(a) Opportunity for hearing. Whenever an opportunity for a hearing is required by §705.8(c), reasonable notice shall be given by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the affected applicant or recipient. This notice shall advise the applicant or recipient of the action proposed to be taken, the specific provision under which the proposed action against it is to be taken, and the matters of fact or law asserted as the basis for this action, and either (1) fix a date not less than 20 days after the date of such notice within which the applicant or recipient may request of the responsible agency official that the matter be scheduled for heaing or (2) advise the applicant or recipient that the matter in question has been set down for hearing at a stated place and time. The time and place so fixed shall be reasonable and shall be subject to change for cause. The complainant, if any, shall be advised of the time and place of the hearing. An applicant or recipient may waive a hearing and submit written information and argument for the record. The failure of an applicant or recipient to request a hearing under this paragraph or to appear at a hearing for which a date has been set shall be deemed to be a waiver of the right to a hearing under section 602 of the Act and §705.8(c) and consent to the making of a decision on the basis of such information as is available.
(b) Time and place of hearing. Hearings shall be held at the offices of the Water Resources Council in Washington, DC, at a time fixed by the responsible agency official unless it determines that the convenience of the applicant or recipient or of the Council requires that another place be selected. Hearings shall be held before the responsible agency official or at its discretion, before a hearing examiner appointed in accordance with section 3105 of Title 5, U.S.C., or detailed under section 3344 of Title 5, U.S.C.
(c) Right to counsel. In all proceedings under this section, the applicant or recipient and the Water Resources Council shall have the right to be represented by counsel.
(d) Procedures, evidence, and record.
(1) The hearing, decision, and any administrative review thereof shall be conducted in conformity with the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 554-557) and with such other regulations that may be necessary or appropriate for the conduct of hearings pursuant to this part.
(2) Technical rules of evidence do not apply to hearings conducted pursuant to this part, but rules or principles designed to assure production of the most credible evidence available and to subject testimony to test by cross-examination shall be applied where reasonably necessary by the officer conducting the hearing. The hearing officer may exclude irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious evidence. All documents and other evidence offered or taken for the record shall be open to examination by the parties and opportunity shall be given to refute facts and arguments advanced on either side of the issues. A transcript shall be made of the oral evidence except to the extent the substance thereof is stipulated for the record. All decisions shall be based upon the hearing record and written findings shall be made.
(e) Consolidated or joint hearings. In cases in which the same or related facts are asserted to constitute noncompliance with this part with respect to two or more programs to which this part applies, or noncompliance with this part and the regulations of one or more other Federal departments or agencies issued under Title VI of the Act, the responsible agency official may, by agreement with such other departments or agencies, where applicable, provide for the conduct of consolidated or joint hearings, and for the application to such hearings of rules or procedures not inconsistent with this part. Final decisions in such cases, insofar as this regulation is concerned, shall be made in accordance with §705.10.