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(a)(1) Upon a determination that a release of a regulated substance from a storage tank has occurred, the owner or operator shall notify the Division of Environmental Quality. The owner or operator shall immediately undertake to collect and remove the release and to restore the area affected in accordance with the requirements of this subchapter.
(2) However, the obligation of an owner or operator of an aboveground storage tank to notify the division or undertake the other activities required in this subsection shall not exceed and will be limited to the existing requirements of any other applicable federal statutes or regulations, or state statutes or rules.
(b) If the owner or operator fails to proceed as required in subsection (a) of this section, the owner and operator shall be liable to the division for any costs incurred by the division for undertaking corrective action or enforcement action with respect to the release of a regulated substance from a storage tank.
(c)(1)(A) A release site property owner or adjacent property owner shall not unduly impede or interfere with the efforts of the division or the owner or operator to undertake investigation, site assessment, or corrective action in accordance with the requirements of this subchapter.
(B) The division or the owner, as defined in § 8-7-801, or operator shall undertake investigation, site assessment, or corrective action, as approved by the division after notice to the affected parties, that minimizes to the most reasonable extent practicable any interference with the release site property owner's or adjacent property owner's use and enjoyment of the property, taking into consideration the relevant private and commercial interests and the release site property owner's or adjacent property owner's need for access.
(2)(A) A release site property owner or adjacent property owner that violates subdivision (c)(1) of this section is liable for any investigation, site assessment, or corrective action costs resulting from the violation.
(B) If the release site property owner or adjacent property owner denies access to property when the access is reasonably necessary for investigation, site assessment, or corrective action undertaken by the division or by the owner or operator under a division directive, order, or approved corrective action plan, the division may order the release site property owner or adjacent property owner to undertake the portion of investigation, site assessment, or corrective action that was prohibited by the denial of access.
(3) This section does not impair any right of the release site property owner or adjacent property owner to seek equitable or legal remedies, including without limitation claims for trespass, compensation as the result of eminent domain, damages for temporary or permanent takings of rights in land, contribution, and any other right or remedy allowed by state law or rule, or federal law or regulation.
(d)(1) Any party found liable for any costs or expenditures recoverable under this subchapter which establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that only a portion of such costs or expenditures are attributable to his or her actions shall be required to pay only for that portion.
(2) If the trier of fact finds the evidence insufficient to establish each party's portion of costs or expenditures, the court shall apportion the costs or expenditures, to the extent practicable, according to equitable principles, among the responsible parties.
(3) In any action under this subchapter, no responsible party shall be liable for more than that party's apportioned share of the amount of costs or expenditures recoverable for the site.
(4) Any expenditures required under this subchapter made by a responsible party, before or after suit or before or after a complaint has been filed with or heard by the Arkansas State Claims Commission, shall be credited toward any apportioned share.
(e) Any costs recovered by the division under this section shall be used to reimburse the Petroleum Storage Tank Trust Fund in the amount utilized by the division and the balance, if any, deposited into the Regulated Substance Storage Tank Program Fund.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Arkansas Code Title 8. Environmental Law § 8-7-807. Rights and duties of owners - last updated January 01, 2020 | https://codes.findlaw.com/ar/title-8-environmental-law/ar-code-sect-8-7-807/
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