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115B.20 Environmental response, compensation, and compliance account.

Subdivision 1. Establishment. (a) The environmental response, compensation, and compliance account is in the environmental fund in the state treasury and may be spent only for the purposes provided in subdivision 2.

(b) The commissioner of finance shall administer a response account for the agency and the commissioner of agriculture to take removal, response, and other actions authorized under subdivision 2, clauses (1) to (4) and (9) to (11). The commissioner of finance shall transfer money from the response account to the agency and the commissioner of agriculture to take actions required under subdivision 2, clauses (1) to (4) and (9) to (11).

(c) The commissioner of finance shall administer the account in a manner that allows the commissioner of agriculture and the agency to utilize the money in the account to implement their removal and remedial action duties as effectively as possible.

(d) Amounts appropriated to the commissioner of finance under this subdivision shall not be included in the department of finance budget but shall be included in the pollution control agency and department of agriculture budgets.

(e) All money recovered by the state under section 115B.04 or any other law for injury to, destruction of, or loss of natural resources resulting from the release of a hazardous substance, or a pollutant or contaminant, must be credited to the environmental response, compensation, and compliance account in the environmental fund and is appropriated to the commissioner of natural resources for purposes of subdivision 2, clause (5), consistent with any applicable term of judgments, consent decrees, consent orders, or other administrative actions requiring payments to the state for such purposes. Before making an expenditure of money appropriated under this paragraph, the commissioner of natural resources shall provide written notice of the proposed expenditure to the chairs of the senate committee on finance, the house of representatives committee on ways and means, the finance division of the senate committee on environment and natural resources, and the house of representatives committee on environment and natural resources finance.

Subd. 2. Purposes for which money may be spent. Subject to appropriation by the legislature the money in the account may be spent for any of the following purposes:

(1) preparation by the agency and the commissioner of agriculture for taking removal or remedial action under section 115B.17, or under chapter 18D, including investigation, monitoring and testing activities, enforcement and compliance efforts relating to the release of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants under section 115B.17 or 115B.18, or chapter 18D;

(2) removal and remedial actions taken or authorized by the agency or the commissioner of the pollution control agency under section 115B.17, or taken or authorized by the commissioner of agriculture under chapter 18D including related enforcement and compliance efforts under section 115B.17 or 115B.18, or chapter 18D, and payment of the state share of the cost of remedial action which may be carried out under a cooperative agreement with the federal government pursuant to the federal Superfund Act, under United States Code, title 42, section 9604(c)(3) for actions related to facilities other than commercial hazardous waste facilities located under the siting authority of chapter 115A;

(3) reimbursement to any private person for expenditures made before July 1, 1983, to provide alternative water supplies deemed necessary by the agency or the commissioner of agriculture and the department of health to protect the public health from contamination resulting from the release of a hazardous substance;

(4) removal and remedial actions taken or authorized by the agency or the commissioner of agriculture or the pollution control agency under section 115B.17, or chapter 18D, including related enforcement and compliance efforts under section 115B.17 or 115B.18, or chapter 18D, and payment of the state share of the cost of remedial action which may be carried out under a cooperative agreement with the federal government pursuant to the federal Superfund Act, under United States Code, title 42, section 9604(c)(3) for actions related to commercial hazardous waste facilities located under the siting authority of chapter 115A;

(5) planning and implementation by the commissioner of natural resources of the rehabilitation, restoration, or acquisition of natural resources to remedy injuries or losses to natural resources resulting from the release of a hazardous substance;

(6) inspection, monitoring, and compliance efforts by the agency, or by political subdivisions with agency approval, of commercial hazardous waste facilities located under the siting authority of chapter 115A;

(7) grants by the agency or the office of environmental assistance to demonstrate alternatives to land disposal of hazardous waste including reduction, separation, pretreatment, processing and resource recovery, for education of persons involved in regulating and handling hazardous waste;

(8) grants by the agency to study the extent of contamination and feasibility of cleanup of hazardous substances and pollutants or contaminants in major waterways of the state;

(9) acquisition of a property interest under section 115B.17, subdivision 15;

(10) reimbursement, in an amount to be determined by the agency in each case, to a political subdivision that is not a responsible person under section 115B.03, for reasonable and necessary expenditures resulting from an emergency caused by a release or threatened release of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant; and

(11) reimbursement to a political subdivision for expenditures in excess of the liability limit under section 115B.04, subdivision 4.

Subd. 3. Limit on certain expenditures. The commissioner of agriculture or the pollution control agency or the agency may not spend any money under subdivision 2, clause (2) or (4), for removal or remedial actions to the extent that the costs of those actions may be compensated from any fund established under the Federal Superfund Act, United States Code, title 42, section 9600 et seq. The commissioner of agriculture or the pollution control agency or the agency shall determine the extent to which any of the costs of those actions may be compensated under the federal act based on the likelihood that the compensation will be available in a timely fashion. In making this determination the commissioner of agriculture or the pollution control agency or the agency shall take into account:

(1) the urgency of the removal or remedial actions and the priority assigned under the Federal Superfund Act to the release which necessitates those actions;

(2) the availability of money in the funds established under the Federal Superfund Act; and

(3) the consistency of any compensation for the cost of the proposed actions under the Federal Superfund Act with the national contingency plan, if such a plan has been adopted under that act.

Subd. 4. Revenue sources. Revenue from the following sources shall be deposited in the account:

(1) the proceeds of the taxes imposed pursuant to section 115B.22, including interest and penalties;

(2) all money recovered by the state under sections 115B.01 to 115B.18 or under any other statute or rule related to the regulation of hazardous waste or hazardous substances, including civil penalties and money paid under any agreement, stipulation or settlement but excluding fees imposed under section 116.12;

(3) all interest attributable to investment of money deposited in the account; and

(4) all money received in the form of gifts, grants, reimbursement or appropriation from any source for any of the purposes provided in subdivision 2, except federal grants.

Subd. 5. Recommendation. The commissioner of agriculture shall make recommendations to the standing legislative committees on finance and appropriations regarding appropriations from the account.

Subd. 6. Report to legislature. Each year, the commissioner of agriculture and the agency shall submit to the senate finance committee, the house ways and means committee, the environment and natural resources committees of the senate and house of representatives, the finance division of the senate committee on environment and natural resources, and the house of representatives committee on environment and natural resources finance, and the environmental quality board a report detailing the activities for which money from the account has been spent during the previous fiscal year.

HIST: 1983 c 121 s 20; 1987 c 186 s 15; 1989 c 325 s 31; 1989 c 326 art 8 s 7; 1989 c 335 art 1 s 269; art 4 s 37-39,106; 1990 c 597 s 55; 1993 c 4 s 14; 1994 c 557 s 25; 1995 c 220 s 98; 1995 c 247 art 2 s 54; 1996 c 470 s 27; 1997 c 7 art 1 s 31,32; 1999 c 86 art 1 s 22; art 3 s 13; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 32-34