Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to immediately improve the underground storage tank product cleanup program, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Section 1 of chapter 21J of the General Laws, as appearing in the 1992 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out the definition of "Unobligated balance" and inserting in place thereof the following definition:-
"Unobligated balance", the amount determined by subtracting from the cash balance at the end of each month the following sums:- (a) the sum of the total monies allocated to cover the expenses of the board, the department, and the department of environmental protection, pursuant to clauses (b), (c) and (d) of section four; (b) the total amount of applications for reimbursement for any claims of any nature pursuant to clause (2) of clause (a) of section four; (c) until December thirty-first, nineteen hundred and ninety-four, the sum of all potential claims against the fund for reimbursement of costs of responding to release of petroleum product from an underground storage tank or underground storage tank system, said sum to be determined by the board with reference to the most recent department of environmental protection list of locations to be investigated but at a cost not to exceed fifteen thousand dollars per claim; (d) on and after January first, nineteen hundred and ninety-five and until June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and ninety-five, the sum of all claims against the fund determined by the board, after investigation and certification pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated by said board, to be claims eligible for reimbursement of costs of responding to release of petroleum product from an underground storage tank or underground storage tank system; and (e) on and after July first, nineteen hundred and ninety-five, the sum of the total balances remaining on all contracts entered into by a person described in clause (1) or (5) of paragraph (a) of section five of chapter twenty-one E in order to undertake an action in response to the release of a petroleum product from an underground storage tank or underground storage tank system.
SECTION 2. Paragraph (c) of section 4 of said chapter 21J, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the introductory paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-
Grants provided pursuant to section thirty-seven A of chapter one hundred and forty-eight, not to exceed, subject to appropriation, two million dollars per year; provided, that the board may establish priorities for the allocation of said amount among the various entities and purposes as provided in said section thirty-seven A, in the event that the aggregate amount of funds requested in qualified applications for such grants exceeds said amount.
SECTION 3. Chapter 148 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 37A, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 37A. As used in this section, the term "fuel storage tank" shall mean an underground tank used or designed to be used for the storage of gasoline, oil, or other fuel, or other flammable liquids; provided, that such tank does not have an acceptable form of leak detection and does not have a spill containment manhole and an overfill prevention device.
The underground storage tank petroleum cleanup fund administrative review board, established pursuant to section eight of chapter twenty-one J, herein referred to as "the board", shall establish and administer a program to provide grants to cities, towns, districts, and other bodies politic, not to include agencies or authorities of the commonwealth, for the purpose of removing or replacing or both, fuel storage tanks that they own or operate, subject to the following conditions:
(1) No grant shall be awarded for the removal or replacement of any fuel storage tank unless the city, town, district, or other body politic, not to include agencies or authorities of the commonwealth, that owns or operates the tank files with the board, within six months after the initial publication in the Massachusetts Register of regulations implementing this section, a statement that it has removed or replaced such tank on or after April first, nineteen hundred and ninety-one.
(2) A city, town, district or other body politic, not to include agencies or authorities of the commonwealth, which removes or replaces a fuel storage tank after the effective date of implementation of said regulations may file an application for a grant with the board within one year after removing or replacing such tank. This clause shall not be construed to limit the board's authority to accept application from a city, town, district, or other body politic, not to include agencies or authorities of the commonwealth, that intends to remove or replace a fuel storage tank.
(3) A grant for the removal or replacement of a fuel storage tank may be made either in a single payment or in annual partial payments for a period not to exceed ten years, as the board shall determine, provided that no grant, whether issued as a single payment or in annual partial payments, shall exceed fifty percent of the total cost of the removal of the fuel storage tank which is the subject of the grant.
All annual payments made to cities and towns pursuant to this section may be made as part of annual local aid distribution to cities and towns.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the rights, responsibilities, or liability of any person pursuant to any other law.
No person who has responsibility or liability pursuant to any other law shall avoid or delay such responsibility or liability, or be excused from such responsibility or liability, because of reliance or grants provided for in this section or because of any failure or delay to provide grants or grant payments pursuant to this section.
The board shall promulgate regulations for the proper implementation of this section, including, without limitation, regulations for filing grant applications and for filing the statements provided for in this section.
SECTION 4. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, if, by December, thirty-first, nineteen hundred and ninety-four, the underground storage tank petroleum cleanup fund administrative review board, established pursuant to section eight of chapter twenty-one J of the General Laws, has not promulgated rules and regulations to implement, at a minimum, clauses (3), (4), and (5) of said section eight, and the state fire marshal or his designee has not dispensed, upon written order, subject to appropriation, monies from the underground storage tank petroleum product cleanup fund, established pursuant to section two S of chapter twenty-nine of the General Laws, for the purposes of carrying out, at a minimum, clauses (1) and (2) of subsection (a) of section four of said chapter twenty-one J, the secretary of the executive office of public safety shall submit, on or before March first, nineteen hundred and ninety-five, a written report to the joint committee on natural resources and agriculture and the house and senate committees on ways and means detailing the status of the programs and administrative activities established pursuant to said chapter twenty-one J, including, but not limited to, a schedule for disbursing reimbursements to eligible parties, the amount of revenue collected within said fund, and the number of parties seeking reimbursement from said fund.
SECTION 5. The provisions of the definition of "unobligated balance" within section 1 of chapter 21J of the General Laws as inserted by section 1 of this act shall take effect as of April eleventh, nineteen hundred and ninety-four.