Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Business Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2013
 

Underground Storage Tank Maintenance Fee Law

Health and Safety Code

Chapter 6.75. Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Cleanup

Article 6. Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund

Section 25299.54

25299.54. Corrective action; satisfaction of claims. (a) Except as provided in subdivisions (b), (c), (d), (e), (g), and (h), an owner or operator, required to perform corrective action pursuant to Section 25296.10, or an owner or operator who, as of January 1, 1988, is required to perform corrective action, who has initiated this action in accordance with Division 7 (commencing with Section 13000) of the Water Code, who is undertaking corrective action in compliance with waste discharge requirements or other orders issued pursuant to Division 7 (commencing with Section 13000) of the Water Code, or Chapter 6.7 (commencing with Section 25280), may apply to the board for satisfaction of a claim filed pursuant to this article.

(b) A person who has failed to comply with Article 3 (commencing with Section 25299.30) is ineligible to file a claim pursuant to this section.

(c) An owner or operator of an underground storage tank containing petroleum is ineligible to file a claim pursuant to this section if the person meets both of the following conditions:

(1) The person knew, before January 1, 1988, of the unauthorized release of petroleum which is the subject of the claim.

(2) The person did not initiate, on or before June 30, 1988, any corrective action in accordance with Division 7 (commencing with Section 13000) of the Water Code concerning the release, or the person did not, on or before June 30, 1988, initiate corrective action in accordance with Chapter 6.7 (commencing with Section 25280) or the person did not initiate action on or before June 30, 1988, to come into compliance with waste discharge requirements or other orders issued pursuant to Division 7 (commencing with Section 13000) of the Water Code concerning the release.

(d) An owner or operator who violates Section 25296.10 or a corrective action order, directive, notification, or approval order issued pursuant to this chapter, Chapter 6.7 (commencing with Section 25280) of this code, or Division 7 (commencing with Section 13000) of the Water Code, is liable for a corrective action cost that results from the owner's or operator's violation and is ineligible to file a claim pursuant to this section.

(e) Notwithstanding this chapter, a person who owns a tank located underground that is used to store petroleum may apply to the board for satisfaction of a claim, and the board may pay the claim pursuant to Section 25299.57 without making the finding specified in paragraph (3) of subdivision (d) of Section 25299.57 if all of the following apply:

(1) The tank meets one of the following requirements:

(A) The tank is located at the residence of a person on property used exclusively for residential purposes at the time of discovery of the unauthorized release of petroleum.

(B) The tank owner demonstrates that the tank is located on property that, on and after January 1, 1985, is not used for agricultural purposes, the tank is of a type specified in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (y) of Section 25281, and the petroleum in the tank is used solely for the purposes specified in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (y) of Section 25281 on and after January 1, 1985.

(2) The tank is not a tank described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (y) of Section 25281 and the tank is not used on or after January 1, 1985, for the purposes specified in that subparagraph.

(3) The claimant has complied with Section 25299.31 and the permit requirements of Chapter 6.7 (commencing with Section 25280), or the claimant is not subject to the requirements of those provisions.

(f) Whenever the board has authorized the prepayment of a claim pursuant to Section 25299.57, and the amount of money available in the fund is insufficient to pay the claim, the owner or operator shall remain obligated to undertake the corrective action in accordance with Section 25296.10.

(g) The board shall not reimburse a claimant for any eligible costs for which the claimant has been, or will be, compensated by another person. This subdivision does not affect reimbursement of a claimant from the fund under either of the following circumstances:

(1) The claimant has a written contract, other than an insurance contract, with another person that requires the claimant to reimburse the person for payments the person has provided the claimant pending receipt of reimbursement from the fund.

(2) An insurer has made payments on behalf of the claimant pursuant to an insurance contract and either of the following applies:

(A) The insurance contract explicitly coordinates insurance benefits with the fund and requires the claimant to do both of the following:

(i) Maintain the claimant's eligibility for reimbursement of costs pursuant to this chapter by complying with all applicable eligibility requirements.

(ii) Reimburse the insurer for costs paid by the insurer pending reimbursement of those costs by the fund.

(B) The claimant received a letter of commitment prior to June 30, 1999, for the occurrence and the claimant is required to reimburse the insurer for any costs paid by the insurer pending reimbursement of those costs by the fund.

(h) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), a person who purchases or otherwise acquires real property on which an underground storage tank or tank specified in subdivision (e) is situated shall not be reimbursed by the board for a cost attributable to an occurrence that commenced prior to the acquisition of the real property if both of the following conditions apply:

(A) The purchaser or acquirer knew, or in the exercise of reasonable diligence would have discovered, that an underground storage tank or tank specified in subdivision (e) was located on the real property being acquired.

(B) A person who owned the site or owned or operated an underground storage tank or tank specified in subdivision (e) at the site during or after the occurrence and prior to acquisition by the purchaser or acquirer would not have been eligible for reimbursement from the fund.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), if the claim is filed on or after January 1, 2003, the board may reimburse the eligible costs claimed by a person who purchases or otherwise acquires real property on which an underground storage tank or tank specified in subdivision (e) is situated, if all of the following conditions apply:

(A) The claimant is the owner or operator of the underground storage tank or tank specified in subdivision (e) that had an occurrence that commenced prior to the owner's acquisition of the real property.

(B) The claimant satisfies all eligibility requirements, other than those specified in paragraph (1).

(C) The claimant is not an affiliate of a person whose act or omission caused or would cause ineligibility for the fund.

(3) If the board reimburses a claim pursuant to paragraph (2), a person specified in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1), other than a person who is ineligible for reimbursement from the fund solely because the property was acquired from another person who was ineligible for reimbursement from the fund, shall be liable for the amount paid from the fund. The Attorney General, upon request of the board, shall bring a civil action to recover the liability imposed under this paragraph. All money recovered by the Attorney General under this paragraph shall be deposited in the fund.

(4) The liability established pursuant to paragraph (3) does not limit or supersede liability under any other provision of state or federal law, including common law.

(5) For purposes of this subdivision, the following definitions shall apply:

(A) "Affiliate" means a person who has one or more of the following relationships with another person:

(i) Familial relationship.

(ii) Fiduciary relationship.

(iii) A relationship of direct or indirect control or shared interests.

(B) Affiliates include, but are not limited to, any of the following:

(i) Parent corporation and subsidiary.

(ii) Subsidiaries that are owned by the same parent corporation.

(iii) Business entities involved in a reorganization, as defined in Section 181 of the Corporations Code.

(iv) Corporate officer and corporation.

(v) Shareholder that owns a controlling block of voting stock and the corporation.

(vi) Partner and the partnership.

(vii) Member and a limited liability company.

(viii) Franchiser and franchisee.

(ix) Settlor, trustee, and beneficiary of a trust.

(x) Debtor and bankruptcy trustee or debtor-in-possession.

(xi) Principal and agent.

(C) "Familial relationship" means relationships between family members, including, and limited to, a husband, wife, child, stepchild, parent, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, stepmother, stepfather, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, and, if related by blood, uncle, aunt, niece, or nephew.

(D) "Purchases or otherwise acquires real property" means the acquisition of fee title ownership or the acquisition of the lessee's interest in a ground lease of real property on which one or more underground storage tanks are located if the lease has an initial original term, including unilateral extension or renewal rights, of not less than 35 years.

(i) The Legislature finds and declares that the changes made to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) by Chapter 1290 of the Statutes of 1992 are declaratory of existing law.

(j) The Legislature finds and declares that the amendment of subdivisions (a) and (g) by Chapter 328 of the Statutes of 1999 is declaratory of existing law.