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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2001
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANKS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that leaking underground
storage tanks have been and continue to be a source of great concern for potential environmental contamination. Many such tanks have been in the ground in excess of twenty years and have exhibited corrosion and other forms of decay. The seepage of petroleum into an aquifer or well could lead to the contamination of a drinking water supply and this would have disastrous consequences for the citizens of Hawaii.
As a result of such concerns, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has promulgated a variety of standards that must be met by all underground storage tanks. Unfortunately, these federal requirements can be costly and tend to fall hardest upon small independently owned service stations.
In an effort to address the financial needs of small, independent service stations, the legislature enacted Act 267, Session Laws of Hawaii 1991, which assessed a fee of $250 per
tank for petroleum underground storage tanks currently in use and deposited these funds into the Hawaii capital loan revolving fund for the purpose of providing low interest loans to qualified applicants to upgrade their tanks to meet federal requirements.
The legislature finds, however, that the collection of the tank fee was repealed on January 1, 1994, and the loan fund has rarely been utilized, with the result that there currently remains a balance in the fund of approximately $2,056,978. The December 22, 1998 federal deadline to replace, upgrade, or close substandard underground storage tanks has passed. Therefore, the legislature finds it appropriate to utilize these funds for the purpose of responding to actual leaks of petroleum from underground storage tanks, and conducting inspections at underground storage tank facilities. The legislature further finds that the department of health has undertaken a highly successful effort to educate tank owners as to leak prevention techniques and other legal requirements, and that the tank owners who have primarily benefited from the department's public outreach efforts are exactly the individuals who were intended beneficiaries of Act 267.
Therefore, the purpose of this Act is to transfer the balance of the moneys remaining in the Hawaii capital loan revolving fund collected pursuant to Act 267 to the department of health leaking underground storage tank fund, so that the funds can be utilized for education, outreach, inspections, and release response.
SECTION 2. Section 342L-51, Hawaii Revised Statures, is amended to read as follows:
"§342L-51 Leaking underground storage tank fund. (a) The department shall establish a revolving fund within the department which shall consist of moneys appropriated to the fund through federal grants, moneys appropriated to the fund by the legislature, moneys paid to the fund as a result of departmental compliance proceedings, moneys paid to the fund pursuant to court-ordered awards or judgments, moneys paid to the fund in court-approved or out-of-court settlements, and moneys given to the fund from other sources.
(b) [Moneys] Except for moneys appropriated to the fund through federal grants, moneys from the fund [shall] may be expended by the department for the [sole purpose of responding] purposes of:
(1) Responding to [petroleum] releases from underground storage tanks or tank systems in a manner consistent with this chapter[.];
(2) Educating the public and underground storage tank owners or operators as to the requirements of this chapter;
(3) Inspecting underground storage tanks or tank systems; and
(4) Enforcing this chapter as provided for in section 342L-8.
(c) Moneys appropriated to the fund through federal grants
shall be expended by the department for the sole purpose of responding to petroleum releases from underground storage tanks or tank systems in a manner consistent with this chapter.
[(c)] (d) Moneys in the fund, which were appropriated to the fund through a federal grant and which have been collected by the department as part of its cost recovery efforts pursuant to section 342L-53, may be paid to the federal government when such repayment is required by a condition in the relevant federal grant."
SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the capital loan revolving fund under section 210-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, for fiscal year 2001-2002, all unexpended and unencumbered moneys at the close of business on June 30, 2001 that were collected pursuant to Act 267, Session Laws of Hawaii 1991, to be deposited into the leaking underground storage tank fund under section 342L-51, Hawaii Revised Statutes. The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of business, economic development, and tourism for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 4. There is appropriated out of the department of health's leaking underground storage tank fund the sum of $2,056,978, or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal years 2001-2002, to carry out the purposes of the leaking underground storage tank fund. The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of health.
SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect upon its approval.