Report Title:

Voluntary Response Program

Description:

Clarifies waiver of requesting party fees and liability exemption provision of the program.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

2474

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2004

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

RELATING TO THE VOLUNTARY RESPONSE PROGRAM.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. Section 128D-32, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending the definition of "prospective purchaser" to read as follows:

""Prospective purchaser" means a prospective owner, operator, tenant, developer, lender, or any other party who would not otherwise be liable under section 128D-6, prior to [conducting] a voluntary response action[.] being conducted."

SECTION 2. Section 128D-34, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) For each site at which a requesting party chooses to conduct a voluntary response action, an application and $1,000 nonrefundable processing fee shall be submitted. In the case of a requesting party that is a public or nonprofit agency, the director may reduce or waive this fee if the director deems it to be in the public interest."

SECTION 3. Section 128D-36, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (e) to read as follows:

"(e) At the completion of the voluntary response action, or at the termination of the agreement, except when the director determines that the voluntary response action will require continuing oversight, the department shall provide a final accounting of the site-specific account and return the balance to the requesting party."

SECTION 4. Section 128D-37, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) The department's oversight costs shall be calculated at $100 for each hour of staff time plus actual expenses or one hundred twenty-five per cent of actual cost when contracting for oversight services. If a requesting party is a public or nonprofit agency, the director may reduce or waive this fee if the director deems it to be in the public interest."

SECTION 5. Section 128D-38, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]128D-38[]] Exempt positions. There [is] are established such positions as necessary to support the voluntary response program[.] and other voluntary activities pursuant to this chapter. These positions shall be appointed by the director without regard to chapter 76. These positions shall be included in any benefit program generally applicable to the officers and employees of the State."

SECTION 6. Section 128D-40, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"128D-40 Exemption from liability. (a) To qualify for an exemption from liability, a requesting party that is also a prospective purchaser shall enter into a voluntary response agreement with the department prior to becoming the owner or operator of the property that is the subject of the agreement.

(b) Prospective purchasers who complete a voluntary response action and receive a letter of completion from the department [shall be] are exempt from future liability to the department for those specific hazardous substances, pollutants, contaminants, media, and land area addressed in the voluntary response action[. Parties who purchase property from an owner who] and specified in a letter of completion from the department. Prospective purchasers of property for which an owner has completed a voluntary response action and received a letter of completion from the department [shall be] are exempt from future liability to the department for those specific hazardous substances, pollutants, contaminants, media, and land area addressed in the voluntary response action and specified in the letter of completion issued to the party who conducted the voluntary response action.

(c) The exemption from future liability to the department referenced in subsection (b) [shall apply] applies only to those specific hazardous substances, pollutants, and contaminants [cleaned up to a risk-based standard of not more than one total lifetime cancer risk per one million and only to the specific media and land area addressed in the voluntary response action; provided that the exemption only applies to the contamination which occurred prior to conducting the voluntary response action.] addressed by a voluntary response action conducted in accordance with the requirements of part I of this chapter, except that for substances that cause cancer a risk-based standard of not more than one additional cancer case per one million applies. The exemption from future liability applies only to the specific media and land area addressed in the voluntary response action and specified in the letter of completion, and only to the contamination that occurred prior to the voluntary response action being conducted.

(d) At the discretion of the director, the exemption from future liability to the department referenced in subsection (b) may also be granted for substances occurring in nature at levels that exceed either a risk based standard of not more than one additional cancer case per one million or a hazard quotient of one, provided that the director determines that the voluntary response action achieves a level of risk for these substances that is no greater than those levels found to occur naturally.

[(d)] (e) A party who is exempt from future liability to the department under subsections (b) and (c) shall not be liable for claims for contribution or indemnity regarding matters addressed in the voluntary response action.

[(e)] (f) The department reserves the right to take action consistent with this chapter against responsible parties.

[(f)] (g) The exemption from liability shall not be effective:

(1) If a letter of completion is acquired by fraud, misrepresentation, or failure to disclose material information; or

(2) Where transactions were made for the purpose of avoiding liability under part I.

[(g)] (h) There shall be no exemption from liability for other laws or requirements."

SECTION 7. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 8. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

BY REQUEST