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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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H.456

Introduced by Representative Botzow of Pownal

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Housing; environmental conservation; mobile homes; underground fuel tanks; consecutive water systems; liability; abandoned mobile home fund

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to provide additional resources for removal of underground fuel tanks in mobile home parks, to allocate liability for water quality in consecutive water systems, and to create a mobile home improvement fund.

AN ACT RELATING TO ABANDONED MOBILE HOMES, UNDERGROUND FUEL TANKS, AND WATER QUALITY IN MOBILE HOME PARKS

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

Sec. 1.  PETROLEUM CLEANUP FUND; AGENCY OF NATURAL
 RESOURCES; MOBILE HOME PARK TANKS

Notwithstanding any law or rule to the contrary, upon a request from a mobile home park owner for assistance in the removal of individual underground storage tanks pursuant to 10 V.S.A. § 1941(g), the secretary of natural resources shall consider each tank in the mobile home park as individually eligible for assistance.

Sec. 2.  10 V.S.A. § 1941(g) is amended to read:

(g)  The owner of a farm or residential underground heating fuel storage tank used for on-premises heating that desires assistance to close, replace, or upgrade the tank may apply to the secretary for such assistance.  The financial assistance may be in the form of grants or loans of up to $1,000.00 or the costs of closure, replacement, or upgrade, whichever is less.  Grants or loans shall be made on a per‑tank basis only to the current property owners.  To be eligible to receive the grant or loan, an environmental site assessment must be conducted by a qualified consultant during the underground heating fuel storage tank closure, replacement, or upgrade.  In addition, if the closed tank is to be replaced with another underground heating fuel storage tank, the replacement tank and piping shall provide a level of environmental protection at least equivalent to that provided by a double wall tank and secondarily contained piping.  Grants or loans shall be awarded on a priority basis to projects that will avoid the greatest environmental or health risks.  The secretary shall also give priority to applicants who are replacing their underground heating fuel tanks with aboveground heating fuel storage tanks, that will be installed in accordance with the secretary's recommended standards.  The secretary shall also give priority to lower income applicants.  The owner of a farm or residential aboveground heating fuel storage tank used for on-premises heating that desires assistance to close, replace, or upgrade the tank may apply to the secretary for such assistance.  The financial assistance may be in the form of grants or loans of up to $1,000.00 or the costs of closure, replacement, or upgrade, whichever is less.  Grants or loans shall be made only to the current property owners.  To be eligible to receive the grant or loan, the owner must provide the previous year’s financial information, and must assure that any work to replace or upgrade a tank shall be done in accordance with industry standards (National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA, Code 31), as it existed on July 1, 2004, until another date or edition is specified by rule of the secretary.  The secretary shall provide these loans or grants, giving priority to low income applicants, based on eligibility criteria that are consistent with the economic assistance authorized under the home heating fuel assistance program.  The secretary shall only authorize up to $150,000.00 in assistance for underground and aboveground heating fuel tanks in any one fiscal year from the heating fuel account for this purpose.  The application must be accompanied by the following information:

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Sec. 3.  CONSECUTIVE WATER SYSTEMS; LIABILITY FOR TESTING

The department of environmental control shall amend its water supply monitoring practices and rules such that public community water systems that are consecutive water supplies shall be treated as a single system for disinfectant byproduct monitoring purposes, and the consecutive system shall not be liable for monitoring under the rules.

Sec. 4.  9 V.S.A. § 2605 is added to read:

§ 2605.  MOBILE HOME IMPROVEMENT FUND; FEE

(a)  The mobile home improvement special fund is created in the state treasury to be administered by the department of housing and community affairs.  This fund shall consist of fees collected under subsection (b) of this section, donations, gifts, and any funds appropriated by the general assembly for this purpose.  All balances in the fund at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried forward and remain a part of the fund.  Interest earned by the fund shall remain in the fund.  The fund shall be used for grants and low interest loans to mobile home park owners to improve the infrastructure of mobile home parks and to improve, remodel, or replace deteriorating or abandoned mobile homes.  The commissioner of housing and community affairs shall adopt rules for the management and disbursement of this fund.

(b)  A $500.00 surcharge on each new mobile home sold shall be paid to the state of Vermont by the seller and deposited into the mobile home improvement fund pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us