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CHAPTER IV. REVIEW PROCESS OSWER Directive 9650.12 SUGGESTED PROCEDURES FOR REVIEW OF STATE UST APPLICATIONS May 1992

IV. REVIEW PROCESS

The process we suggest for review of State applications is displayed in Exhibit 4. Each step on the flow chart is numbered and explained below. As stated earlier, these steps can be modified to meet Regional needs.

This process assumes substantial pre-application consultation and cooperation with the State. Prior to the State application being formally submitted, the Regional UST Program Manager works and negotiates with the State Program Contact to resolve, wherever possible, outstanding issues. Codification of State laws should be initiated during this pre-application phase.

OSWER DIRECTIVE 9650.12

Phase 1: Acceptance of Application

1. The State submits an official application. (The standard form developed by OUST is optional.)

2. Regional UST staff review the State's standard application form or other application materials using a checklist or similar tool to determine if the application is complete. This review is conducted as quickly as possible after receipt of the State's application.

3. The UST Program Manager contacts the State Program Contact to request missing components or additional information necessary to review the application.

4. Once the application is declared complete and logged-in, Regional staff make copies of the official application and distribute it to the Regional Review Team. The Regional UST Program Manager notifies the State Program Contact in writing that the application has been declared complete and that the 180-day review process has begun. (See Appendix E, "Checklist for Complete State Applications," for components of a complete application.)

OSWER DIRECTIVE 9650.12

Exhibit 4

OSWER DIRECTIVE 9650.12

Phase 2: Substantive Review and Tentative Determination

5. Once the application is complete, we recommend the Review Team take about three weeks to review the application.

6. Around the beginning of the fourth week, the Review Team meets to discuss any issues regarding the State's application. The purpose of this meeting is to decide what issues require additional information or clarification by the State.

7. The Regional UST Program Manager meets with the State Program Contact during the fourth week to request any additional information and to negotiate and resolve any outstanding issues in order to reach a tentative determination on the application. (Some Regions may wish to maintain a written record of this step.) At the same time, the Regional UST Attorney may wish to meet with a representative from the State Attorney General's Office.

8. The State Program Contact submits additional information and interacts with the Regional UST Program Manager to respond to questions raised by the Regional Review Team.

9. The Regional UST Program Manager sends the revised State information to the Review Team. The final review stage begins, which we recommend take three weeks.

10. The Regional Review Team meets to discuss its recommendation for a tentative determination. The function of this meeting is similar to a workgroup closure meeting in the regulatory development process. Each member of the Regional Review Team is given an opportunity to discuss issues with the team and to state his or her recommendation for the tentative decision. Review Team members should focus their comments on issues that are "stoppers". "Stopper" issues are legal or policy issues that the Regional Administrator would agree require disapproval of the State's application. The Regional UST Program Manager is responsible for formulating an overall recommendation for the Division Director and the Regional Administrator. This recommendation should be accompanied by a discussion of any issues raised by the Regional Review Team that are unresolved at the conclusion of its review.

11. The Regional UST Program Manager decides if there are any outstanding issues regarding the State's application for program approval.

12. The Regional UST Program Manager briefs the Division Director and the Regional Administrator or Deputy Regional Administrator on the outstanding issues.

13. The Regional UST Program Manager notifies the State Program Contact of the outstanding issues if upper management cannot resolve the issues.

14. The Regional UST Program Manager, Regional UST Attorney, State Agency Director, State Program Contact, Regional Administrator, and Division Director meet to resolve any remaining issues. Regional Review Team Members are present at this briefing in order to provide additional explanation of the issues, if needed. In the event the Regional Administrator intends to make a negative determination following this meeting, OUST should be contacted prior to the official notification of the State Agency Director in step 16.

15. If there are no outstanding issues at step 11, the Regional UST Program Manager briefs the Division Director and the Regional Administrator or Deputy Regional Administrator on an affirmative recommendation.

16. The Regional Administrator makes a tentative determination on the application and notifies the Division Director, the Regional UST Program Manager, the Regional UST Attorney, and the State Agency Director of his or her decision. (See Appendix C, Approval Determinations.)

17. The Regional UST staff draft the Federal Register notice of tentative decision. (Model Federal Register notices are provided as examples in Appendices B and C to this document.) The Regional UST Program Manager obtains the Regional Administrator's signature on the Federal Register notice and the Federal Register notice is published.

18. If this is a notice of tentative decision, the process continues on to step 19. If this is a notice of final determination, the process skips to step 23 and ends with program approval, as described below.

19. The public comment period begins. A public hearing may be held at the conclusion of the 30-day public comment period if requested or if there are significant unfavorable comments. The notice of the public hearing may be combined with notice of tentative decision.

OSWER DIRECTIVE 9650.12

Phase 3: Review of Public Comments and Final Determination

20. As soon as possible after the close of the public comment period, the Regional UST Program Manager, together with the Regional UST Attorney, ascertains if any of the public comments are unfavorable or raise significant issues. The Regional UST Attorney should have the opportunity to review all comments and make sure that we respond to all significant issues.

21. If unfavorable comments have been received, the Regional UST Program Manager sends copies of the public comments to the Regional Review Team. The Regional UST Program Manager notifies the State Program Contact of the adverse public comments.

22. If no adverse public comments are received, the Regional UST Program Manager briefs Regional management and makes a recommendation. The Regional Administrator makes a final determination on the application and notifies the Division Director, the Regional UST Program Manager and the State Agency Director of his decision. Regional UST staff prepare the Federal Register notice of final determination which responds to all significant public comments, obtain the Regional Administrator's signature on the notice, and submit it to the Office of the Federal Register. (See Appendices B and C.)

23. The Office of the Federal Register publishes the Federal Register notice, and the Agency's decision is final.

[ Directive 9650.12 Table of Contents ][ Chapter V. ]

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