Effective August 28, 2012, businesses and companies subject to environmental permits in the State of Missouri will be subject to new permit appeal procedures.
By way of background, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) issues a majority of environmental permits in Missouri, through delegation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), including Clean Water Act NPDES discharge permits and RCRA hazardous waste permits. Permit appeals of MDNR-issued environmental permits are heard by an administrative law judge with the state Administrative Hearing Commission (AHC). Since 2011, the AHC has been required to hold an evidentiary hearing as well as issue a recommended decision within 60 days from the date of the appeal.
Under the new procedures, recently adopted in Missouri H.B. 1251, evidentiary hearings on environmental permit appeals will be heard by the AHC within 90 days from the date of the appeal, with a recommended decision no later than 120 days from the appeal date. The applicable Environmental Commission must act within 180 days from the date of appeal. Notably, however, the Permittee (either as a petitioner or intervenor) has sole discretion to extend the timeframes for the evidentiary hearing and recommended decision.
Andrew Brought, a Partner in Spencer Fane’s Environmental Practice Group, recently presented on the topic of Environmental Permit Appeals at the 20th Annual Environmental Conference at the Lake, hosted by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Additional presenters who joined Mr. Brought included Mr. Tim Duggan, Assistant Attorney General with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office and Mr. Robert Patrick, Regional Judicial Officer with EPA Region 7. Click here for a copy of Mr. Brought’s presentation, entitled Practical Tips and Considerations for Administrative Appeals and Hearings.