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Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1989 

                        CHAPTER 226-S.F.No. 997 
           An act relating to the environment; authorizing the 
          pollution control agency to assist persons in 
          reviewing real property for petroleum tank releases 
          and to be paid for such assistance; authorizing 
          expenditures from the petroleum tank release 
          compensation fund; changing the terms for 
          reimbursement of petroleum tank release costs by the 
          petroleum tank release compensation board; requiring 
          notification by owners of aboveground tanks; amending 
          Minnesota Statutes 1988, sections 115C.03, by adding a 
          subdivision; 115C.08, subdivision 4; 115C.09; and 
          116.48. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
     Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 115C.03, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 9.  [REQUESTS FOR REVIEW, INVESTIGATION, AND 
OVERSIGHT.] (a) The commissioner may, upon request:  
    (1) assist in determining whether a release has occurred; 
and 
    (2) assist in or supervise the development and 
implementation of reasonable and necessary response actions.  
    (b) Assistance may include review of agency records and 
files and review and approval of a requester's investigation 
plans and reports and corrective action plans and implementation.
    (c) The person requesting assistance under this subdivision 
shall pay the agency for the agency's cost, as determined by the 
commissioner, of providing assistance.  Money received by the 
agency for assistance under this subdivision must be deposited 
in the state treasury and credited to the fund. 
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 115C.08, 
subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 4.  [EXPENDITURES.] Money in the fund may only be 
spent:  
    (1) to administer the petroleum tank release cleanup 
program established in sections 115C.03 to 115C.10; 
    (2) for agency administrative costs under sections 116.46 
to 116.50, sections 115C.03 to 115C.06, and costs of corrective 
action taken by the agency under section 115C.03, including 
investigations; 
    (3) for costs of recovering expenses of corrective actions 
under section 115C.04; and 
    (4) for training, certification, and rulemaking under 
sections 116.46 to 116.50.; and 
    (5) for agency administrative costs of enforcing rules 
governing the construction, installation, operation, and closure 
of aboveground and underground petroleum storage tanks. 
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 115C.09, is 
amended to read: 
   115C.09 [CORRECTIVE ACTION REIMBURSEMENT TO RESPONSIBLE AND 
OTHER PERSONS.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [REIMBURSABLE CORRECTIVE ACTIONS COSTS.] (a)
The board shall provide partial reimbursement for the cost of 
corrective action to eligible responsible persons for 
reimbursable costs incurred after June 4, 1987.  
    (b) The following costs shall be considered reimbursable 
for purposes of this section:  
    (1) corrective action costs incurred by the responsible 
person; and 
    (2) costs that the responsible person is legally obligated 
to pay as damages to third parties for bodily injury or property 
damage caused by a release if the responsible person's liability 
for the costs has been established by a court order or a consent 
decree.  
    (c) A cost for liability to a third party is considered to 
be incurred by the responsible person when an order or consent 
decree establishing the liability is entered.  Except as 
provided in this paragraph, reimbursement may not be made for 
costs of liability to third parties until all eligible 
corrective action costs have been reimbursed.  If a corrective 
action is expected to continue in operation for more than one 
year after it has been fully constructed or installed, the board 
may estimate the future expense of completing the corrective 
action and, after subtracting this estimate from the total 
reimbursement available under subdivision 3, reimburse the costs 
for liability to third parties.  The total reimbursement may not 
exceed the limit set forth in subdivision 3.  
    Subd. 2.  [RESPONSIBLE PERSON ELIGIBILITY.] (a) A 
responsible person who has taken corrective action and incurred 
reimbursable costs after June 4, 1987, in response to a release, 
may apply to the board for partial reimbursement under 
subdivision 3 and rules adopted by the board.  The board may 
consider applications for reimbursement after the commissioner 
has approved a design for corrective action that the 
commissioner determines will adequately address the release.  
The board may also consider applications when the corrective 
action has been fully constructed or installed and periodically 
afterward as the corrective action continues operation. 
    (b) A reimbursement may not be made unless the board 
determines that: 
    (1) the commissioner has determined that the corrective 
action has, or when completed will have, adequately addressed 
the release and that the release no longer poses a threat to 
public health and welfare or the environment; in terms of public 
health, welfare, and the environment. 
