Appeal Process

​State Law - Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE)

The Queen Anne’s County Health Department (QACHD) has delegated authority for carrying out and enforcing the provisions of the Environmental Article of the Annotated Code of Mar​yland and the rules and regulations adopted under this Article. The QACHD has been designated as the Approving Authority for purposes of Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR):

  • 26.04.02 Sewage Dispo​sal and Certain Water Systems for Homes and Other Establishments in the Counties of Maryland where a Public Sewerage System is not Available
  • 26.04.03 Water Supply and Sewerage Systems in the Subdivision of Land in Maryland
  • 26.04.04 Well Construction regulations
  • 26.04.05 Water supply, sewage disposal and solid waste as part of shared facilities

Right to Appeal

Requests for contested case hearings (which are appeals of decisions issued by the Local Health Department (LHD)) will be processed as provided for in the Administrative Procedure Act (Title 10, Subtitle 2 of the State Government Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland) which sets forth 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.

Wherever possible, an aggrieved party should be encouraged to consider available options to secure approvals at the local level. Before the LHD issues a final decision, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) Regional Consultant should be notified by the LHD, as necessary, during the review process to offer guidance and second opinions when needed. It is also recommended that the MDE Regional Consultant attend informal conferences to reach a resolution to the satisfaction of the LHD and the aggrieved party. If there is not a simple resolution, you can request an informal conference with QACHD staff to review the matter and discuss a basis for appeal. It is recommended that any professional contractor or hired consultant attend such conference as potential solutions are often technical in nature.

On those occasions where the LHD cannot settle the matter to the satisfaction of the aggrieved party, the LHD will issue a final decision, which may include a written notice letter issued to the applicant. The notice will include appeal rights and required timeframes to file a formal appeal with the Maryland Department of the Environment. All requests for contested case hearings are to be sent to the Director of the Water and Science Administration (WSA), Maryland Department of the Environment, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD, 21230 within thirty (30) calendar days after notification of the final decision by QACHD for processing.

The written request for a contested case hearing must include a hearing request and attach a copy of the MDE or Approving Authority 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.

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State Law - Maryland Department of Health (MDH)

The Queen Anne’s County Health Department (QACHD) has additional authority in the Health - General Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland and the rules and regulations adopted under this Article. The QACHD has the authority for purposes of Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR), including:

  • 10.06.01 Communicable Diseases
  • 10.15.03 Food Services Facilities
  • 10.17.01 Public Swimming Pools

In instances where an aggrieved party wishes to appeal a final decision based on this article, laws, health regulations or directives or authority delegated directly from Maryland Department of Health (MDH), the appeal will be processed as provided for in the Health – General Article and the Maryland Administrative Procedure Act (Maryland Code, State Government Article § 10-201 et. seq.). MDH has offered the following appeal process guidance for Food Service Facility decisions.

MDH Appeal Process for Food Service Facility Decisions (April 28, 2022)

The following section outlines the appeal rights for certain decisions pertaining to Food Service Facilities by the Maryland Department of Health and delegated Approving Authorities (Queen Anne’s County Health Department).

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 MDH 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. In accordance with COMAR 10.01.03, 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 MDH and OAH have regulations that govern rules of procedure for contested case hearings (COMAR 10.01.03 et seq and COMAR 28.02.01 et seq).

Decisions That Can Be Appealed to the Local Health Departments

This appeal right applies to the following final decisions:

  • Denial of a License (Health-General §21-311, COMAR )
  • Notice of Intent to Suspension or Revocation of an FSF License (Health-General §21-315)
  • Order of Abatement (Health-General §21-318)
  • Summary Suspension ( COMAR 10.15.03.35(H))

Notice of Right to Appeal

When MDH or an Approving Authority notifies a person of the denial of their food service facility application, a summary suspension, or when a Notice of Intent to Suspend or Revoke is sought, a written notice letter will be issued to the applicant seeking MDH or Approving Authority approval, or licenses. The notice will include appeal rights and required timeframes to file an appeal.

Requesting an Appeal

Any person aggrieved by a decision to deny the application, suspend or revoke a current FSF license, a summary suspension, or issue an order to abate by MDH or an Approving Authority may request a contested case hearing by sending written notice to the issuing authority requesting to appeal the decision.

All requests for contested case hearings must be filed with:

Queen Anne’s County Health Department

Director of Environmental Health

206 North Commerce Street

Centreville, MD 21617

​The request shall be submitted within ten (10) calendar days after receipt of the denial, a notice of intent to suspend or revoke, or an order of abatement is issued by MDH or the Approving Authority (QACHD).

The written request for a contested case hearing must include a hearing request and attach a copy of the MDH or Approving Authority 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, MDH or the Approving Authority will transmit the request to 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 MDH procedure regulations.

Loss of Appeal Rights

If a request for a contested case hearing is not made within ten (10) calendar days, the decision of MDH or the Approving Authority may not be appealed, and the decision will be considered final. The applicant must comply with any terms and conditions of the final decision.