of the board or its chairman.

§647.20 Ex parte communications

(a) No party, a party's representative or counsel, shall communicate with the board, its chairman or any member thereof regarding any appeal or other matter within the board's jurisdiction without serving copies of such communications on all other parties to any appeal. Applications for a stay under section 647.9 of this Part, or for other relief, will be entertained only upon a showing that all other parties have been given reasonable notice or after the moving party specifies, under oath, that all reasonable and good-faith attempts with due diligence have been made to so notify the other parties without success.

(b) In the exercise of their quasi-judicial functions, no board member nor its chairman shall communicate with the commissioner, with the staff of the Department of Environmental Conservation, or with the staff or officers of any agency or the APA, about any appeal pending before the board or about any other board matter whatsoever, except as provided in subdivisions (c) and (d) of this section.

(c) Any board member and the board chairman, to whom is attempted any oral or written communication concerning any matter at issue in any proceeding before the board, will decline to listen to or receive such communication and will explain that the matter is pending for determination. If unsuccessful in preventing an oral communication, the recipient thereof will advise the communicator that a written account of the communication will be delivered to the board's docket clerk for filing and transmittal to all parties. The recipient of the oral communication will thereafter at once make a complete written statement of the communication and deliver such to the board's docket clerk. The docket clerk shall then transmit the written summary to all other board members and to all parties.

(d) This section does not apply to communications between the chairman and members of the board and the commissioner or staff of the Department of Environmental Conservation or others, regarding the administrative and procedural functioning of the board in the Department of Environmental Conservation, or the efficient transaction of the board's business. This section also does not apply to communications between board members and the commissioner or the Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets or the Governor, or their representatives, with respect to the appointment, service and terms of office of the board members and chairman. This section also does not apply to communications with the members of the Legislature regarding the operations of the board or the act.

§647.21 Conflicts

Each board member will file with the board's docket clerk a public disclosure of any interests whatsoever which such member may have in any way relevant to the jurisdiction of the board, including but not limited to any economic interest in wetlands or any advisory or other role in local or State government and any unit and political subdivision thereof. If any member of the board has engaged in any activity which interferes with or is in conflict with, or may be perceived as interfering with or being in conflict with, the hearing and decision of any given appeal from any decision, determination or order, such member shall disclose such activity in writing and abstain from decision or the hearing or decision of any such appeal.

§647.22 Quorum

Three members shall constitute a quorum of the board.

§647.23 Application for rule making

Any person may apply to the board for rule making, amendatory of this Part. Such application shall specify with particularity the section or sections to be changed, the proposed new language and the reasons therefor. The application shall be served on the commissioner and filed with the board's docket clerk in an original and five copies. The board may also institute rule making on its own motion, as provided by law.