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General Laws

Section 4. The purpose of the fund shall be to prevent the need for environmental cleanup actions and to expedite environmental cleanup actions by providing partial reimbursements to owners or operators of underground storage tanks or underground storage tank systems or who are described in clauses (1) or (5) of paragraph (a) of section five of chapter twenty-one E for the costs, expenses, and other obligations incurred by said parties as a result of releases of petroleum products from underground storage tanks or underground storage tank systems; and to pay administrative expenses, personnel expenses, and miscellaneous costs as specified in regulation by the department, working in conjunction with the department of environmental protection; provided that the Commonwealth, the Board and the fund established by section eight shall not incur any liability whatsoever for remediation of hazardous materials or waste or for a third party claim other than to the extent of monies in such fund and to extent of reimbursement and administrative expenses expressly established under this chapter. Monies from the fund subject to appropriation, shall be dispensed for the following purposes and no others:

(a) Reimbursement for the following:

(1) Reimbursement of costs, expenses, and other obligations incurred by an owner or operator described in clauses (1) or (5) of paragraph (a) of section five of chapter twenty-one E as a result of taking a response action, as that term is defined in chapter twenty-one E, in response to, or otherwise incurring expenses as a result of, a release, as that term is defined in chapter twenty-one E, of petroleum product from an underground storage tank or underground storage tank system.

(2) Reimbursement for any claims for bodily injury, property damage, and damage to natural resources which are assessed against an owner or operator described in clauses (1) or (5) of paragraph (a) of section five of chapter twenty-one E as a result of a release, as that term is defined in chapter twenty-one E, of petroleum product from an underground storage tank or underground storage tank system.

(b) Administrative expenses, personnel expenses, and miscellaneous expenses incurred by the following agencies in the course implementing this chapter, provided, however, that the amount dispensed for each agency for each year shall not exceed the limits provided for herein.

(1) Subject to appropriation, effective for fiscal years beginning on and after July 1, 1992, the limits shall be either the minimum amounts specified below or those greater amounts as set in the manner described below:

(A) The minimum amounts shall be as follows:

(i) for the board, $800,000;

(ii) for the department, $200,000; and

(iii) for the department of environmental protection and the department of fire services underground storage tank compliance, $450,000.

(2) Subject to appropriation, the board may, by a two-thirds vote of those members present and voting, increase any of the amounts specified in clauses (1) or (2), but only to the extent such increase is necessary to allow the board or the departments in question to do the following:

(i) Set standards for the proper construction, maintenance, and testing of underground storage tanks and underground storage tank systems.

(ii) Collect all the fees, penalties, and interest prescribed pursuant to this chapter, account for all the monies thus collected, and take appropriate action against those who do not pay all that they owe or do not comply with all requirements applicable to them for the payment of such monies.

(iii) Adopt and amend from time to time the rules and regulations specified in section eight.

(iv) Implement and enforce the rules and regulations specified in section eight.

(v) Initiate, defend, and otherwise be parties to judicial proceedings pursuant to this chapter.

(vi) Take all other action appropriate to effectuate this chapter.

(c) 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:

(1) Effective for fiscal years beginning on and after July 1, 1992, not more than two million dollars per year.

(2) Effective through June 30, 1992, not more than seven percent of the total amount of fees, penalties, and interest collected pursuant to this chapter.

(d) Grants to the department of environmental protection to reimburse said department for the costs it incurs in the course of responding, as that term is defined in chapter twenty-one E, to releases, as that term is defined in chapter twenty-one E, of petroleum product from an underground storage tank or underground storage tank system for which previous payments under Section two have been made, provided that, subject to appropriation, the amount of such grants shall not exceed the amount of such costs.

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