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GLIN==> EPA REgion 5 to use internet notices on CWA, SDWA enforcement

[Federal Register: April 26, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 79)]
[Page 21410-21411]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Proposed Penalty Order Issued Under the Clean Water Act and Safe
Drinking Water Act; Notice of Intent To Provide Internet Notice

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA), Region 5, will issue notices of proposed penalty orders
issued under the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act via
the Internet.

DATES: U.S. EPA Region 5 will commence use of Internet notice on May
26, 2005.

ADDRESSES: The address of the Internet notice site is:

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richard R. Wagner, Senior Attorney
Office of Regional Counsel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, or
telephone him at (312) 886-7947.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: By statute the Administrator of EPA is
required to provide notice of many of its actions, and his officers and
staff commonly do so through notification in newspapers of general
circulation. However, given the current state of technology, Internet
notice may provide a more effective and efficient means to provide such
notice. The benefits of such notice include the speed with which such
notices can be delivered as well as the relatively low cost to the
public treasury of providing such notices. In addition, in practice,
newspaper notices may not always reach the broadest audience. This is
for two reasons. First, newspaper notices are nearly always published
on one day only, irrespective of the length of any associated comment
period. Secondly, in an attempt to provide notice to those most likely
to be affected by an action, notice is often published in local
newspapers. However, these newspapers often have very finite
distribution areas, and, as a consequence, interested individuals
outside those distribution areas may have difficulty in obtaining the
notices. Internet notice would provide more robust review of its
proposed actions by allowing the notice to remain available to the
public during the entirety of the comment period, and by providing
access to a far greater audience than is possible under current
practices. Benefits to the public include the relative ease of access,
and low cost of access resulting from the opportunity to access a
larger number of notices, in one place, for a longer period of time. We
recognize that not all members of the public may have ready access to
the Internet, however due to the considerations listed above, as well
as the general availability of the Internet through schools, work and
libraries, we believe that Internet notice will likely reach a larger
audience than has the past practice of publishing a notice in a
newspaper. Nonetheless, in particular instances where we believe
additional notice may be helpful, we may supplement the Internet notice
with newspaper notice, press release or other forms of communication.
    Under the authority of the Administrator, Region 5 intends to
commence Internet notice only for a subset of notices relating to
proposed penalty orders issued under Sections 309(g) and 311(b)(6) of
the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C 1319(g) and 33 U.S.C 1321(b)(6),
respectively, as well as Section 1423(c)(3) of the Safe Drinking Water
Act, 42 U.S.C. 300h-2(c)(3)(B). Under these provisions, the
Administrator is authorized to assess civil penalties for violations of
the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act, after providing
the alleged violator notice of the proposed penalty and an opportunity
for a hearing. Notice of the proposed penalty, and opportunity to
provide comment must also be provided to interested members of the
public. The Administrator by rule at 40 CFR Part 22 provides that
notice to the public may be made ``by a method reasonably calculated to
provide notice.* * *'' 40 CFR 22.45(b)(2). Given the wide use of the
Internet among the public and the relatively greater accessibility
provided by the Internet when compared to traditional means of notice,
Region 5 believes that Internet notice of these orders meets the
regulatory requirements of 40 CFR 22.45(b)(2).
    The Region notes that public notice of certain proposed permitting
actions under the National Pollutant Discharge

[[Page 21411]]

Elimination System has been provided through the Internet for several
years. The Region intends to continue this practice, as well as to
explore options for expanding use of Internet notice to other types of
Agency actions. If EPA Region 5 decides to commence use of the Internet
to provide notice of additional classes of Agency actions, notice of
that decision will be provided first in the Federal Register.

Norman Niedergang,
Acting Regional Administrator, Region V.
[FR Doc. 05-8319 Filed 4-25-05; 8:45 am]


========================================== Alex J. Sagady & Associates http://www.sagady.com

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