Code Section Group

Water Code - WAT

DIVISION 7. WATER QUALITY [13000 - 16104]

  ( Division 7 repealed and added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 482. )

CHAPTER 5. Enforcement and Implementation [13300 - 13365]

  ( Chapter 5 added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 482. )

ARTICLE 5. Civil Monetary Remedies [13350 - 13351]
  ( Article 5 added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 482. )

13350.
  

(a) A person who (1) violates a cease and desist order or cleanup and abatement order hereafter issued, reissued, or amended by a regional board or the state board, or (2) in violation of a waste discharge requirement, waiver condition, certification, or other order or prohibition issued, reissued, or amended by a regional board or the state board, discharges waste, or causes or permits waste to be deposited where it is discharged, into the waters of the state, or (3) causes or permits any oil or any residuary product of petroleum to be deposited in or on any of the waters of the state, except in accordance with waste discharge requirements or other actions or provisions of this division, shall be liable civilly, and remedies may be proposed, in accordance with subdivision (d) or (e).

(b) (1) A person who, without regard to intent or negligence, causes or permits a hazardous substance to be discharged in or on any of the waters of the state, except in accordance with waste discharge requirements or other provisions of this division, shall be strictly liable civilly in accordance with subdivision (d) or (e).

(2) For purposes of this subdivision, the term “discharge” includes only those discharges for which Section 13260 directs that a report of waste discharge shall be filed with the regional board.

(3) For purposes of this subdivision, the term “discharge” does not include an emission excluded from the applicability of Section 311 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. Sec. 1321) pursuant to Environmental Protection Agency regulations interpreting Section 311(a)(2) of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. Sec. 1321(a)(2)).

(c) A person shall not be liable under subdivision (b) if the discharge is caused solely by any one or combination of the following:

(1) An act of war.

(2) An unanticipated grave natural disaster or other natural phenomenon of an exceptional, inevitable, and irresistible character, the effects of which could not have been prevented or avoided by the exercise of due care or foresight.

(3) Negligence on the part of the state, the United States, or any department or agency thereof. However, this paragraph shall not be interpreted to provide the state, the United States, or any department or agency thereof a defense to liability for any discharge caused by its own negligence.

(4) An intentional act of a third party, the effects of which could not have been prevented or avoided by the exercise of due care or foresight.

(5) Any other circumstance or event that causes the discharge despite the exercise of every reasonable precaution to prevent or mitigate the discharge.

(d) The court may impose civil liability either on a daily basis or on a per gallon basis, but not on both.

(1) The civil liability on a daily basis shall not exceed fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) for each day the violation occurs.

(2) The civil liability on a per gallon basis shall not exceed twenty dollars ($20) for each gallon of waste discharged.

(e) The state board or a regional board may impose civil liability administratively pursuant to Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 13323) of Chapter 5 either on a daily basis or on a per gallon basis, but not on both.

(1) The civil liability on a daily basis shall not exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each day the violation occurs.

(A) When there is a discharge, and a cleanup and abatement order is issued, except as provided in subdivision (f), the civil liability shall not be less than five hundred dollars ($500) for each day in which the discharge occurs and for each day the cleanup and abatement order is violated.

(B) When there is no discharge, but an order issued by the regional board is violated, except as provided in subdivision (f), the civil liability shall not be less than one hundred dollars ($100) for each day in which the violation occurs.

(2) The civil liability on a per gallon basis shall not exceed ten dollars ($10) for each gallon of waste discharged.

(f) A regional board shall not administratively impose civil liability in accordance with paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) in an amount less than the minimum amount specified, unless the regional board makes express findings setting forth the reasons for its action based upon the specific factors required to be considered pursuant to Section 13327.

(g) The Attorney General, upon request of a regional board or the state board, shall petition the superior court to impose, assess, and recover the sums. Except in the case of a violation of a cease and desist order, a regional board or the state board shall make the request only after a hearing, with due notice of the hearing given to all affected persons. In determining the amount to be imposed, assessed, or recovered, the court shall be subject to Section 13351.

(h) Article 3 (commencing with Section 13330) and Article 6 (commencing with Section 13360) apply to proceedings to impose, assess, and recover an amount pursuant to this article.

(i) A person who incurs any liability established under this section shall be entitled to contribution for that liability from a third party, in an action in the superior court and upon proof that the discharge was caused in whole or in part by an act or omission of the third party, to the extent that the discharge is caused by the act or omission of the third party, in accordance with the principles of comparative fault.

(j) Remedies under this section are in addition to, and do not supersede or limit, any and all other remedies, civil or criminal, except that no liability shall be recoverable under subdivision (b) for any discharge for which liability is recovered under Section 13385.

(k) Notwithstanding any other law, all funds generated by the imposition of liabilities pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the Waste Discharge Permit Fund. These moneys shall be separately accounted for, and shall be expended by the state board, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to assist regional boards, and other public agencies with authority to clean up waste or abate the effects of the waste, in cleaning up or abating the effects of the waste on waters of the state, or for the purposes authorized in Section 13443, or to assist in implementing Chapter 7.3 (commencing with Section 13560).

(l) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2017.

(Repealed (in Sec. 185) and added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 35, Sec. 186. (SB 861) Effective June 20, 2014. Section operative July 1, 2017, by its own provisions.)

13351.
  

In determining the amount of civil liability to be imposed pursuant to this chapter, the superior court shall take into consideration the nature, circumstance, extent, and gravity of the violation or violations, whether the discharge is susceptible to cleanup or abatement, the degree of toxicity of the discharge, and, with respect to the violator, the ability to pay, the effect on ability to continue in business, any voluntary cleanup efforts undertaken, any prior history of violations, the degree of culpability, economic benefit or savings, if any, resulting from the violation, and such other matters as justice may require.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 869, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2002.)

WATWater Code - WAT5.