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The Pollution Control and Ecology Hearing Officer is responsible for scheduling and conducting evidentiary hearings; preparing orders and recommended decisions pursuant to environmental statutes and Commission regulations; managing the Commission's office and staff; advising the Commission on legal and procedural issues; preparing the biennial budget; and drafting legislation for the Commission. This position is employed by and works under the direction of the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission. It is governed by state and federal laws and agency policies.

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Special Job Requirements:

In-state travel to attend Commission meetings is required. Some in-state and out-of-state travel is required to attend seminars and conferences.

Typical Functions:

Reviews, hears and decides appeals of permitting decisions, enforcement actions, declaratory judgment actions, and other cases appealed to the Commission. Conducts preliminary hearings, motion hearings, prehearing conferences, and evidentiary hearings. Establishes hearing schedules, presides over all hearings and conferences, takes testimony of witnesses, rules on all motions and evidentiary issues, hears arguments of attorneys, decides procedural issues, reads all pleadings and briefs, and conducts legal research. Prepares and issues orders in each case. Prepares recommended decision at conclusion of contested cases, which sets forth findings of fact, reasons for the decision, and conclusions of law based on applicable law, court cases, and Commission regulations. Develops procedures for efficiently and effectively managing case files, hearings, and appeals of Commission decisions. Supervises the Legal Support Specialist. Interviews, hires and terminates, assigns and reviews work, approves requests for leave, and evaluates the performance of the staff members. Advises the Commission on legal and procedural matters at Commission and committee meetings and prepares legal opinions for the Commission. Attends all Commission and committee meetings. Aids the Commission Chair with preparing the Commission and committee agendas. Prepares Commission and Hearing Officer biennial budgets and appears before legislative committees concerning the Commission’s budget requests. Authorizes the expenditure of funds based on budgeted amounts and reviews monthly financial reports of expenditures. Works with private attorneys and Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) staff in preparing pleadings and filing proper documents regarding revisions to Commission regulations. Supervises the filing of adopted rules with appropriate state agencies and Legislative Council. Attends legal seminars and conferences on environmental issues and maintains continuing legal education requirements. Works with Governor’s and ADEQ staffs regarding various issues. Answers questions from the public and advises the public on administrative procedures governing appeals, rule makings, and appearances before the Commission. Performs related responsibilities as required or assigned by the Commission Chair or the Commission. Performs other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Abilities, and Skills:

Knowledge of Arkansas environmental laws, regulations, and case law. Knowledge of federal and state statutes and regulations governing environmental issues. Knowledge of legal research techniques, including those of Westlaw, Lexis Nexis and other internet research tools. Knowledge of the state budgeting, purchasing, and human resource policies and procedures. Knowledge of management practices and procedures. Ability to preside impartially over hearings. Ability to perform the duties of an administrative hearing officer. Ability to work with other parties, attorneys, witnesses, and others with whom the hearing officer has contact in an official capacity. Ability to analyze and interpret data, decide complicated and complex cases and write a decision explaining the facts, reasons, and legal conclusions for the decision. Ability to conduct legal research and prepare and render legal opinions. Ability to prepare oral and written information and reports. Ability to communicate to a diverse group of people. Ability to direct the work of others.

Minimum Qualifications:

The formal education equivalent of a law degree from an accredited law school; plus six years of experience in the practice of environmental law or other administrative law fields, including two years in a professional managerial or supervisory capacity.

Required Certificates:

Must be licensed to practice law and admitted to the Arkansas State Bar in accordance with ACA 16-22-201. Must possess a valid Arkansas driver’s license.


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