CSSB 110(RLS) AM: "An Act relating to liability for the release of hazardous substances involving certain property acquired by a governmental entity; relating to making a determination as to when a hazardous substance release has occurred; relating to liability of a party other than the party responsible for the initial release of a hazardous substance; and providing for an effective date."
00CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 110(RLS) am 01 "An Act relating to liability for the release of hazardous substances involving 02 certain property acquired by a governmental entity; relating to making a 03 determination as to when a hazardous substance release has occurred; relating 04 to liability of a party other than the party responsible for the initial release 05 of a hazardous substance; and providing for an effective date." 06 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 07 * Section. 1. AS 46.03.822(d) is amended to read: 08 (d) To establish that a person had no reason to know that the hazardous 09 substance was disposed of on, in, or at the facility, as provided in (c)(1) and (m) of 10 this section, the person must have undertaken, at the time of voluntary acquisition, all 11 reasonable inquiries into the previous ownership and uses of the property consistent 12 with good commercial or customary practice in an effort to minimize liability. For 13 purposes of this subsection a court shall take into account all relevant facts, including 14 (1) any specialized knowledge or experience the person has;
01 (2) the relationship of the purchase price to the value of the property 02 if it were uncontaminated; 03 (3) commonly known or reasonably ascertainable information about the 04 property; 05 (4) the obviousness of the presence or likely presence of contamination 06 at the property; and 07 (5) the ability to detect contamination by appropriate inspection. 08 * Sec. 2. AS 46.03.822 is amended by adding new subsections to read: 09 (l) A unit of state or local government that acquired ownership or control of 10 a vessel or facility through bankruptcy, foreclosure, deed in lieu of foreclosure, tax 11 delinquency proceeding, abandonment, escheat, the exercise of eminent domain 12 authority by purchase or condemnation, or circumstances in which the governmental 13 unit involuntarily acquired title by virtue of its function as a sovereign is not liable as 14 an owner or operator under this section unless the governmental unit has caused or 15 contributed to the release or threatened release of a hazardous substance at or from the 16 facility or vessel, in which case, the governmental unit is subject to liability under this 17 section in the same manner and to the same extent, both procedurally and 18 substantively, as any nongovernmental entity. For purposes of this subsection, "caused 19 or contributed to the release or threatened release of a hazardous substance" 20 (1) does not include the failure to prevent the passive leaching at or 21 from a facility or vessel of a hazardous substance in the air, land, or water that had 22 first been released to the environment by a person other than the governmental unit 23 that acquired the facility or vessel; 24 (2) does not include the exercise or failure to exercise regulatory or 25 enforcement authority; 26 (3) after the ownership or control of the facility or vessel has been 27 acquired by the governmental unit, includes 28 (A) the spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emptying, injecting, 29 escaping, or dumping of a hazardous substance from barrels, tanks, containers, 30 or other closed receptacles; or 31 (B) the abandonment or discarding of barrels, tanks, containers,
01 or other closed receptacles containing a hazardous substance. 02 (m) For purposes of determining liability in an action to recover damages or 03 costs under this section, a release shall be considered to have occurred when a 04 hazardous substance is first introduced into the environment. A party, other than the 05 party responsible for the initial release, who had no reason to know that a hazardous 06 substance was disposed of on, in, or at the facility and who has acted responsibly upon 07 discovering contamination in accordance with (b)(2) of this section may not be held 08 liable for the spread or migration of the hazardous substance except by an act of 09 intentional misconduct or gross negligence. 10 * Sec. 3. APPLICABILITY. AS 46.03.822(l), as added in sec. 2 of this Act, applies to a 11 vessel or facility acquired by a governmental entity on or after the effective date of this Act. 12 For purposes of this section, when foreclosure by a municipality is involved, the property is 13 acquired on the date it is deeded to the municipality under AS 29.45.450. 14 * Sec. 4. This Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).