BILL REQ. #: H-3004.1
|State of Washington||60th Legislature||2007 Regular Session|
READ FIRST TIME 03/13/07.
AN ACT Relating to protecting all of Washington's waters by enhancing the state's oil spill program; amending RCW 82.23B.020, 90.56.335, 90.56.510, and 79.100.100; and creating new sections.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1 (1) The legislature finds that the oil spill
advisory council was created by an act of the legislature in 2005.
(2) The legislature further finds that the oil spill advisory council has successfully fulfilled its initial charge to deliver to the governor and the legislature recommendations for the long-term funding of the council's activities and for sustainable funding for oil spill prevention, preparedness, and response activities.
(3) The intent of this act is to enact those recommendations of the oil spill advisory council that require legislative action so that Washington is in the best possible position to prevent and respond to oil spills in all of Washington's waters, including the Columbia river, the Pacific Ocean, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the Puget Sound. Fully enacting the recommendations of the oil spill advisory council requires the identification of revenue to support the state's oil spill programs, which includes consistent and continued funding for a contingency tug program, a permanent rescue tug at Neah Bay, the activities of the permanent oil spill advisory council, and contributions to the ongoing efforts to remove leaking derelict vessels from Washington's treasured and valued waterways.
Sec. 2 RCW 82.23B.020 and 2006 c 256 s 2 are each amended to read
(1) An oil spill response tax is imposed on the privilege of receiving crude oil or petroleum products at a marine terminal within this state from a waterborne vessel or barge operating on the navigable waters of this state. The tax imposed in this section is levied upon the owner of the crude oil or petroleum products immediately after receipt of the same into the storage tanks of a marine terminal from a waterborne vessel or barge at the rate of one cent per barrel of crude oil or petroleum product received.
(2) In addition to the tax imposed in subsection (1) of this section, an oil spill administration tax is imposed on the privilege of receiving crude oil or petroleum products at a marine terminal within this state from a waterborne vessel or barge operating on the navigable waters of this state. The tax imposed in this section is levied upon the owner of the crude oil or petroleum products immediately after receipt of the same into the storage tanks of a marine terminal from a waterborne vessel or barge at the rate of four cents per barrel of crude oil or petroleum product.
(3) The taxes imposed by this chapter shall be collected by the marine terminal operator from the taxpayer. If any person charged with collecting the taxes fails to bill the taxpayer for the taxes, or in the alternative has not notified the taxpayer in writing of the imposition of the taxes, or having collected the taxes, fails to pay them to the department in the manner prescribed by this chapter, whether such failure is the result of the person's own acts or the result of acts or conditions beyond the person's control, he or she shall, nevertheless, be personally liable to the state for the amount of the taxes. Payment of the taxes by the owner to a marine terminal operator shall relieve the owner from further liability for the taxes.
(4) Taxes collected under this chapter shall be held in trust until paid to the department. Any person collecting the taxes who appropriates or converts the taxes collected shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor if the money required to be collected is not available for payment on the date payment is due. The taxes required by this chapter to be collected shall be stated separately from other charges made by the marine terminal operator in any invoice or other statement of account provided to the taxpayer.
(5) If a taxpayer fails to pay the taxes imposed by this chapter to the person charged with collection of the taxes and the person charged with collection fails to pay the taxes to the department, the department may, in its discretion, proceed directly against the taxpayer for collection of the taxes.
(6) The taxes shall be due from the marine terminal operator, along with reports and returns on forms prescribed by the department, within twenty-five days after the end of the month in which the taxable activity occurs.
(7) The amount of taxes, until paid by the taxpayer to the marine terminal operator or to the department, shall constitute a debt from the taxpayer to the marine terminal operator. Any person required to collect the taxes under this chapter who, with intent to violate the provisions of this chapter, fails or refuses to do so as required and any taxpayer who refuses to pay any taxes due under this chapter, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor as provided in chapter 9A.20 RCW.
(8) Upon prior approval of the department, the taxpayer may pay the taxes imposed by this chapter directly to the department. The department shall give its approval for direct payment under this section whenever it appears, in the department's judgment, that direct payment will enhance the administration of the taxes imposed under this chapter. The department shall provide by rule for the issuance of a direct payment certificate to any taxpayer qualifying for direct payment of the taxes. Good faith acceptance of a direct payment certificate by a terminal operator shall relieve the marine terminal operator from any liability for the collection or payment of the taxes imposed under this chapter.
