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 APPEALS PROCESS

 

Who can file an appeal?

 

Only a tank owner may appeal a determination of the Director.

 

 Which determinations can be appealed?

 

 The following determinations may be appealed:

·      orders to pay fees

·    denials of certificates of coverage

·     deductible determinations

·     eligibility determinations

·     claim settlement offers

 

 How do I file an appeal? 

 

There are no special forms related to appeals. You may file an appeal by sending a letter stating your intent to the Board’s address, or you may e-mail an appeal to objections@petroboard.org (e-mails sent to any other e-mail address will not be accepted). Make certain your appeal references the claim number or owner number stated in the original determination. The Board must receive appeals within 30 days from when the determination is issued, (identified on the correspondence of the determination). Please note: the issue date is not the same as the receipt date.

 

What are the appeal procedures? 

 

Upon receipt of a timely filed appeal, the Board will instruct its Hearing Officer, an independent attorney it hires, to conduct an adjudication hearing. You will be given advance notice of the hearing date. All hearings are held at the Board’s offices in Columbus, Ohio, and are conducted by the Hearing Officer in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 119 of the Ohio Revised Code.

 

 What if I need more time?

 

If you are unable to attend the hearing at the designated time, you may file a request for a continuance by sending correspondence to the Board stating the reason for the request. A continuance request should be sent at the earliest opportunity. The Hearing Officer will decide whether to grant such requests or not.

 

 Do I need an attorney for the hearing?

 

If a tank owner is a corporation, or a limited partnership, it must be represented by an attorney at the hearing. If it is a sole proprietor, an attorney is not required but is often helpful. If you have questions about whether an attorney will be required, you are encouraged to contact the Board’s office.

 

 Will I be able to present my case?

 

Yes, tank owners and their attorneys may present evidence, question witnesses, and present arguments at the hearing, or they may elect to present their position in writing. They may also subpoena witnesses, but the Board must receive requests for subpoenas no later than 14 days prior to the hearing.

 

 What happens after the hearing?

 

Following the hearing, the Hearing Officer reviews evidence and arguments made by each party. He sets forth his findings of fact, conclusions of law, and a recommendation in a written report to the Board. You will receive a copy of the report and recommendation and will have ten days from receipt to file any objections to it. The Board will review the report and recommendation and any objections at one of its regularly scheduled meetings. You will be given advance notice of that meeting date and may attend if you wish. At such meetings, the Board occasionally asks questions of appellants and allows them to speak about their appeal, but it is not obligated to do so. Board members will discuss the appeal and vote to approve, modify, or disapprove the Hearing Officer’s report and recommendation.

 

 If I disagree with the Board’s decision, may I appeal it?

 

Yes, the Board’s decision to approve, modify, or disapprove the report and recommendation may be appealed to the court of common pleas of the county in which the tanks are located, pursuant to Section 119.12 of the Ohio Revised Code.

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