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Connecticut Public Acts 1996

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Substitute House Bill No. 5346

PUBLIC ACT NO. 96-250

AN ACT CONCERNING FUNDING FOR REMEDIATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 15 of public act 95-218 is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

In any action brought by the Attorney General under section 22a-16 of the general statutes, AS AMENDED or under any provision of title 22a of the general statutes which provides for a civil or criminal penalty for a violation of such provision, the court, in lieu of any other penalties, damages or costs awarded, or in addition to a reduced penalty, damages or costs awarded, may order the defendant (1) to provide for the restoration of any natural resource or the remediation or mitigation of any environmental pollution on or at any real property which resource or property are unrelated to such action, (2) to provide for any other project approved by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection for the enhancement of environmental protection or conservation of natural resources [or] (3) make a financial contribution to an academic or government-funded research project related to environmental protection or conservation of natural resources OR (4) MAKE A FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION TO THE SPECIAL CONTAMINATED PROPERTY REMEDIATION AND INSURANCE FUND ESTABLISHED UNDER SECTION 4 OF PUBLIC ACT 95-190 PROVIDED THE TOTAL AGGREGATE AMOUNT OF ALL CONTRIBUTIONS TO SAID FUND UNDER THIS SECTION SHALL NOT EXCEED ONE MILLION DOLLARS PER FISCAL YEAR PROVIDED NO DEFENDANT CARRYING OUT ANY ORDER UNDER THIS SECTION MAY CLAIM OR REPRESENT THAT ITS EXPENSES IN SO DOING CONSTITUTE ORDINARY BUSINESS EXPENSES OR CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS, OR ANY OTHER TYPE OF EXPENSE OTHER THAN A PENALTY FOR A VIOLATION OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS.

Sec. 2. (NEW) For the five assessment years commencing with the first assessment and collection of the tax imposed under chapter 203 of the general statutes on a parcel of real property which assessment and collection follows an approval of a final remedial action report by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection or a filing of such a report by a licensed environmental professional regarding such property other than any such approval or filing made under section 22a-133m of the general statutes, as amended, and which assessment and collection commences on or before January 1, 2003, twenty per cent of any amount received by a municipality from such assessment in excess of the highest amount received in any one of the three years preceding such approval or filing shall be paid to the State Treasurer and shall be deposited into the Special Contaminated Property Remediation and Insurance Fund established under section 4 of public act 95-190, provided this section shall not apply to taxes imposed on personal property.

Sec. 3. (a) For the purposes described in subsection (b) of this section, the State Bond Commission shall have the power, from time to time to authorize the issuance of bonds of the state in one or more series and in principal amounts not exceeding in the aggregate five million dollars.

(b) The proceeds of the sale of said bonds, to the extent of the amount stated in subsection (a) of this section, shall be used by the Department of Environmental Protection for the purpose of establishing the Special Contaminated Property Remediation and Insurance Fund established under section 4 of public act 95-190 and carrying out the purposes of said fund.

(c) All provisions of section 3-20 of the general statutes, or the exercise of any right or power granted thereby which are not inconsistent with the provisions of this section are hereby adopted and shall apply to all bonds authorized by the State Bond Commission pursuant to this section, and temporary notes in anticipation of the money to be derived from the sale of any such bonds so authorized may be issued in accordance with said section 3-20 and from time to time renewed. Such bonds shall mature at such time or times not exceeding twenty years from their respective dates as may be provided in or pursuant to the resolution or resolutions of the State Bond Commission authorizing such bonds. None of said bonds shall be authorized except upon a finding by the State Bond Commission that there has been filed with it a request for such authorization, which is signed by or on behalf of the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management and states such terms and conditions as said commission, in its discretion, may require. Said bonds issued pursuant to this section shall be general obligations of the state and the full faith and credit of the state of Connecticut are pledged for the payment of the principal of and interest on said bonds as the same become due, and accordingly and as part of the contract of the state with the holders of said bonds, appropriation of all amounts necessary for punctual payment of such principal and interest is hereby made, and the treasurer shall pay such principal and interest as the same become due.

