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Part 674: Hearings Of The Water Resources Planning Council

(Statutory authority: Environmental Conservation Law, § 15-2909)

Historical Note

Part (§ §674.1-674.11) filed May 27, 1987 eff. May 27, 1987.

Contents:

Sec.

§674.1 Applicability.

This Part applies to hearings conducted by the Water Resources Planning Council pursuant to section 15-2909 of the Environmental Conservation Law.

Historical Note

Sec. filed May 27, 1987 eff. May 27. 1987.

§674.2 Definitions.

(a) Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) means the council's representative who conducts the hearing.

(b) Argument means opinions or viewpoints, as distinguished from evidence.

(c) Council means the Water Resources Planning Council established by section 15-2901of the Environmental Conservation Law. Department and the Department of Environmental Conservation.

(e) Environmental Notice Bulletin (ENB) means the publication of the department published pursuant to section 3-0306 of the Environmental Conservation Law.

(f) Evidence means sworn testimony of a witness, physical objects, documents or records or photographs representative of facts which have been admitted into the record by the ALJ.

(g) Hearsay means a statement other than one made by a witness testifying at the hearing, offered in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted.

(h) Party means a person granted full participation in the hearing.

(i) Water resources management strategy means the strategy required by section 15-2907of the Environmental Conservation Law.

Historical Note

Sec. filed May 27.1987 eff. May 27, 1987.

§674.3 Notice of hearing.

(a) The council shall publish one notice of the hearing once a week for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the counties within the substate area and shall publish one notice of such hearing in the ENB. The notices in the ENB and the first newspaper notice shall be published at least 30 days in advance of the hearing.

(b) The notice shall contain the following information:

(1) the date, location, time and purpose of the hearing;

(2) a description of water resources management strategy and the substate area to be addressed by the hearing;

(3) instructions for persons wishing to present statements, sponsor witnesses or question other witnesses; and

(4) the person from whom further information regarding the water resources management strategy, or copies of such strategy, may be obtained.

(c) Individual copies of the notice shall be sent to the chief executive officer of all municipalities located within the substate area included in the hearing and such other persons as the council deems to have an interest in the water resources management strategy.

Historical Note

Sec. filed May 27, 1987 eff. May 27, 1987.

§674.4 Hearing participation.

(a) Participation in the hearing may be limited or as a party. Limited participation means the presentation of a statement. Party status involves the presentation of a statement, sponsoring of witnesses and the questioning of the witnesses of other parties.

(b) To obtain party status a person must file, in writing and by the date set in the notice of hearing, a statement of position which identifies the nature of the argument, evidence, and witnesses which the person intends to present, and any other matter believed relevant.

(c) If a sufficient filing is not made, the ALJ has discretion to limit participation or require additional information from the filer. The ALJ may also limit the participation of a party to those areas in which his expertise would prove beneficial to the development of a factual record.

(d) The ALJ may allow any person meeting the requirements of subdivision (b) of this section to participate at any time during the hearing if it is shown that good cause exists for failure to file on time, that no other person will be unreasonably disadvantaged or otherwise prejudiced and that the person's participation will materially contribute to a complete record.

(e) There shall be no appeals from the decisions of the ALJ with respect to party status or the extent of participation by any person or party.

Historical Note

Sec. filed May 27, 1987 eff. May 27, 1987.

§674.5 Powers of the ALJ.

The ALJ shall have the power to:

(a) preclude irrelevant or unduly repetitious, tangential or speculative testimony or argument;

(b) rule upon all requests;

(c) administer oaths and affirmations;

(d) summon and examine witnesses; and

(e) take any measures necessary for maintaining order and the efficient conduct of the hearing.

Historical Note

Sec. filed May 27, 1987 eff. May 27, 1987.

§674.6 Rights of parties.

Consistent with the ALJ's rulings on the extent of participation governed by section 674.4(c)of this Part, the rights of parties areas follows:

(a) A party may participate at the hearing in person, by attorney or by a representation presenting written authorization to represent that party.

(b) A party shall have the right to present relevant oral and written argument on issues of law and fact, to present relevant evidence and to question witnesses of other parties.

(c) A party must be present on a timely basis to present evidence, question witnesses or receive notice of scheduling of subsequent sessions. Failure to be present at a hearing session will not be deemed a waiver of the right to receive any written notices.

Historical Note

Sec. filed May 27, 1987 eff. May 27, 1987.

§674.7 Record of hearing.

(a) All proceedings at the hearing shall be stenographically reported.

(b) The ALJ shall arrange for a certified reporter to produce a stenographic transcript of the hearing. When the stenographic record is made, an original and two copies shall be delivered to the ALJ as soon as practicable.

(c) The ALJ shall file with the council a report and a complete record of the proceeding which shall include:

(1) an affidavit of publication of the notice of hearing;

(2) the transcript of the testimony taken at the hearing and any exhibits entered into evidence;

(3) any letters, statements, comments or petitions; and

(4) a statement of matters officially noticed.

Historical Note

Sec. filed May 27, 1987 eff. May 27, 1987.

§674.8 Evidence.

(a) All evidence submitted must be relevant. However, other legal rules of evidence observed in courts need not be strictly applied. Hearsay evidence may be admitted if a reasonable degree of reliability is shown.

(b) Although relevant, evidence may be excluded if its value as proof is substantially outweighed by potential for unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, due delays, waste of time or needless presentation of repetitious or duplicative evidence.

(c) Where a part of a document is offered as evidence by one party, any party may offer the entire document as evidence.

(d) Each witness shall be sworn or make an affirmation before testifying.

Historical Note

Sec. filed May 27, 1987 eff. May 27, 1987.

§674.9 Official notice.

The ALJ may take official notice of a fact not subject to reasonable dispute if it is either generally known or can be accurately or readily verified in generally acceptable references prior to or following the close of the hearing record.

Historical Note

Sec. filed May 27, 1987 eff. May 27. 1987.

§674.10 Conduct of hearing.

The ALJ shall have the discretion to adjust the order of events and establish the procedures to promote the conduct of a fair and efficient hearing. In general, the order of events shall be as follows:

(a) Formal opening. The ALJ shall convene the hearing by opening the record and making appropriate procedural announcements

(b) Noting appearances. The ALJ shall call the name of each person who has properly filed for status as a party and announce the decisions on the extent of each party's participation.

(c) Presentation by council. The council shall make a brief presentation of the water resources management strategy which is the subject of the hearing.

(d) Presentations of statements. The ALJ shall hear the unsworn statements of those persons other than persons who granted party status. The ALJ may require that lengthy statements be submitted in writing and summarized for oral presentation.

(e) Presentation of witnesses. The ALJ shall hear the sworn witnesses of parties. Questioning of witnesses will be conducted in a sequence to be established by the ALJ, and shall be limited to those areas testified to by the witness.

(f) The members of the council shall have the right to question any witnesses sponsored by any party.

(g) Department staff familiar with the water resources management strategy may be available for questioning on issues relevant to such strategy.

(h) There shall be no motions or discovery.

Historical Note

Sec. filed May 27, 1987 eff. May 27, 1987.

§674.11 Special provisions.

(a) At any time prior to approving or disapproving the water resources management strategy, the councilor the ALJ may direct that the hearing record be reopened. This may be done to secure additional information or data, or to consider significant new evidence.

(b) The hearing conducted pursuant to this Part shall not be considered an adjudicatory proceeding as defined in section 102(3) of the State Administrative Procedure Act, or a rule making proceeding held pursuant to section 102(1) of such act.

Historical Note

Sec. filed May 27, 1987 eff. May 27, 1987.