CSSB 110(JUD): "An Act relating to liability for the release of hazardous substances; and providing for an effective date."

00CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 110(JUD) 01 "An Act relating to liability for the release of hazardous substances; and 02 providing for an effective date." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. AS 46.03.822 is amended by adding new subsections to read: 05  (l) A unit of state or local government that acquired ownership or control of 06 a vessel or facility through bankruptcy, foreclosure, deed in lieu of foreclosure, tax 07 delinquency proceeding, abandonment, escheat, the exercise of eminent domain 08 authority by purchase or condemnation, or circumstances in which the governmental 09 unit involuntarily acquired title by virtue of its function as a sovereign is not liable as 10 an owner or operator under this section unless the governmental unit has caused or 11 contributed to the release or threatened release of a hazardous substance at or from the 12 facility or vessel, in which case, the governmental unit is subject to liability under this 13 section in the same manner and to the same extent, both procedurally and 14 substantively, as any nongovernmental entity. For purposes of this subsection, "caused

01 or contributed to the release or threatened release of a hazardous substance" 02  (1) does not include the failure to prevent the passive leaching at or 03 from a facility or vessel of a hazardous substance in the air, land, or water that had 04 first been released to the environment by a person other than the governmental unit 05 that acquired the facility or vessel; 06  (2) does not include the exercise or failure to exercise regulatory or 07 enforcement authority; 08  (3) after the ownership or control of the facility or vessel has been 09 acquired by the governmental unit, includes 10  (A) the spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emptying, injecting, 11 escaping, or dumping of a hazardous substance from barrels, tanks, containers, 12 or other closed receptacles; or 13  (B) the abandonment or discarding of barrels, tanks, containers, 14 or other closed receptacles containing a hazardous substance. 15  (m) For purposes of determining liability in an action to recover damages or 16 costs under this section, a release shall be considered to have occurred when a 17 hazardous substance is first introduced into the environment. A party, other than the 18 party responsible for the initial release, who has acted responsibly upon discovering 19 contamination in accordance with (b)(2) of this section may not be held liable for the 20 spread or migration of the hazardous substance except by an act of intentional 21 misconduct or gross negligence. 22 * Sec. 2. AS 46.03.826(9) is amended to read: 23  (9) "release" means any spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, 24 emptying, discharging, injecting, escaping, leaching, dumping, or disposing into the 25 environment, including the abandonment or discarding of barrels, containers, and other 26 closed receptacles containing any hazardous substance, but excluding 27  (A) any release that results in exposure to persons solely within 28 a workplace, with respect to a claim that those persons may assert against the 29 persons' employer; [AND] 30  (B) emissions from the engine exhaust of a motor vehicle, 31 rolling stock, aircraft, or vessel; and

01  (C) an act of nature occurring after the release of a 02 hazardous substance into the environment; 03 * Sec. 3. APPLICABILITY. AS 46.03.822(l), as added in sec. 1 of this Act, applies to a 04 vessel or facility acquired by a governmental entity on or after the effective date of this Act. 05 For purposes of this section, when foreclosure by a municipality is involved, the property is 06 acquired on the date it is deeded to the municipality under AS 29.45.450. 07 * Sec. 4. This Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).