Sec. 4. Section 4 of public act 95-190 is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

[(a) Unless the context requires a different meaning, the term "bonds" or "revenue bonds" under this section and section 5 of this act includes notes issued in anticipation of the issuance of revenue bonds, including notes issued pursuant to a commercial paper program.

(b)] There is established and created a fund to be known as the "Special Contaminated Property Remediation and Insurance Fund". There shall be deposited in the fund: (1) The proceeds of [revenue obligations] BONDS issued by the state for deposit into said fund and used in accordance with this section [and section 5 of this act;] (2) revenues from taxes or fees required to be deposited into the fund pursuant to law; and (3) interest or other income earned on the investment of moneys in the fund pending transfer or use pursuant to this section and [sections 5 and 6 of this act] SECTION 6 OF PUBLIC ACT 95-190. The fund may contain any moneys required by law to be deposited in the fund and shall be held by the treasurer separate and apart from all other moneys, funds and accounts. Investment earnings credited to the assets of said fund shall become part of the assets of said fund. Any balance remaining in said fund at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried forward in said fund for the fiscal year next succeeding.

[(c) The fund shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following accounts: (1) A reserve account into which shall be deposited the proceeds of revenue bonds issued by the state for deposit into the reserve account and use in accordance with this act; and (2) a debt service account into which shall be deposited, in accordance with the proceeding authorizing the bonds, the proceeds of the initial issuance of revenue bonds as capitalized interest to the extent required, and payments received for deposit into the fund in accordance with this act attributable to the debt service requirement. Moneys in each account created under this subsection may be applied by the state treasurer to debt service on revenue bonds. The treasurer shall apply amounts in the reserve account to the payment of debt service on bonds whenever amounts on deposit in the debt service account are insufficient. The net proceeds of any refunding bonds shall be deposited in a special account within the fund and shall be applied solely to the retirement or redemption of the bonds to be refunded.

(d) The fund shall be maintained separate and apart from all other moneys, funds and accounts of the state. Investment earnings credited to the assets of the fund and to any account within the fund shall become part of the assets of the fund, except as otherwise required for rebates in order to assure the excludability of the interest on the bonds from federal income taxation, as provided in the proceedings authorizing any revenue bonds. Any balance remaining in the fund at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried forward in the fund for the next fiscal year.

(e) The moneys in the fund may also be used to pay any costs related to the issuance of revenue bonds issued pursuant to this act and to pay any debt service thereon for which amounts on deposit in the fund are insufficient.]

