Appeal Process for Well, On-Site Sewage Disposal, Subdivision, and Shared Facility Decisions
The following section outlines the appeal rights for certain water and sewage decisions by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the Prince George’s County Health Department (PGCHD).
Right to Appeal
The Administrative Procedure Act (Title 10, Subtitle 2 of the State Government Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland) sets forth the procedures for appealing a final decision issued by MDE or an Approving Authority regarding the grant, denial, renewal suspension or amendment of a license, certificate, charter, permit or registration that is required by statute. The appeal is in the form of a contested case hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). In addition to the Administrative Procedure Act, both MDE and OAH have regulations that govern rules of procedure for contested case hearings (COMAR 26.01.01 et seq and COMAR 28.02.01 et seq).
Decisions That Can Be Appealed to MDE
This appeal right applies to the following final decisions:
- Sewage disposal where public sewage systems are not available (Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 26.04.02);
- Water supply and sewage systems in subdivisions (COMAR 26.04.03);
- Well construction (COMAR 26.04.04); and
- Water supply, sewage disposal and solid waste as part of shared facilities (COMAR 26.04.05).
Notice of Right to Appeal
When MDE or PGCHD issues a final decision as referenced above, a written notice letter will be issued to the applicant seeking MDE or PGCHD approval. The notice will include appeal rights and required timeframes to file an appeal.
Requesting an Appeal
- It is recommended that you clarify the reason your permit application was not approved. You can contact our local health department for details (301-883-7681). In some cases, basic modifications to your application may resolve the problem.
- If there is not a simple resolution, you can request an informal conference with our staff to have a more in-depth discussion. We recommend that you have your professional contractor accompany you since the potential solutions are often technical in nature.
- If an informal conference does not resolve the issue leading to a denial and you are issued a final denial by the PGCHD or MDE, you have the right to request a formal appeal with the Maryland Department of Environment. All requests for contested case hearings shall be filed with MDE’s Water and Science Management Administration Director, 1800 Washington Blvd, Baltimore, MD 21230 within thirty (30) calendar days after notification of the final decision by MDE or the Prince George’s County Health Department.
The written request for a contested case hearing must include a hearing request and attach a copy of the MDE or PGCHD notice letter that is being appealed. The request should also include a brief statement of the factual and legal basis for the appeal. After receiving the request for a contested case hearing, MDE will transmit the request to the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH).
- Upon receipt of the filing, OAH will send written notices to the parties, confirming the filing and notice of relevant hearing dates. The hearing will be conducted as provided for in the Administrative Appeals Act, as well as OAH and MDE procedure regulations.
Loss of Appeal Rights
If a request for a contested case hearing is not made within thirty (30) calendar days, the final decision of MDE or the Prince George’s County Health Department is no longer appealable, and the decision is considered final. The applicant must comply with any terms and conditions of the final decision.