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NO. 12. AN ACT RELATING TO THE PETROLEUM CLEANUP FUND AND UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK CLOSURE .

(H.158)

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

Sec. 1. 10 V.S.A. § 1934(b) is amended to read:

(b) *[When proceeding under this section, the secretary may use the assurance of discontinuance procedures under 3 V.S.A. § 2822.]* In addition to the remedies described in subsection (a) of this section, if the secretary finds that a person has installed, removed, repaired, or tested an underground storage tank in violation of this chapter or the rules adopted under this chapter, the person who installed, removed, repaired, or tested the tank may be subject to penalties and required to take all actions necessary to correct the violation in accordance with the provisions of chapters 201 and 211 of this title.

Sec. 2. 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, including air emissions for remedial actions, and for compensation of third parties for injury and damage caused by a release. 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, 1999 and judged to be in conformance with prevailing industry rates. This includes:

* * *

(4) the cost of corrective action up to $1 million for any release of petroleum into the environment from a tank or tanks:

(A) whose owner, in the judgment of the secretary, is incapable of carrying out the corrective action; *[or]*

(B) whose owner or operator cannot be determined; *[or]*

(C) whose owner is not required to provide evidence of financial responsibility, except that the provisions of subdivision (b)(1) of this section are applicable to any nonfarm, nonresidential fuel oil tank greater than 1,100 gallons capacity that is used for on-premises heating purposes; or

(D) whose owner, in the judgment of the secretary, is financially incapable of carrying out the corrective action in a timely manner;

* * *

Sec. 3. 10 V.S.A. § 1941(f) is amended to read:

(f) The secretary may seek reimbursement to the fund of cleanup expenditures only when the owner of the tank is in significant violation of his or her permit or rules, or when a required fee has not been paid for the tank from which the release occurred or, to the extent covered, when there is insurance coverage. When the secretary has paid the first $10,000.00 of costs under subdivision (b)(4)(D) of this section, the secretary may seek reimbursement of those costs.

Approved: May 6, 1997