By Jackson                                      H.B. No. 1239

      75R4575 SMH-F                           

                                A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

 1-1                                   AN ACT

 1-2     relating to the voluntary cleanup program.


 1-4           SECTION 1.  Sections 361.133(b) and (c), Health and Safety

 1-5     Code, are amended to read as follows:

 1-6           (b)  The fund consists of money collected by the commission

 1-7     from:

 1-8                 (1)  fees imposed on the owner or operator of an

 1-9     industrial solid waste or hazardous waste facility for commercial

1-10     and noncommercial management or disposal of hazardous waste or

1-11     commercial disposal of industrial solid waste under Section 361.136

1-12     and fees imposed under Section 361.138;

1-13                 (2)  interest and penalties imposed under Section

1-14     361.140 for late payment of a fee or late filing of a report;

1-15                 (3)  money paid by a person liable for facility cleanup

1-16     and maintenance under Section 361.197;

1-17                 (4)  the interest received from the investment of this

1-18     fund, in accounts under the charge of the treasurer, to be credited

1-19     pro rata to the hazardous and solid waste remediation fee fund;

1-20                 (5)  monies transferred from other agencies under

1-21     provisions of this code or grants or other payments from any person

1-22     made for the purpose of remediation of facilities under this

1-23     chapter or the investigation, cleanup, or removal of a spill or

1-24     release of a hazardous substance;

 2-1                 (6)  fees imposed under Section 361.604;  and

 2-2                 (7)  federal grants received for the implementation or

 2-3     administration of state voluntary cleanup programs or federal

 2-4     brownfields initiatives.

 2-5           (c)  The commission may use the money collected and deposited

 2-6     to the credit of the fund under this section, including interest

 2-7     credited under Subsection (b)(4), only for:

 2-8                 (1)  necessary and appropriate removal and remedial

 2-9     action at sites at which solid waste or hazardous substances have

2-10     been disposed if funds from a liable person, independent third

2-11     person, or the federal government are not sufficient for the

2-12     removal or remedial action;

2-13                 (2)  necessary and appropriate maintenance of removal

2-14     and remedial actions for the expected life of those actions if:

2-15                       (A)  funds from a liable person have been

2-16     collected and deposited to the credit of the fund for that purpose;

2-17     or

2-18                       (B)  funds from a liable person, independent

2-19     third person, or the federal government are not sufficient for the

2-20     maintenance;

2-21                 (3)  expenses concerning compliance with:

2-22                       (A)  the Comprehensive Environmental Response,

2-23     Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. Section 9601 et

2-24     seq.) as amended;

2-25                       (B)  the federal Superfund Amendments and

2-26     Reauthorization Act of 1986 (10 U.S.C. Section 2701 et seq.);  and

2-27                       (C)  Subchapters F and I;

 3-1                 (4)  expenses concerning the regulation and management

 3-2     of household hazardous substances and the prevention of pollution

 3-3     of the water resources of the state from the uncontrolled release

 3-4     of hazardous substances;

 3-5                 (5)  expenses concerning the cleanup or removal of a

 3-6     spill, release, or potential threat of release of a hazardous

 3-7     substance where immediate action is appropriate to protect human

 3-8     health and the environment;  and

 3-9                 (6)  expenses concerning implementation of the

3-10     voluntary cleanup program under Subchapter S or federal brownfields

3-11     initiatives.

3-12           SECTION 2.  Section 361.605(b), Health and Safety Code, is

3-13     amended to read as follows:

3-14           (b)  If an application is rejected because it is not complete

3-15     or accurate, the executive director, not later than the 45th day

3-16     after receipt of the application, shall provide the person with a

3-17     list of all information needed to make the application complete or

3-18     accurate.  A person may resubmit an application once without

3-19     submitting an additional application fee if the person resubmits

3-20     the application not later than the 45th day after the date the

3-21     executive director issues notice that the application has been

3-22     rejected.

3-23           SECTION 3.  Sections 361.609(b), (c), and (d), Health and

3-24     Safety Code, are amended to read as follows:

3-25           (b)  The certificate of completion shall:

3-26                 (1)  acknowledge the protection from liability provided

3-27     by Section 361.610;

 4-1                 (2)  indicate the proposed future land use;  and

 4-2                 (3)  include a legal description of the site and the

 4-3     name of the site's owner at the time the application to participate

 4-4     in the voluntary cleanup program was filed.

 4-5           (c)  [The executive director shall file a copy of the

 4-6     certificate of completion in the real property records of the

 4-7     county in which the site is located.]

 4-8           [(d)]  If the executive director determines that the person

 4-9     has not successfully completed a voluntary cleanup approved under

4-10     this subchapter, the executive director shall notify the person who

4-11     undertook the voluntary cleanup and the current owner of the site

4-12     that is the subject of the cleanup of this determination.

4-13           SECTION 4.  Section 361.610, Health and Safety Code, is

4-14     amended to read as follows:

4-15           Sec. 361.610.  PERSONS RELEASED FROM LIABILITY.  (a)  A

4-16     person who is not a responsible party under Section 361.271 or

4-17     361.275(g) at the time the person applies to perform a voluntary

4-18     cleanup:

4-19                 (1)  does not become a responsible party solely because

4-20     the person signs the application; and

4-21                 (2)  is released, on certification under Section

4-22     361.609, from all liability to the state for cleanup of areas of

4-23     the site covered by the certificate [certification], except for

4-24     releases and consequences that the person causes.

4-25           (b)  A person who is not a responsible party under Section

4-26     361.271 or 361.275(g) at the time the commission issues a

4-27     certificate of completion under Section 361.609 is released, on

 5-1     issuance of the certificate, from all liability to the state for

 5-2     cleanup of areas of the site covered by the certificate, except for

 5-3     releases and consequences that the person causes.

 5-4           (c)  The release from liability provided by this section does

 5-5     not apply to a person who:

 5-6                 (1)  acquires [is not effective if] a certificate of

 5-7     completion [is acquired] by fraud, misrepresentation, or knowing

 5-8     failure to disclose material information; [.]

 5-9                 (2)  knows at the time the person [(c)  If a

5-10     certificate of completion for a site is issued by the commission,

5-11     an owner who] acquires an interest in the [property on which the]

5-12     site for which the certificate of completion was issued that the

5-13     certificate was acquired in a manner provided by Subdivision (1);

5-14     or

5-15                 (3)  [is located or a lender who makes a loan secured

5-16     by that property after the date of issuance of the certificate is

5-17     released from all liability for cleanup of contamination released

5-18     before the date of the certificate for the areas covered by the

5-19     certificate unless the owner or lender was originally included as a

5-20     responsible party under Section 361.271 or 361.275(g).  A release

5-21     of liability does not apply to a person who] changes land use from

5-22     the use specified in the certificate of completion if the new use

5-23     may result in increased risks to human health or the environment.

5-24           SECTION 5.  (a) This Act takes effect September 1, 1997.

5-25           (b)  A person to whom notice of rejection of an application

5-26     is issued under Section 361.605, Health and Safety Code, before the

5-27     effective date of this Act may resubmit the application once

 6-1     without submitting an additional application fee if the person

 6-2     resubmits the application not later than October 15, 1997.

 6-3           SECTION 6.  The importance of this legislation and the

 6-4     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an

 6-5     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the

 6-6     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several

 6-7     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.