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State Environmental Commission [SEC]
Dept. Conservation Natural Resources
Environmental Protection [NDEP]
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This webpage contains information about selected legal authorities contained in the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) and the Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) that collectively govern the activities of the State Environmental Commission (SEC).

Statutory Authority: The statutory authority for the Commission is contained in NRS 445B.200. This statute defines the composition of the Commission as an eleven member board who's primary function is to act as a quasi-judicial and quasi-legislative board for approval of regulations as well as the disposition of appeals for the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection. The Commission is composed of the following public officials and Governor's appointed representatives:

    Members by Statute
  • The Director of the Department of Wildlife;
  • The State Forester Firewarden;
  • The State Engineer;
  • The Director of the State Department of Agriculture;
  • The Administrator of the Division of Minerals of the Commission on Mineral Resources;
  • A member of the State Board of Health to be designated by that Board;
    Governor's Appointed Representatives:
  • One member must be a General engineering contractor or a general building contractor licensed pursuant to chapter NRS 624;
  • One member must possesses expertise in performing mining reclamation; and
  • One member must possesses experience and expertise in advocating issues relating to conservation;
  • Two members representing the public at large.

Overview - Rule Making: The State Environmental Commission (SEC) acts on "Regulatory Petitions" proposed by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP). These Petitions (i.e., proposed regulations) are initiated to further define existing state law contained in the (Nevada Revised Statutes) and or new laws enacted by the Nevada Legislature. Regulatory Petitions may address new or revised environmental standards, adoption of certain federal regulations, approval of new permitting fees, incorporation of federal required plans, and other functions necessary for the proper execution of state and federal laws and regulations.

Proposed regulations that are approved by the Commission typically involve Nevada's Water Pollution Control laws and regulations [NRS Chapter 445A] & [NAC 445A], the states Air Pollution Control laws and regulations [NRS Chapter 445B] & [NAC 445B], and Nevada's Hazardous Materials laws and regulations [NRS Chapter 459] & [NAC 459]. A complete listing of all laws and regulations the SEC might interact with through rule making are available on NDEP's website.

Rule Making Authority The rules regarding the adoption of regulations by state agencies, are set forth in Nevada Administrative Procedures Act (NAPA). These procedures apply to proceedings for the adoption, amendment, or repeal of regulations before SEC. Details about the SEC rule making process can be found on this website. It's worth noting that any interested person may petition the commission in writing (SEC form 1) for the issuance of any rule or regulation. Upon submission of a petition for rulemaking, the commission will either initiate rulemaking proceedings or deny the petition within 30 days after the petition is filed. Additional resources about Nevada's rule making process are available from the Nevada Attorney General — see: Administrative Rulemaking Guide (84 pages - PDF) .


Overview - Appeals Process: The SEC also hears and decides contested cases through appeals. Appeals typically address final decisions made by the Division of Environmental Protection regarding various enforcement actions and permits. The SEC can also ratify air pollution enforcement settlements and it may levy civil penalties in air pollution enforcement actions when no agreement has been reached with the Division of Environmental Protection.


Declaratory Orders And Advisory Opinions — Any member of the public may petition the Environmental Commission for a declaratory order or an advisory opinion as to the applicability of any statutory provision, commission regulation, or decision. Such a petition is to be filed on a form issued by the commission entitled Form 2. The commission will issue a decision on a petition for a declaratory order or advisory opinion within 30 days after receipt of such petition.

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   John B. Walker