    (c) The board shall reduce the amount of reimbursement to 
be made under this section if it finds that the responsible 
person has not complied with one or more of the following 
requirements: 
    (2) (1) at the time of the release the tank was in 
substantial compliance with state and federal rules and 
regulations applicable to the tank, including rules or 
regulations relating to financial responsibility; 
    (3) (2) the agency was given notice of the release as 
required by section 115.061; 
    (4) (3) the responsible person, to the extent possible, 
fully cooperated with the agency in responding to the release; 
and 
    (5) (4) if the responsible person is an operator, the 
person exercised due care with regard to operation of the tank, 
including maintaining inventory control procedures. 
     (d) The reimbursement shall be reduced as much as 100 
percent for failure by the responsible person to comply with the 
requirements in paragraph (c), clauses (1) to (4).  In 
determining the amount of the reimbursement reduction, the board 
shall consider:  
    (1) the likely environmental impact of the noncompliance; 
    (2) whether the noncompliance was negligent, knowing, or 
willful; 
    (3) the deterrent effect of the award reduction on other 
tank owners and operators; and 
    (4) the amount of reimbursement reduction recommended by 
the commissioner. 
    Subd. 3.  [REIMBURSEMENT.] (a) The board shall reimburse a 
responsible person who is eligible under subdivision 2 from the 
fund for 75 90 percent of the portion of the total corrective 
action reimbursable costs greater than $10,000 and less than 
$100,000 $250,000.  Not more than $250,000 may be reimbursed for 
costs associated with a single release, regardless of the number 
of persons eligible for reimbursement. 
    (b) A reimbursement may not be made from the fund under 
this subdivision until the board has determined that the costs 
for which reimbursement is requested were actually incurred and 
were reasonable. 
    (c) Money in the fund is appropriated to the board to make 
reimbursements under this section.  
    Subd. 3a.  [ELIGIBILITY OF OTHER PERSONS.] Notwithstanding 
the provisions of subdivisions 1 to 3, the board shall provide 
full reimbursement to a person who has taken corrective action 
if the board determines that: 
     (1) the person took the corrective action in response to a 
request or order of the commissioner made under this chapter; 
    (2) the commissioner has determined that the person was not 
a responsible person under section 115C.02; and 
     (3) the costs for which reimbursement is requested were 
actually incurred and were reasonable. 
    Subd. 3b.  [VOLUNTEER ELIGIBILITY.] (a) Notwithstanding 
subdivisions 1 to 3, a person may apply to the board for partial 
reimbursement under subdivision 3 who: 
    (1) is not a responsible person under section 115C.02; 
    (2) holds legal or equitable title to the property where a 
release occurred; and 
    (3) incurs reimbursable costs on or after the effective 
date of this subdivision. 
    (b) A person eligible for reimbursement under this 
subdivision must, to the maximum extent possible, comply with 
the same conditions and requirements of reimbursement as those 
imposed by this section on a responsible person. 
    (c) The board may reduce the reimbursement to a person 
eligible under this subdivision if the person acquired legal or 
equitable title to the property from a responsible person who 
failed to comply with the provisions of subdivision 2, paragraph 
(c). 
     Subd. 4.  [REIMBURSEMENT DOES NOT AFFECT OTHER LIABILITY.] 
The right to apply for reimbursement and the receipt of 
reimbursement does not limit the liability of a responsible 
person for damages or costs incurred by a person or the state as 
a result of a release. 
    Subd. 5.  [RETURN OF REIMBURSEMENT.] (a) The board may 
demand the complete or partial return of any reimbursement made 
under this section if the responsible person:  
    (1) misrepresents or omits a fact relevant to a 
determination made by the board or the commissioner under this 
section; or 
    (2) fails to complete corrective action that the 
commissioner determined at the time of the reimbursement to be 
necessary to adequately address the release.  
