California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

LEA Central

Hearing Panel/Hearing Officer

This web page includes tools, resources, and guidance for local enforcement agencies (LEA) on tasks and responsibilities related to hearing panels and hearing officers.

The hearing panel and hearing officer (HP/HO) positions must be established and maintained by the LEA pursuant to Title 14, California Code of Regulations (14 CCR) Section 18060, 14 CCR 18051(f), 14 CCR 18077(a), and 14 CCR 18081(e)(2). The HP/HO appointments must be current at all times for the purpose of an appeal of an LEA action or inaction (such as: an enforcement action, a permit condition, or failure to act) in accordance with the laws or regulations specified in Public Resources Code Section (PRC) 44307. There are specific timelines an LEA, a hearing panel or hearing officer, and the person alleging an action or inaction, must meet during the appeal process as outlined in PRC 44310.

Types of Hearing Panels/Hearing Officers

  • A Governing Body as the Hearing Panel consists of three members from the board of supervisors or city council; and may have alternate members (more than one). If there is a publicly owned or operated solid waste facility or disposal site, the local governing body shall maintain an independent hearing panel or hearing officer for permit, enforcement or appeal purposes.
  • An Independent Hearing Panel consists of three members, which may include one member from the governing body, at least one technical expert member, and at least one member from the public; and may have alternate members (more than one). The independent hearing panel members are only able to serve two consecutive four-year terms per PRC 44308.
  • Hearing Officer--may have more than one hearing officer. A law firm, administrative law judge, county or city position may act as the HO.

Hearing Officer Resolution/Qualifications/Procedures

Due to the appeal and hearing timeline constraints outlined in PRC 44310, CalRecycle recommends the use of a hearing officer. There are no required term limits for the hearing officer. Pursuant to PRC 44308(d), the governing body of the LEA may appoint a hearing officer if the governing body has adopted procedures for making that appointment and has adopted qualifications that the hearing officer is required to meet.

Draft Review of Hearing Officer/Independent Hearing Panel/Hearing Panel Resolutions

CalRecycle recommends that the LEA provide the city attorney or county counsel reviewed draft resolution proposing appointment of the hearing officer or hearing panel members to CalRecycle prior to submittal to the city council or board of supervisor for approval. The draft resolution for the hearing officer shall include the qualifications and procedures established for the hearing officer pursuant to PRC 44308.

Annual Review Guidance Document

The hearing panel/hearing officer appointments are a part of the Enforcement Program Plan (EPP) annual review. The HP/HO appointment should be reviewed regularly and maintained to ensure that there isn’t a lapse in appointment terms. Refer to 14 CCR 18051(f) and 14 CCR 18077(a)(2) for guidance on initial designation and annual updates.

More Information on Hearing Panels/Hearing Officers

Your Input is Important!

Your feedback and suggestions will help to ensure usefulness and accuracy, and be used to refine and improve the site.

LEAs are encouraged to:

  • Provide sample HP/HO documents.
  • Submit questions.
  • Contribute to the ongoing maintenance of the HP/HO web page.
Last updated: October 16, 2015
LEA Evaluations, http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/LEA/Evaluation/
Diana Cozadd: Diana.Cozadd@calrecycle.ca.gov (916) 341-6377