Corrective action required on contaminated site
(1) If any owner or permittee of a contaminated site fails without sufficient cause to conduct corrective action under ORS 466.765 (Duty of owner or permittee of underground storage tank), the Department of Environmental Quality may undertake any investigation or corrective action with respect to the contamination on the site.
(2) The department shall keep a record of all expenses incurred in carrying out any corrective action authorized under subsection (1) of this section, including charges for services performed and the state’s equipment and materials utilized.
(3) Any owner or permittee of a contaminated site who fails without sufficient cause to conduct corrective action as required by an order of the department under ORS 466.810 (Investigation on noncompliance) shall be liable to the department for damages not to exceed three times the amount of all expenses incurred by the department in carrying out the necessary corrective action.
(4) Based on the record compiled by the department under subsection (2) of this section, the Environmental Quality Commission shall make a finding and enter an order against the person described in subsection (1) or (3) of this section for the amount of damages, not to exceed treble damages, and the expenses incurred by the state in carrying out the actions authorized by this section. The order may be appealed in the manner provided for appeal of a contested case order under ORS chapter 183.
(5) If the amount of corrective action costs incurred by the department and damages under this section are not paid by the responsible person to the department within 15 days after receipt of notice that such expenses are due and owing, or, if an appeal is filed within 15 days after the court renders its decision if the decision affirms the order, the Attorney General, at the request of the director, shall bring an action in the name of the State of Oregon in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover the amount specified in the notice of the director.
(6) Subsection (5) of this section shall not apply if the department and the responsible person are negotiating or have entered into a settlement agreement, except that if the responsible person fails to pay the corrective action costs as provided in the negotiated settlement the director may request the Attorney General to take action as set forth in subsection (5) of this section.
(7) All moneys received by the department under this section shall be paid into the fund established in ORS 466.791 (Underground Storage Tank Compliance and Corrective Action Fund).
(8) As used in this section:
(a) "Contamination" means any abandoning, spilling, releasing, leaking, disposing, discharging, depositing, emitting, pumping, pouring, emptying, injecting, escaping, leaching, placing or dumping of a regulated substance from an underground storage tank into the air or on any lands or waters of the state, so that such regulated substance may enter the environment, be emitted into the air or discharged into any waters. Such contamination authorized by and in compliance with a permit issued under ORS chapter 454, 459, 468, 468A, 468B, 469, ORS 466.005 (Definitions for ORS 453.635 and 466.005 to 466.385) to 466.385 (Amendment of comprehensive plan and land use regulations) or federal law shall not be considered as contamination under ORS 465.200 (Definitions for ORS 465.200 to 465.545), 466.706 (Definitions for ORS 466.706 to 466.882 and 466.994) to 466.882 (Rules), 466.994 (Civil penalties for violations of underground storage tank regulations) and 478.308 (Contracting with others for regional oil and hazardous material emergency response team).
(b) "Site" means any area or land. [1987 c.539 §24; 1993 c.560 §106]
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