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Title XXI PUBLIC SAFETY AND MORALS

Chapter 319

Effective - 28 Aug 2008 bottom

  319.131.  Owners of tanks containing petroleum products may elect to participate — advisory committee, members, duties, applications, content, standards and tests — financial responsibility — deductible — fund not liability of state — ineligible sites — tanks owned by certain school districts — damages covered, limitation — defense of third-party claims. — 1.  Any owner or operator of one or more petroleum storage tanks may elect to participate in the petroleum storage tank insurance fund to meet the financial responsibility requirements of sections 319.114 and 414.036.  Subject to regulations of the board of trustees, owners or operators may elect to continue their participation in the fund subsequent to the transfer of their property to another party.  Current or former refinery sites or petroleum pipeline or marine terminals are not eligible for participation in the fund.

  2.  The board shall establish an advisory committee which shall be composed of insurers, owners and operators of petroleum storage tanks, and other interested parties.  The advisory committee established pursuant to this subsection shall report to the board.  The committee shall monitor the fund and recommend statutory and administrative changes as may be necessary to assure efficient operation of the fund.  The committee, in consultation with the board and the department of commerce and insurance, shall report every two years to the general assembly on the availability and affordability of the private insurance market as a viable method of meeting the financial responsibilities required by state and federal law in lieu of the petroleum storage tank insurance fund.

  3.  (1)  Except as otherwise provided by this section, any person seeking to participate in the insurance fund shall submit an application to the board of trustees and shall certify that the petroleum tanks meet or exceed and are in compliance with all technical standards established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, except those standards and regulations pertaining to spill prevention control and counter-measure plans, and rules established by the Missouri department of natural resources and the Missouri department of agriculture.  The applicant shall submit proof that the applicant has a reasonable assurance of the tank's integrity.  Proof of tank integrity may include but not be limited to any one of the following:  tank tightness test, electronic leak detection, monitoring wells, daily inventory reconciliation, vapor test or any other test that may be approved by the director of the department of natural resources or the director of the department of agriculture.  The applicant shall submit evidence that the applicant can meet all applicable financial responsibility requirements of this section.

  (2)  A creditor, specifically a person who, without participating in and not otherwise primarily engaged in petroleum production, refining, and marketing, holds indicia of ownership primarily for the purpose of, or in connection with, securing payment or performance of a loan or to protect a security interest in or lien on the tank or the property where the tank is located, or serves as trustee or fiduciary upon transfer or receipt of the property, may be a successor in interest to a debtor pursuant to this section, provided that the creditor gives notice of the interest to the insurance fund by certified mail, return receipt requested.  Part of such notice shall include a copy of the lien, including but not limited to a security agreement or a deed of trust as appropriate to the property.  The term "successor in interest" as provided in this section means a creditor to the debtor who had qualified real property in the insurance fund prior to the transfer of title to the creditor, and the term is limited to access to the insurance fund.  The creditor may cure any of the debtor's defaults in payments required by the insurance fund, provided the specific real property originally qualified pursuant to this section.  The creditor, or the creditor's subsidiary or affiliate, who forecloses or otherwise obtains legal title to such specific real property held as collateral for loans, guarantees or other credit, and which includes the debtor's aboveground storage tanks or underground storage tanks, or both such tanks shall provide notice to the fund of any transfer of creditor to subsidiary or affiliate.  Liability pursuant to sections 319.100 to 319.137 shall be confined to such creditor or such creditor's subsidiary or affiliate.  A creditor shall apply for a transfer of coverage and shall present evidence indicating a lien, contractual right, or operation of law permitting such transfer, and may utilize the creditor's affiliate or subsidiary to hold legal title to the specific real property taken in satisfaction of debts.  Creditors may be listed as insured or additional insured on the insurance fund, and not merely as mortgagees, and may assign or otherwise transfer the debtor's rights in the insurance fund to the creditor's affiliate or subsidiary, notwithstanding any limitations in the insurance fund on assignments or transfer of the debtor's rights.

  (3)  Any person participating in the fund shall annually submit an amount established pursuant to subsection 1 of section 319.133 which shall be deposited to the credit of the petroleum storage tank insurance fund.

  4.  Any person making a claim pursuant to this section and sections 319.129 and 319.133 shall be liable for the first ten thousand dollars of the cost of cleanup associated with a release from a petroleum storage tank without reimbursement from the fund.  The petroleum storage tank insurance fund shall assume all costs, except as provided in subsection 5 of this section, which are greater than ten thousand dollars but less than one million dollars per occurrence or two million dollars aggregate per year.  The liability of the petroleum storage tank insurance fund is not the liability of the state of Missouri.  The provisions of sections 319.100 to 319.137 shall not be construed to broaden the liability of the state of Missouri beyond the provisions of sections 537.600 to 537.610 nor to abolish or waive any defense which might otherwise be available to the state or to any person.  The presence of existing contamination at a site where a person is seeking insurance in accordance with this section shall not affect that person's ability to participate in this program, provided the person meets all other requirements of this section.  Any person who qualifies pursuant to sections 319.100 to 319.137 and who has requested approval of a project for remediation from the fund, which request has not yet been decided upon shall annually be sent a status report including an estimate of when the project may expect to be funded and other pertinent information regarding the request.