(9)(a) All receipts from the tax imposed in subsection (1) of this section shall be deposited into the state oil spill response account created in RCW 90.56.500.
(b) All receipts from the tax imposed in subsection (2) of this section shall be deposited into the oil spill prevention account.
(10) Within forty-five days after the end of each calendar quarter, the office of financial management shall determine the balance of the oil spill response account as of the last day of that calendar quarter. Balance determinations by the office of financial management under this section are final and shall not be used to challenge the validity of any tax imposed under this chapter. The office of financial management shall promptly notify the departments of revenue and ecology of the account balance once a determination is made. For each subsequent calendar quarter, the tax imposed by subsection (1) of this section shall be imposed during the entire calendar quarter unless:
(a) Tax was imposed under subsection (1) of this section during the immediately preceding calendar quarter, and the most recent quarterly balance is more than nine million dollars; or
(b) Tax was not imposed under subsection (1) of this section during the immediately preceding calendar quarter, and the most recent quarterly balance is more than eight million dollars.
Sec. 3 RCW 90.56.335 and 2003 c 264 s 3 are each amended to read
(1) The vessel response account is created in the state treasury. Grants, gifts, and federal funds may be deposited into the account. Oil spill penalties assessed against ships under RCW 90.56.330 and 90.48.144 shall also be deposited into the account as well as the money distributed under RCW 46.68.020(2). Moneys in the account may be spent only after appropriation and must be used for the purposes specified in (a) and (b) of this subsection, subject to the availability of funds appropriated for these purposes.
(a) The department of ecology is authorized to utilize moneys in the vessel response account to preposition a dedicated year-round rescue tug at the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca to reduce the risk of major maritime accidents and oil spills on the outer coast and western strait. Prior to authorizing the rescue tug to respond to a distressed vessel, the department shall work with the United States coast guard and industry to determine if another capable, unencumbered commercial tug is available in the area that can respond. If such a tug can respond without increasing the risk of a casualty, it should be deployed as the tug of choice and the state-contracted rescue tug should not be taken off standby duty.
(b) The department is also authorized to use moneys in the vessel response account to spot ((
charter)) contingency tugs as needed during
major storms and other high risk periods to protect maritime commerce
and the environment anywhere in state waters.
(2) The department shall not proceed with rule making related to emergency towing pursuant to chapter 88.46 RCW, so long as the deposit of the fee into the vessel response account under RCW 46.68.020(2) is continued and is appropriated for the purpose of the dedicated rescue tug.
Sec. 4 RCW 90.56.510 and 2000 c 69 s 22 are each amended to read
(1) The oil spill prevention account is created in the state treasury. All receipts from RCW 82.23B.020(2) shall be deposited in the account. Moneys from the account may be spent only after appropriation. The account is subject to allotment procedures under chapter 43.88 RCW. If, on the first day of any calendar month, the balance of the oil spill response account is greater than nine million dollars and the balance of the oil spill prevention account exceeds the unexpended appropriation for the current biennium, then the tax under RCW 82.23B.020(2) shall be suspended on the first day of the next calendar month until the beginning of the following biennium, provided that the tax shall not be suspended during the last six months of the biennium. If the tax imposed under RCW 82.23B.020(2) is suspended during two consecutive biennia, the department shall by November 1st after the end of the second biennium, recommend to the appropriate standing committees an adjustment in the tax rate. ((
For the biennium
ending June 30, 1999, and the biennium ending June 30, 2001, the state
treasurer may transfer a total of up to one million dollars from the
oil spill response account to the oil spill prevention account to
support appropriations made from the oil spill prevention account in
the omnibus appropriations act adopted not later than June 30, 1999.))