Sec. 5. Section 6 of public act 95-190 is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The Commissioner of Environmental Protection may use any funds [, other than funds which are dedicated, pledged or necessary to fulfill any obligation under section 5 of this act,] in the Special Contaminated Property Remediation and Insurance Fund [,] established in section 4 of [this act] PUBLIC ACT 95-190, OTHER THAN ANY FUNDS WHICH ARE NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT ANY OTHER RESPONSIBILITY OF SAID COMMISSIONER UNDER THIS SECTION, for (1) removal or mitigation of a spill, as defined in section 22a-452c of the general statutes, upon or into land or waters of the state if the owner of the property associated with such spill is found to be an innocent landowner, as defined in section 22a-452d of the general statutes, as amended by section 7 of [this act, or (2)] PUBLIC ACT 95-190 AND FOR ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS RELATED TO SUCH REMOVAL OR MITIGATION OR (2) ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS RELATED TO THE REMEDIATION OF A PROPERTY FOR WHICH A LOAN WAS MADE UNDER SUBSECTION (b) OF THIS SECTION PROVIDED NOT MORE THAN FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS SHALL BE DISBURSED FROM THE FUND FOR SUCH PURPOSE. SAID COMMISSIONER MAY USE ANY FUNDS RECEIVED IN CONNECTION WITH THE ISSUANCE OF A COVENANT NOT TO SUE OR A SETTLEMENT BY SAID COMMISSIONER OF A CLAIM RELATED TO CONTAMINATED REAL PROPERTY, OR ANY FUNDS RECEIVED PURSUANT TO SECTION 1 OF THIS ACT, FOR removal or mitigation of a spill, as defined in section 22a-452c of the general statutes, for which the owner of the property associated with such spill would be liable except for a covenant not to sue entered into pursuant to [section 3 of this act, (3)] SECTIONS 10 OR 11 OF PUBLIC ACT 96-113 AND FOR ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS RELATED TO SUCH REMOVAL OR MITIGATION. SAID COMMISSIONER MAY USE ANY FUNDS RECEIVED PURSUANT TO SECTION 22a-134e, AS AMENDED, AND SUBSECTION (c) OF SECTION 10 AND SUBSECTION (c) OF SECTION 11 OF PUBLIC ACT 96-113, FOR expenses related to the administration of sections 22a-134 to 22a-134d, inclusive, of the general statutes and section 22a-134e of the general statutes, as amended by section 11 of [this act] PUBLIC ACT 95-190, AND FOR EXPENSES RELATED TO ADMINISTRATION OF SECTION 3 OF PUBLIC ACT 95-183, SECTION 2 OF PUBLIC ACT 95-190 AND SECTIONS 10 AND 11 OF PUBLIC ACT 96-113. [, (4) loans to owners of residential real property in accordance with section 14 of this act 95-190.]

(b) The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, [in consultation with the Commissioner of Environmental Protection] WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE ADVISORY BOARD ESTABLISHED IN SUBSECTION (e) OF THIS SECTION, may use any funds [, other than funds which are dedicated, pledged or necessary to fulfill any obligation under section 5 of this act, in] DEPOSITED INTO the Special Contaminated Property Remediation and Insurance Fund [established in section 4 of this act,] PURSUANT TO SECTION 2 OR 3 OF THIS ACT for (1) loans to municipalities, individuals or firms for Phase II environmental site assessments or Phase III investigations of real property prepared in accordance with section 2 of [this act] PUBLIC ACT 95-190, and for any costs of demolition undertaken to prepare such property for development subsequent to such assessment and (2) expenses related to administration of this subsection provided such expenses may not exceed [ten per cent of the maximum balance of the fund in the preceding year] ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS PER YEAR.

(c) Any person, firm, corporation or municipality which has received funds under subsection (b) of this section shall repay such funds to the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, according to a schedule and terms which said commissioner deems appropriate, upon the sale or lease of the property which is the subject of such evaluation or demolition or upon the approval by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection of a final remedial action report submitted in accordance with section 2 of [this act] PUBLIC ACT 95-190 PROVIDED NO REPAYMENT SHALL BE REQUIRED, OTHER THAN INTEREST FOR THE PERIOD THAT THE LOAN IS OUTSTANDING, IF COMPLETION OF REMEDIATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION AT OR ON THE PROPERTY, OR THE SALE OR LEASE OF SUCH PROPERTY, IS ECONOMICALLY INFEASIBLE DUE TO THE COST OF SUCH REMEDIATION. Any funds received by said commissioner as repayment under this subsection shall be deposited into the Special Contaminated Property Remediation and Insurance Fund. The terms of any loan agreement entered into by said commissioner under said subsection may provide for the collection of interest on the loan which may vary according to the duration of the repayment schedule for such loan provided the interest cost to the borrower provided for in such agreement shall not exceed the interest cost to the state on such loan.

