(a) The rules of procedure in this section govern the practice for hearings afforded by the Department to Lead Agencies pursuant to §98.18(c) or §98.91, and the practice relating to the decisions of such hearings.

(b) Nothing in this part is intended to preclude or limit negotiations between the Department and the Lead Agency, whether before, during, or after the hearing, to resolve the issues which are, or otherwise would be, considered at the hearing. Such negotiations and resolution of issues are not part of the hearing and are not governed by the rules in this part, except as expressly provided herein.

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