    (b) If a reimbursement under this subdivision is not 
returned upon demand by the board, the board may recover the 
reimbursement, with administrative and legal expenses, in a 
civil action in district court brought by the attorney general 
against the responsible person.  If the board's demand for 
return of the reimbursement is based on willful actions of the 
responsible person, the responsible person shall also forfeit 
and pay to the state a civil penalty, in an amount to be 
determined by the court, of not more than the full amount of the 
reimbursement. 
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 116.48, is 
amended to read: 
    116.48 [NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [TANK STATUS.] (a) An owner of an 
underground storage tank must notify the agency by June 1, 1986, 
or within 30 days after installation, whichever is later, of the 
tank's existence and specify the age, size, type, location, 
uses, and contents of the tank on forms prescribed by the agency.
    (b) An owner of an aboveground storage tank must notify the 
agency by June 1, 1990, or within 30 days after installation, 
whichever is later, of the tank's existence and specify the age, 
size, type, location, uses, and contents of the tank on forms 
prescribed by the agency.  
    Subd. 2.  [ABANDONED TANKS.] An owner of an underground or 
aboveground storage tank permanently taken out of service on or 
after January 1, 1974, must notify the agency by June 1, 
1986, in the case of underground storage tanks; by June 1, 1990, 
in the case of aboveground storage tanks; or, in either case, 
within 30 days of discovery, whichever is later, of the 
existence of the tank and specify or estimate to the best of the 
owner's knowledge on forms prescribed by the agency, the date 
the tank was taken out of service, the age, size, type, and 
location of the tank, and the type and quantity of substance 
remaining in the tank. 
    Subd. 3.  [CHANGE IN STATUS.] An owner must notify the 
agency within 30 days of a permanent removal from service or a 
change in the reported uses, contents, or ownership of the an 
underground or aboveground storage tank.  
    Subd. 4.  [DEPOSIT INFORMATION.] Beginning on January 1, 
1986, and until July 1, 1987, a person who transfers the title 
to regulated substances to be placed directly into an 
underground storage tank must inform the owner or operator in 
writing of the notification requirement of this section.  
    Subd. 5.  [SELLER'S RESPONSIBILITY.] A person who sells a 
tank intended to be used as an underground or aboveground 
storage tank or property that the seller knows contains an 
underground or aboveground storage tank must inform the 
purchaser in writing of the owner's notification requirements of 
this section. 
    Subd. 6.  [AFFIDAVIT.] Before transferring ownership of 
property that the owner knows contains an underground or 
aboveground storage tank or contained an underground or 
aboveground storage tank that had a release for which no 
corrective action was taken, the owner shall record with the 
county recorder or registrar of titles of the county in which 
the property is located an affidavit containing: 
    (1) a legal description of the property where the tank is 
located; 
    (2) a description of the tank, of the location of the tank, 
and of any known release from the tank of a regulated substance; 
    (3) a description of any restrictions currently in force on 
the use of the property resulting from any release; and 
    (4) the name of the owner. 
    The county recorder shall record the affidavits in a manner 
that will insure their disclosure in the ordinary course of a 
title search of the subject property.  Before transferring 
ownership of property that the owner knows contains an 
underground or aboveground storage tank, the owner shall deliver 
to the purchaser a copy of the affidavit and any additional 
information necessary to make the facts in the affidavit 
accurate as of the date of transfer of ownership. 
    Subd. 7.  [RECORDING OF REMOVAL AFFIDAVIT.] If an affidavit 
has been recorded under subdivision 6 and the tank and any 
regulated substance released from the tank have been removed 
from the property in accordance with applicable law, the owner 
or other interested party may file with the county recorder or 
registrar of titles an affidavit stating the name of the owner, 
the legal description of the property, the place and date of 
filing and document number of the affidavit filed under 
subdivision 6, and the approximate date of removal of the tank 
and regulated substance.  Upon filing the affidavit described in 
this subdivision, the affidavit and the affidavit filed under 
subdivision 6, together with the information set forth in the 
affidavits, cease to constitute either actual or constructive 
notice. 
    Sec. 5.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
    Sections 1 to 4 are effective the day following final 
enactment. 
    Presented to the governor May 19, 1989 
    Signed by the governor May 22, 1989, 11:18 p.m.