(2) Expenditures from the oil spill prevention account shall be used exclusively for the administrative costs related to the purposes of this chapter, ((
and)) chapters 90.48, 88.40, and 88.46 RCW, and the
administration and operations of the oil spill advisory council created
in RCW 90.56.120. Money in the account may also be appropriated to the
derelict vessel removal account created in RCW 79.100.100. Starting
with the 1995-1997 biennium, the legislature shall give activities of
state agencies related to prevention of oil spills priority in funding
from the oil spill prevention account. Costs of prevention include the
(a) Routine responses not covered under RCW 90.56.500;
(b) Management and staff development activities;
(c) Development of rules and policies and the statewide plan provided for in RCW 90.56.060;
(d) Facility and vessel plan review and approval, drills, inspections, investigations, enforcement, and litigation;
(e) Interagency coordination and public outreach and education;
(f) Collection and administration of the tax provided for in chapter 82.23B RCW; and
(g) Appropriate travel, goods and services, contracts, and equipment.
Sec. 5 RCW 79.100.100 and 2006 c 153 s 6 are each amended to read
(1)(a) The derelict vessel removal account is created in the state treasury. All receipts from RCW 79.100.050 and 79.100.060 and those moneys specified in RCW 88.02.030 and 88.02.050 must be deposited into the account. The account is authorized to receive funds from the general fund or the oil spill prevention account created in RCW 90.56.510, as well as gifts, grants, and endowments from public or private sources as may be made from time to time, in trust or otherwise, for the use and benefit of the purposes of this chapter and expend the same or any income according to the terms of the gifts, grants, or endowments provided those terms do not conflict with any provisions of this section or any guidelines developed to prioritize reimbursement of removal projects associated with this chapter.
(b) Moneys in the account may only be spent after appropriation. Expenditures from the account shall be used by the department to reimburse authorized public entities for up to ninety percent of the total reasonable and auditable administrative, removal, disposal, and environmental damage costs of abandoned or derelict vessels when the previous owner is either unknown after a reasonable search effort or insolvent. Costs associated with removal and disposal of an abandoned or derelict vessel under the authority granted in RCW 53.08.320 also qualify for reimbursement from the derelict vessel removal account.
(c) In each biennium, up to twenty percent of the expenditures from the account may be used for administrative expenses of the department of licensing and department of natural resources in implementing this chapter.
(2) If the balance of the account reaches one million dollars as of March 1st of any year, exclusive of any fund transfers from the general fund or the oil spill prevention account, the department must notify the department of licensing and the collection of any fees associated with this account must be suspended for the following fiscal year.
(3) Priority for use of this account is for the removal of derelict and abandoned vessels that are in danger of sinking, breaking up, or blocking navigation channels, or that present environmental risks such as leaking fuel or other hazardous substances. The department must develop criteria, in the form of informal guidelines, to prioritize removal projects associated with this chapter, but may not consider whether the applicant is a state or local entity when prioritizing. The guidelines must also include guidance to the authorized public entities as to what removal activities and associated costs are reasonable and eligible for reimbursement.
(4) The department must keep all authorized public entities apprized of the balance of the derelict vessel removal account and the funds available for reimbursement. The guidelines developed by the department must also be made available to the other authorized public entities. This subsection (4) must be satisfied by utilizing the least costly method, including maintaining the information on the department's internet web site, or any other cost-effective method.
(5) An authorized public entity may contribute its ten percent of costs that are not eligible for reimbursement by using in-kind services, including the use of existing staff, equipment, and volunteers.
(6) This chapter does not guarantee reimbursement for an authorized public entity. Authorized public entities seeking certainty in reimbursement prior to taking action under this chapter may first notify the department of their proposed action and the estimated total costs. Upon notification by an authorized public entity, the department must make the authorized public entity aware of the status of the fund and the likelihood of reimbursement being available. The department may offer technical assistance and assure reimbursement for up to two years following the removal action if an assurance is appropriate given the balance of the fund and the details of the proposed action.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 6 (1) If specific funding for the purposes of
section 3 of this act, referencing section 3 of this act by bill or
chapter number and section number, is not provided by June 30, 2007, in
the omnibus appropriations act, section 3 of this act is null and void.
(2) If specific funding for the purposes of section 4 of this act, referencing section 4 of this act by bill or chapter number and section number, is not provided by June 30, 2007, in the omnibus appropriations act, section 4 of this act is null and void.
(3) If specific funding for the purposes of section 5 of this act, referencing section 5 of this act by bill or chapter number and section number, is not provided by June 30, 2007, in the omnibus appropriations act, section 5 of this act is null and void.