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Ground Water Forum Expedited Review Procedures

  1. Document review requests submitted to the Ground Water Forum should follow established Document Review Procedures. Accordingly, the request is submitted to the co-chairs and the co-chairs establish the following details regarding the review:
    • purpose of the document
    • intended audience
    • scope of the review being requested
    • deadline for completion of the review and whether the deadline is flexible
    • planned next steps of the requestor following the review
    • whether or not the requestor will provide a response to comments
  2. If the review deadline proposed by the requestor is 30 days or less and that deadline is a hard deadline, then the co-chairs will decide whether the subject document is of sufficient interest to the Forum or relevant to the Forum’s mission that it warrants an expedited review. Criteria to be used by the co-chairs for making this determination include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • whether subject matter bears directly on field procedures utilized by EPA or recommended by the agency
    • whether document bears directly on established EPA ground-water policy or guidance
    • whether document is an update or variation of procedures previously developed or reviewed by the Forum
    • whether document is of a size and complexity that an expedited review can reasonably be accommodated
  3. If the co-chairs determine that the document does not warrant an expedited review, the requestor will be informed that the Forum can not complete a formal review within the timeframe requested; however, individuals within the Forum will be provided the opportunity to complete a review and provide informal comments.
  4. If the co-chairs determine that an expedited review is warranted, then the following expedited review procedures will be followed:
    1. The co-chairs will ask, via email or conference call, for volunteers to review the document and for one of the volunteers to chair the review workgroup. Volunteers are informed of the review scope and deadline and must be capable of completing review with specified timeframe. A minimum of five Forum participants representing at least 3 regions must volunteer for an expedited review to go forward.
    2. The co-chairs will forward the document to be reviewed to the workgroup chair and copy each of the workgroup participants. The workgroup chair will then verify via email that each workgroup participant has a copy of the document and will establish a date by which comments will be submitted to the workgroup chair. At this time, the workgroup will also collectively agree upon a date for a conference call to resolve any conflicting comments (this call can be subsequently canceled if found to be unnecessary.)
    3. All workgroup participants will submit comments to the workgroup chair via email by the established date. The workgroup chair will consolidate comments into a single comment letter and resolve any conflicting comments among the workgroup participants in the previously scheduled conference call.
    4. Finalized comments, with the standard disclaimer added, will be forwarded to the Ground Water Forum co-chairs, who will forward them to the review requestor, copying the Forum membership as a whole (for information only.) At the co-chairs discretion, the co-chairs may authorize the workgroup chair to forward the comments directly to the review requestor.
    5. If there is a response to comments, it will be disseminated to the review workgroup for review. If the response is inadequate, the workgroup chair notifies the Forum co-chairs for further potential action.
    6. The workgroup chair will maintain a record of the review process until the document review is completed. This record should be sufficient to substantiate the review process and will include all submitted comments identified by the originator, the consolidated comments, and conference call notes that support the resolution of conflicts (if any).

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