BILL REQ. #:  S-0848.1 


State of Washington60th Legislature2007 Regular Session

By Senator Jacobsen

Read first time 01/17/2007.   Referred to Committee on Water, Energy & Telecommunications.

     AN ACT Relating to preventing the release of petroleum products into the environment; amending RCW 70.148.020; adding a new section to chapter 70.148 RCW; and creating a new section.


NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1   The legislature recognizes that protecting the environment and human health and safety is a fundamental purpose of government. To support this purpose the state has enacted laws designed to limit and prevent environmental damage and risk to the public health and safety caused by petroleum products being released into the environment via storm water drains that are not constructed properly so as to contain spills and prevent release of these products into the environment. Damage caused by small spills to the environment is often nearly irreversible and the cost to taxpayers to clean up and remediate damage is extensive. Therefore, the legislature intends to develop a financial assistance program to help prevent the release of petroleum products into the environment by reconstructing storm water drains and oil water separators at local gas stations.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2   A new section is added to chapter 70.148 RCW to read as follows:
     (1) The director shall establish and manage a program for providing financial assistance to public and private owners and operators of an underground storage tank, whose on-site storm water drain and oil water separator are of insufficient size and design to meet local regulations. In order to implement the program, the director shall:
     (a) Require owners and operators who are currently exempt from meeting or are failing to meet local storm water drain regulations to demonstrate financial need;
     (b) Consult with the department of ecology and appropriate local government staff in approving financial assistance for corrective action to ensure compliance with regulations governing storm water drains and oil water separators; and
     (c) Approve or disapprove applications for financial assistance within sixty days of receipt of a completed application that meets all requirements as designated by statute or rule.
     (2) The director may adopt all rules necessary to implement the financial assistance program.
     (3) No grant of financial assistance may be used for any purpose other than for corrective action and repair, replacement, reconstruction, or improvement of a storm water drain vault or oil water separator. The director shall contract directly with a qualified contractor for the work performed on either a storm water drain or water oil separator, or both.

Sec. 3   RCW 70.148.020 and 2006 c 276 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
     (1) The pollution liability insurance program trust account is established in the custody of the state treasurer. All funds appropriated for this chapter and all premiums collected for reinsurance shall be deposited in the account. Expenditures from the account shall be used exclusively for the purposes of this chapter including payment of costs of administering the pollution liability insurance, storm water drain and oil water separator, and underground storage tank community assistance programs. Expenditures for payment of administrative and operating costs of the agency are subject to the allotment procedures under chapter 43.88 RCW and may be made only after appropriation by statute. No appropriation is required for other expenditures from the account.
     (2) Each calendar quarter, the director shall report to the insurance commissioner the loss and surplus reserves required for the calendar quarter. The director shall notify the department of revenue of this amount by the fifteenth day of each calendar quarter.
     (3) Each calendar quarter the director shall determine the amount of reserves necessary to fund commitments made to provide financial assistance under RCW 70.148.130 to the extent that the financial assistance reserves do not jeopardize the operations and liabilities of the pollution liability insurance program. The director shall notify the department of revenue of this amount by the fifteenth day of each calendar quarter. The director may immediately establish an initial financial assistance reserve of five million dollars from available revenues. The director may not expend more than fifteen million dollars for the financial assistance program.
     (4) During the 2005-2007 fiscal biennium, the legislature may transfer from the pollution liability insurance program trust account to the state general fund such amounts as reflect the excess fund balance of the account.
     (5) This section expires June 1, 2013.

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