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AB-421 Hazardous substances: liability: responsible parties.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/09/2017 09:00 PM
AB421:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 421


Introduced by Assembly Member Santiago

February 09, 2017


An act to amend Section 25323.5 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to hazardous substances.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 421, as introduced, Santiago. Hazardous substances: liability: responsible parties.
Existing law, the Carpenter-Presley-Tanner Hazardous Substance Account Act, imposes liability for hazardous substance removal or remedial actions. Existing law provides that a cost incurred by the Department of Toxic Substances Control or regional board in carrying out or overseeing a response or a corrective action under the act or under the hazardous waste control laws is recoverable pursuant to state or federal law by the Attorney General, upon the request of the department or regional board, from the liable person or persons. The act defines “responsible party” and “liable person” for its purposes to mean those persons described in a specified provision of the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, which includes persons who are, in specified ways, responsible for the disposal of hazardous substances.
This bill would require that, for purposes of that definition, for a cause of action that accrued on or after January 1, 1982, “disposal,” as it is used in that federal provision, includes emissions into the air.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 25323.5 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

25323.5.
 (a) (1) “Responsible party” or “liable person,” for the purposes of this chapter, means those persons described in Section 107(a) of the federal act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 9607(a)).
(2) (A) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), but except as provided in subparagraph (B), a person is not a responsible party or liable person, for purposes of this chapter, for the reason that the person has developed or implemented innovative investigative or innovative remedial technology with regard to a release site, if the use of the technology has been approved by the department for the release site and the person would not otherwise be a responsible party or liable person. Upon approval of the use of the technology, the director shall acknowledge, in writing, that, upon proper completion of the innovative investigative or innovative remedial action at the release site, the immunity provided by this subparagraph shall apply to the person.
(B) Subparagraph (A) does not apply in any of the following cases:
(i) Conditions at the release site have deteriorated as a result of the negligence of the person who developed or implemented the innovative investigative or innovative remedial technology.
(ii) The person who developed or implemented the innovative investigative or innovative remedial technology withheld or misrepresented information that was relevant to the potential risks or harms of the technology.
(iii) The person who implemented the innovative investigative or innovative remedial technology did not follow the implementation process approved by the department.
(3) For purposes of paragraph (1), for a cause of action that accrued on or after January 1, 1982, “disposal,” as used in Section 107(a) of the federal act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 9607(a)), shall also include emissions into the air.
(b) For the purposes of this chapter, the defenses available to a responsible party or liable person shall be those defenses specified in Sections 101(35) and 107(b) of the federal act (42 U.S.C. Secs. 9601(35) and 9607(b)).
(c) Any person who unknowingly transports hazardous waste to a solid waste facility pursuant to the exemption provided in subdivision (e) of Section 25163 shall not be considered a responsible party for purposes of this chapter solely because of the act of transporting the waste. Nothing in this subdivision shall affect the liability of this person for his or her negligent acts.