NO. 48. AN ACT RELATING TO EXTENDING THE PETROLEUM CLEANUP FUND.

(H.100)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 10 V.S.A. 1941(b) is amended to read:

(b) The secretary may authorize disbursements from the fund for the purpose of the cleanup and restoration of contaminated soil and groundwater caused by releases of petroleum from underground storage tanks and aboveground storage tanks, including air emissions for remedial actions, and for compensation of third parties for injury and damage caused by a release. This fund shall be used for no other governmental purposes, nor shall any portion of the fund ever be available to borrow from by any branch of government; it being the intent of the legislature that this fund and its increments shall remain intact and inviolate for the purposes set out in this chapter. Disbursements under this section may be made only for uninsured costs incurred after January 1, 1987 and for which a claim is made prior to July 1, 2004 2009 and judged to be in conformance with prevailing industry rates. This includes:

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Sec. 2. 10 V.S.A. 1942 is amended to read:

1942. PETROLEUM DISTRIBUTOR LICENSING FEE

There is hereby established a licensing fee of one cent per gallon of motor fuel sold by a distributor or dealer or used by a user in this state, which will be assessed against every distributor, dealer or user as defined in 23 V.S.A. chapters 27 and 28, and which will be deposited into the petroleum cleanup fund. This fee will be paid in the same manner, at the same time, and subject to the same restrictions or limitations as the tax on motor fuels. The fee will be collected by the commissioner of motor vehicles and deposited into the petroleum cleanup fund. This fee requirement shall terminate on April 1, 2006 2011.

Sec. 3. 10 V.S.A. 1943 is amended to read:

1943. PETROLEUM TANK ASSESSMENT

(a) Each owner of a category one tank used for storage of petroleum products shall remit to the secretary on October 1 of each year beginning October 1, 1988, $200.00 per tank, which shall be deposited to the petroleum cleanup fund established by section 1941 of this title, except that:

(1) The fee shall be $100.00 per tank for retail gasoline outlets that sell less than 40,000 gallons of motor fuel per month; or.

(2) The fee shall be reduced by 50 percent if the owner or permittee provides to the satisfaction of the secretary evidence of financial responsibility to allow the taking of corrective action in the amount of $100,000.00 per occurrence and the compensation of third parties for bodily injury and property damage in the amount of $300,000.00 per occurrence; or.

(3) The fee shall be relieved if the owner provides to the satisfaction of the secretary, evidence of financial responsibility to allow the taking of corrective action and the compensation of third parties for bodily injury and property damage each in the amount of $1,000,000.00 per occurrence.

(4) The fee for retail motor fuel outlets selling 20,000 gallons or less per month shall not exceed $200.00 per year for all tanks at a single location.

(5) The fee shall be $100.00 per tank for any municipality that uses less than an annual average of 40,000 gallons of motor fuel per month, provided that all of the tanks of that municipality meet the requirements of this chapter.

(b) For purposes of this section, an occurrence is an accident, including continuous or repeated exposure to conditions, which results in the release of petroleum from one or more underground storage tanks at the same site.

(c) This tank assessment shall terminate on July 1, 2004 2009.

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Sec. 4. IMPLEMENTATION

Notwithstanding the provisions of 10 V.S.A. 1941(c), the secretary of natural resources may use up to $400,000.00 from the petroleum cleanup fund in FY2003 for purposes of funding measures related to aboveground tanks.

Sec. 5. EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on passage.

Approved: June 2, 2003