(a) The position of and information developed by the commission shall be presented by the executive director or his designated representative at hearings of the commission and the hearings held by federal, state, and local agencies on matters affecting the public's interest in the state's environment and natural resources, including matters that have been determined to be policies of the state.
(b) The executive director shall be named a party in hearings before the commission in a matter in which the executive director bears the burden of proof.
(c) The executive director may participate as a party in contested case permit hearings before the commission or the State Office of Administrative Hearings for the sole purpose of providing information to complete the administrative record. The commission by rule shall specify the factors the executive director must consider in determining, case by case, whether to participate as a party in a contested case permit hearing. In developing the rules under this subsection the commission shall consider, among other factors:
(1) the technical, legal, and financial capacity of the parties to the proceeding;
(2) whether the parties to the proceeding have participated in a previous contested case hearing;
(3) the complexity of the issues presented; and
(4) the available resources of commission staff.
(d) In a contested case hearing relating to a permit application, the executive director or the executive director's designated representative may not rehabilitate the testimony of a witness unless the witness is a commission employee testifying for the sole purpose of providing information to complete the administrative record.
(e) The executive director or the executive director's designated representative may not assist a permit applicant in meeting its burden of proof in a hearing before the commission or the State Office of Administrative Hearings unless the permit applicant fits a category of permit applicant that the commission by rule has designated as eligible to receive assistance. The commission shall adopt rules establishing categories of permit applicants eligible to receive assistance.
(f) The fact that the executive director is not named as a party in a hearing before the commission is not grounds for appealing a commission decision.
Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 795, Sec. 1.001, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 3, Sec. 1.018, eff. Aug. 12, 1991; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 965, Sec. 1.20, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.