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General Laws

Section 8. There is hereby established the Underground Storage Tank Petroleum Cleanup Fund Administrative Review Board. The board shall adopt rules and regulations for the administration, collection, reporting, and payment of the fees payable or collected pursuant to this chapter, and for reviewing, processing, and acting on claims for reimbursement. No claim for reimbursement shall be submitted to or received or acted on by the board until after all the regulations required pursuant to this section have been promulgated and have taken effect. The board shall be comprised of the following members: the commissioner of the department of revenue, or his designee, who shall serve as chairperson; the commissioner of the department of environmental protection, or his designee; the state fire marshal, or his designee; and six members to be appointed by the governor who are knowledgeable in the remediation and prevention of problems resulting from the operation of underground storage tanks and tank systems, one of whom shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Petroleum Council, one of whom shall be a representative of the Independent Oil Marketers Association of New England, one of whom shall be a representative of the New England Service Station and Automotive Repair Association, one of whom shall be a representative of an institution or organization engaged in the business of insurance, one of whom shall be a representative of a financial institution or organization and one of whom shall be a representative from a statewide environmental public interest organization. Each member of the board appointed by the governor shall serve a term of three years. Seven members shall constitute a quorum but, for the purposes of voting to approve any reimbursement pursuant to this chapter, five members shall constitute a quorum. The board shall meet at least quarterly in each calendar year. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other general or special law to the contrary, no board member shall be disqualified or prohibited from participating, as a board member, in any particular matter by reason of the financial interest, in any enterprise engaged in the petroleum business, or in the business of supplying insurance coverage or services or banking services to any petroleum business, of any of the following persons or entities: the board member, his immediate family, his partner or a business organization in which he is serving as officer, director, trustee, partner or employee; provided, however, that no board member shall participate in any particular matter relating to an application or claim for reimbursement where, to his knowledge, any of such persons or entities or their business competitors or any persons or entities with which they have a contractual relationship relating to business or commercial insurance or to commercial loans, has applied for, is to receive, or expects to receive, directly or indirectly, all or any portion of the proceeds of any such application or claim; and provided, further, that the terms used in this sentence shall have the meanings assigned to them by section one of chapter two hundred and sixty-eight A.

Such rules and regulations shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following:

(1) a means of notifying all eligible parties of the existence and functioning of the Fund;

(2) the record-keeping required of eligible parties for submission to and reimbursement from the fund;

(3) a means of making periodic and partial reimbursement to eligible parties to enable such parties to meet their interim costs, expenses and obligations;

(4) a method of providing reimbursement for costs, expenses and obligations incurred by an eligible party after the effective date of this chapter regardless of the date of discovery activities with respect thereto; provided, however, that no reimbursement shall be paid for costs, expenses and obligations incurred by an eligible party prior to the effective date of this chapter;

(5) a requirement that the board render its decision to an eligible party, with respect to each claim for reimbursement within forty-five days following its receipt of such claim and, if appropriate, forward a request for immediate payment to the secretary of administration and finance on behalf of such eligible party;

(6) a process for reviewing and adjusting the fees established in section two so as to meet the financial requirements of the fund;

(7) prohibitions against the filing and approval of claims for reimbursement that are fraudulent, inflated, or unreasonably high and requirements and procedures for detecting such claims and responding to them appropriately; and

(8) the development of standards and requirements to be met by underground storage tank owners and operators who either possess or do not possess liability insurance, for being eligible to receive a reimbursement from the fund.

The Board shall be authorized to promulgate any and all regulations necessary for the effective operation of this chapter consistent with its purposes and such regulations may, but need not, include procedures for reimbursements hereunder to be less than total and may require claimants to recover no more than 85\% of the claim.

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