Court lacks legal authority to compel EPD to refer untimely hearing request

Topic: Direct Appeal, Decided by: Judge Boggs 
Docket Number: 2330344 , Decision Date: July 13, 2023 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Two individuals filed a Petition for Direct Appeal, arguing that the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) failed to refer their joint hearing request to this Court for adjudication.  The individuals sought to challenge the EPD’s approval of another person’s requested stream buffer variance.  The EPD, in turn, argued that it was not required to refer untimely hearing requests.  While the individuals conceded they filed their hearing request more than 30 days after the variance’s approval date, they argued the EPD had delayed notifying them about the variance’s approval.  In denying the Petition for Direct Appeal, the Court noted that the scope of review on direct appeal is narrow.  It further concluded that no controlling statute or regulation required the EPD to either notify the individuals about the variance’s approval or refer an untimely hearing request.  

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