  5.  The fund shall provide coverage for third-party claims involving property damage or bodily injury caused by leaking petroleum storage tanks whose owner or operator is participating in the fund at the time the release occurs or is discovered.  Coverage for third-party property damage or bodily injury shall be in addition to the coverage described in subsection 4 of this section but the total liability of the petroleum storage tank insurance fund for all cleanup costs, property damage, and bodily injury shall not exceed one million dollars per occurrence or two million dollars aggregate per year.  The fund shall not compensate an owner or operator for repair of damages to property beyond that required to contain and clean up a release of a regulated substance or compensate an owner or operator or any third party for loss or damage to other property owned or belonging to the owner or operator, or for any loss or damage of an intangible nature, including, but not limited to, loss or interruption of business, pain and suffering of any person, lost income, mental distress, loss of use of any benefit, or punitive damages.

  6.  The fund shall, within limits specified in this section, assume costs of third-party claims and cleanup of contamination caused by releases from petroleum storage tanks.  The fund shall provide the defense of eligible third-party claims including the negotiations of any settlement.

  7.  Nothing contained in sections 319.100 to 319.137 shall be construed to abrogate or limit any right, remedy, causes of action, or claim by any person sustaining personal injury or property damage as a result of any release from any type of petroleum storage tank, nor shall anything contained in sections 319.100 to 319.137 be construed to abrogate or limit any liability of any person in any way responsible for any release from a petroleum storage tank or any damages for personal injury or property damages caused by such a release.

  8.  (1)  The fund shall provide moneys for cleanup of contamination caused by releases from petroleum storage tanks, the owner or operator of which is participating in the fund or the owner or operator of which has made application for participation in the fund by December 31, 1997, regardless of when such release occurred, provided that those persons who have made application are ultimately accepted into the fund.  Applicants shall not be eligible for fund benefits until they are accepted into the fund.  This section shall not preclude the owner or operator of petroleum storage tanks coming into service after December 31, 1997, from making application to and participating in the petroleum storage tank insurance fund.

  (2)  Notwithstanding the provisions of section 319.100 and the provisions of subdivision (1) of this section, the fund shall provide moneys for cleanup of contamination caused by releases from petroleum storage tanks owned by school districts all or part of which are located in a county of the third classification without a township form of government and having a population of more than ten thousand seven hundred but less than eleven thousand inhabitants, and which make application for participation in the fund by August 28, 1999, regardless of when such release occurred.  Applicants shall not be eligible for fund benefits until they are accepted into the fund, and costs incurred prior to that date shall not be eligible expenses.

  9.  (1)  The fund shall provide moneys for cleanup of contamination caused by releases from underground storage tanks which contained petroleum and which have been taken out of use prior to December 31, 1997, provided such sites have been documented by or reported to the department of natural resources prior to December 31, 1997, and provided further that the fund shall make no reimbursements for expenses incurred prior to August 28, 1995.  The fund shall also provide moneys for cleanup of contamination caused by releases from underground storage tanks which contained petroleum and which have been taken out of use prior to December 31, 1985, if the current owner of the real property where the tanks are located purchased such property before December 31, 1985, provided such sites are reported to the fund on or before June 30, 2000.  The fund shall make no payment for expenses incurred at such sites prior to August 28, 1999.  Nothing in sections 319.100 to 319.137 shall affect the validity of any underground storage tank fund insurance policy in effect on August 28, 1996.

  (2)  An owner or operator who submits a request as provided in this subsection is not required to bid the costs and expenses associated with professional environmental engineering services.  The board may disapprove all or part of the costs and expenses associated with the environmental engineering services if the costs are excessive based upon comparable service costs or current market value of similar services.  The owner or operator shall solicit bids for actual remediation and cleanup work as provided by rules of the board.

  (3)  After December 31, 2017, the current legal owner of the site shall be the responsible party for corrective action, pursuant to section 319.109, of any releases from underground storage tanks described in this subsection, provided the creditor, who is a successor in interest as provided in subdivision (2) of subsection 3 of this section, is subject to no greater or lesser responsibility for corrective action than such successor in interest would have on or before December 31, 2017.  Nothing in this subdivision shall in any way be construed to alter, alleviate, or modify in any manner any liabilities that the fund has to pay for in cleaning up the site.

  10.  (1)  The fund shall provide moneys for cleanup of contamination caused by releases from aboveground storage tanks utilized for the sale of products regulated by chapter 414 which have been taken out of use prior to December 31, 1997, provided such sites have been documented by or reported to the department of natural resources prior to December 31, 1997, and provided further that the fund shall make no reimbursements for expenses incurred prior to July 1, 1997.

  (2)  After December 31, 2017, the current legal owner of the site shall be the responsible party for corrective action of any releases from aboveground storage tanks described in this subsection, provided the creditor, who is a successor in interest as provided in subdivision (2) of subsection 3 of this section, is subject to no greater or lesser responsibility for corrective action than such successor in interest would have on or before December 31, 2017.  Nothing in this subdivision shall in any way be construed to alter, alleviate, or modify in any manner any liabilities that the fund has to pay for in cleaning up the site.

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(L. 1989 H.B. 77, et al. § 12 subsecs. 5 to 9, A.L. 1991 S.B. 91 & 317, A.L. 1994 H.B. 1156, A.L. 1995 H.B. 251, A.L. 1996 S.B. 708, A.L. 1998 H.B. 1148 merged with S.B. 852 & 913, A.L. 1999 H.B. 603, et al., A.L. 2001 H.B. 453, A.L. 2008 S.B. 907)


---- end of effective   28 Aug 2008 ----

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