GA - GAC
Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia
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Subject 511-1-1 ORGANIZATION

Rule 511-1-1-.01 Organization of the Department of Public Health

(a) The Department of Public Health is created by the authority of Code Section 31-2A-1et seq. to safeguard and promote the health of the people of Georgia.
(b) The Commissioner of Public Health is appointed by the Governor to serve as the chief administrative officer of the Department, with the duty to supervise, direct, account for, organize, plan, administer, and execute the functions vested in the Department.
(c) The Department has the following divisions: Health Promotion, Health Protection, Finance, Inspector General, General Counsel, Information, Communications, Operations, and District and County Operations. The Department shall have such additional divisions as the Commissioner may find necessary for its effective operation.

Rule 511-1-1-.02 Declaratory Rulings

(a) A person whose legal rights are affected by the rules of the Department may petition the Department for a declaratory ruling on the applicability of its rules.
(b) Declaratory rulings shall not be made upon untrue, moot, contingent, or hypothetical facts or situations, but only upon actual facts.
(c) The petition must be verified under oath, and must set forth all pertinent facts and evidence necessary to make a ruling, the name and address of the petitioner, a statement of the petitioner's interest in the ruling sought, and any legal authorities relevant to the ruling. The petition shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to Office of the General Counsel, Georgia Department of Public Health, 15th Floor, 2 Peachtree Street NW, Atlanta GA 30303.
(d) The Department shall dispose of a request for declaratory ruling as soon as Practicable. If it is determined that the requisites for a declaratory ruling are not present, shall issue a written explanation for such determination.

Rule 511-1-1-.03 Requesting Information and Documents from the Department of Public Health

(a) The public may obtain information regarding these rules, or make submissions or requests by contacting the Office of General Counsel, Georgia Department of Public Health, 2 Peachtree Street NW, Atlanta GA 30303.
(b) Requests for documents pursuant to the Open Records Act, O.C.G.A. § 50-18-70et seq., must be addressed to the Open Records Officer, Office of General Counsel, Georgia Department of Public Health, 15th Floor, 2 Peachtree Street NW, Atlanta GA 30303, or sent by facsimile to 404.657.2715, or by email to the Open Records Act email address listed on the Department's website.

Rule 511-1-1-.04 Petitions to Enact, Amend, or Repeal Rules

(a) A person whose legal rights are affected by the rules of the Department may petition the Department to enact, amend, or repeal any rule pertaining to its powers under Chapter 31 or any other Code Section.
(b) The petition must set forth the proposed new regulation or amendment, or identify the rule for which repeal is sought, and the reasons for the request. In addition, the petition must include the petitioner's name and address, and a statement of their interest in the matter. The petition shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to Office of General Counsel, Georgia Department of Public Health, 15th Floor, 2 Peachtree Street NW, Atlanta GA 30303.
(c) Within thirty days after receiving the petition, the Department shall either deny the petition in writing, stating the reasons for the denial, or shall initiate rulemaking proceedings in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 50-13-4.

Rule 511-1-1-.05 Petitions for Waiver or Variance From Rules or Regulations

(1) A person who is subject to a rule or regulation of the Department may petition for a waiver or variance from the requirements of that rule of regulation. The petition shall be addressed to the Georgia Department of Public Health, Office of General Counsel, and shall specify the following:
(a) The rule or regulation from which a waiver or variance is sought;
(b) The type of action requested;
(c) The specific facts showing that compliance with the rule or regulation will cause the petitioner to endure a significant, unique, and demonstrable economic, technological, legal, or other type of hardship which impairs the petitioner's ability to function in the regulated practice or business;
(d) A statement of alternative standards which the petitioner is willing to meet;
(e) A statement of why those alternative standards will afford adequate protection for the public health, safety, and welfare; and
(f) The reason why the requested waiver or variance would serve the purpose of the statutes on which the rule or regulation is based.
(2) The Department shall not grant a waiver or variance:
(a) To a statute, except as authorized by Code Section 31-8-304(b);
(b) To the rules or regulations of another state agency;
(c) To the rules or regulations of a county board of health;
(d) To a rule or regulation adopted or promulgated in order to implement a federally delegated program; or
(e) If the grant of a waiver or variance would be harmful to the public health, safety, or welfare.
(3) The Department shall rule on the petition no earlier than fifteen days after it is posted on the Department's website and no more than sixty days after it was received. The ruling shall be in writing and shall contain a statement of the relevant facts and the reasons supporting the agency's decision.