2011 ORS § 465.503¹
Exemption from administrative or judicial action to compel removal or remedial action
  • exemption from liability
  • exceptions
  • limitations

(1) Except as provided under subsections (3), (4) and (5) of this section, and except to the extent that property, liability or other insurance is available to pay remedial action costs, no dry cleaning owner or dry cleaning operator shall be subject to any administrative or judicial action to compel a removal or remedial action or to recover remedial action costs caused by the release or threatened release of dry cleaning solvent from an active or inactive dry cleaning facility, whether the action is brought under ORS 465.200 (Definitions for ORS 465.200 to 465.545) to 465.545 (Suspension of dry cleaning fees) and 465.900 (Civil penalties for violation of removal or remedial actions) or any other statute or regulation.

(2) Except as provided under subsections (3), (4) and (5) of this section, and except to the extent that property, liability or other insurance is available, no dry cleaning owner or dry cleaning operator shall be liable under statutory, common or administrative law for damage to real or personal property or to natural resources if the damage is caused by the release or threatened release of dry cleaning solvent from an active or inactive dry cleaning facility, except upon proof that the release of dry cleaning solvent was caused by the failure of the dry cleaning owner or dry cleaning operator to exercise due care. Compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, including waste minimization requirements, is prima facie evidence that the dry cleaning owner or dry cleaning operator exercised due care.

(3) Notwithstanding the date on which the release occurred, the provisions of subsections (1) and (2) of this section do not apply to a dry cleaning operator if:

(a) The release was caused by gross negligence of the dry cleaning owner or dry cleaning operator;

(b) The release resulted from an action or omission that was a violation by the dry cleaning owner or dry cleaning operator of federal or state laws in effect at the time of the release, including but not limited to waste minimization requirements imposed under ORS 465.505 (Waste minimization requirements for dry cleaning facilities);

(c) The dry cleaning owner or dry cleaning operator willfully concealed a release of dry cleaning solvent contrary to laws and regulations in effect at the time of the release or did not comply with release reporting requirements applicable at the time of the release;

(d) The dry cleaning owner or dry cleaning operator denies access or unreasonably hinders or delays removal or remedial action necessary at the facility; or

(e) The dry cleaning operator of the facility where the release occurred has failed to pay fees under ORS 465.517 (Annual fee and gross revenue fee for dry cleaning facilities), 465.520 (Fee on sale or transfer of dry cleaning solvent) and 465.523 (Fee on use of dry cleaning solvent) in relation to dry cleaning activity at any dry cleaning facility.

(4) Notwithstanding the date on which the release occurred, subsections (1) and (2) of this section do not apply to a dry cleaning owner if:

(a) The release was caused by gross negligence of the dry cleaning owner or dry cleaning operator;

(b) The release resulted from a violation by the dry cleaning owner or dry cleaning operator of federal or state laws in effect at the time of the release, including but not limited to waste minimization requirements imposed by ORS 465.505 (Waste minimization requirements for dry cleaning facilities);

(c) The dry cleaning owner or dry cleaning operator willfully concealed a release of dry cleaning solvent contrary to laws and regulations in effect at the time of the release or did not comply with the release reporting requirements applicable at the time of release;

(d) The dry cleaning owner or dry cleaning operator denies access or unreasonably hinders or delays removal or remedial action necessary at the facility;

(e) The dry cleaning operator of the facility where the release occurred has failed to pay fees under ORS 465.517 (Annual fee and gross revenue fee for dry cleaning facilities), 465.520 (Fee on sale or transfer of dry cleaning solvent) and 465.523 (Fee on use of dry cleaning solvent) in relation to dry cleaning activity at the facility; or

(f) The dry cleaning facility has been an inactive dry cleaning facility for a period of 90 days or more immediately preceding June 30, 1995.

(5) If hazardous substances are released as a result of both the release of dry cleaning solvent from dry cleaning operations and other activities, the exemptions from liability provided under this section shall apply only to that portion of the removal or remedial action or damage caused by the release or threatened release of dry cleaning solvent from the dry cleaning facility. [1995 c.427 §4; 2001 c.495 §2; 2003 c.407 §1]