(d) The amount of any funds received under subsection (b) of this section by any entity other than a municipality shall be a lien against the real property for which the funds were disbursed. A lien pursuant to this section shall not be effective unless (1) a certificate of lien is filed in the land records of each town in which the real estate is located, describing the real estate, the amount of the lien, the name of the owner as grantor and (2) the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development mails a copy of the certificate to such persons and to all other persons of record holding an interest in such real estate over which the commissioner's lien is entitled to priority. Any action for the foreclosure of such lien shall be brought by the attorney general in the name of the state in the superior court for the judicial district in which the property subject to such lien is situated, or, if such property is located in two or more judicial districts, in the superior court for any one such judicial district, and the court may limit the time for redemption or order the sale of such property or make such other or further decree as it judges equitable.

(e) [The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development] (1) THERE IS ESTABLISHED A SPECIAL CONTAMINATED PROPERTY REMEDIATION AND INSURANCE FUND ADVISORY BOARD TO REVIEW APPLICATIONS FOR LOANS FROM SAID FUND UNDER THIS SECTION. THE BOARD SHALL CONSIST OF ONE MEMBER REPRESENTING A MUNICIPALITY, APPOINTED BY THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES; ONE MEMBER REPRESENTING A BANK, APPOINTED BY THE MAJORITY LEADER OF THE SENATE; ONE MEMBER WHO HAS EXPERIENCE IN THE FIELD OF CONTAMINATED PROPERTY REMEDIATION, APPOINTED BY THE MAJORITY LEADER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES; ONE MEMBER REPRESENTING A MUNICIPALITY, APPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE OF THE SENATE; ONE MEMBER REPRESENTING A BANK, APPOINTED BY THE MINORITY LEADER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES; ONE MEMBER WHO HAS EXPERIENCE IN THE FIELD OF CONTAMINATED PROPERTY REMEDIATION, APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR; AND ONE MEMBER REPRESENTING A MUNICIPALITY, APPOINTED BY THE MINORITY LEADER OF THE SENATE. THE BOARD SHALL ANNUALLY ELECT ONE OF ITS MEMBERS TO SERVE AS CHAIRPERSON. (2) SAID BOARD shall establish criteria for (A) making disbursements under subsection (b) of this section which criteria shall include, but not be limited to, anticipated commercial value of the property, potential tax revenue to the relevant municipality, environmental or public health risk posed by the spill, potential community or economic development benefit to the relevant municipality, the status of any loans previously made under said subsection to the municipality and potential for restoration of an abandoned property AND (B) CANCELLING LOANS RELATED TO A PROPERTY AT WHICH THE BORROWER OF THE LOAN ELECTS NOT TO PROCEED WITH REMEDIATION. In [making] APPROVING any loan under said subsection to any person, firm or corporation, the [commissioner] BOARD may consider the loan applicant's credit history and economic solvency, any plan of such applicant for business development, municipal support for the proposed use of the property and any existing indebtedness of such applicant to any entity. UPON APPLICATION FOR ANY SUCH LOAN, THE BOARD SHALL MAKE A RECOMMENDATION TO THE COMMISSIONER OF ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT REGARDING SUCH LOAN. ON OR BEFORE FEBRUARY 1, 1997, AND ANNUALLY THEREAFTER, SAID BOARD AND THE COMMISSIONER OF ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT SHALL SUBMIT A REPORT TO THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY HAVING COGNIZANCE OF MATTERS RELATING TO THE ENVIRONMENT REGARDING THE NUMBER AND AMOUNTS OF LOANS MADE IN THE PRECEDING YEAR. ON OR BEFORE FEBRUARY 1, 2000, THE BOARD SHALL RECOMMEND TO THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY WHETHER THE PAYMENTS TO THE STATE TREASURER PURSUANT TO SECTION 2 OF THIS ACT SHALL CONTINUE IN ORDER TO PROVIDE FOR THE CONTINUED SOLVENCY OF THE SPECIAL CONTAMINATED PROPERTY REMEDIATION AND INSURANCE FUND. Sec. 6. Sections 5 and 14 of public act 95-190 are repealed.

Sec. 7. This act shall take effect July 1, 1996.

Approved June 6, 1996. Effective July 1, 1996.

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