(1)(a) There is created in the State Treasury a fund to be designated as the Uncontrolled Site Evaluation Trust Fund, referred to in this section as “fund,” to be administered by the Executive Director of the Department of Environmental Quality.
(b) Monies in the fund shall be utilized to pay reasonable direct and indirect costs associated with the administration and evaluation of uncontrolled sites, including, but not limited to, the reasonable costs of the following activities:
(i) Reviewing plans, specifications, engineering reports and other documents related to site assessments, preliminary assessments, site investigations, remedial investigations, feasibility studies, remedy selection, remedial design, remedial actions, site specific risk assessments and operation and maintenance;
(ii) Establishing cleanup levels and objectives and risk targets and reviewing cleanup alternatives and technologies;
(iii) Administering the uncontrolled sites program, including, but not limited to, collecting and analyzing data, conducting site inspections and site monitoring activities, maintaining a computerized database, of site inventories and status, and providing any necessary further action or no further action letters;
(iv) Preparing generally applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements or guidance;
(v) Conducting other activities directly related to the administration and evaluation of uncontrolled sites.
(c) Expenditures may be made from the fund upon requisition by the executive director of the department.
(d) The fund shall be treated as a special trust fund. Interest earned on the principal therein shall be credited by the treasurer to the fund.
(e) The fund may receive monies from any available public or private source, including, but not limited to, collection of fees, interest, grants, taxes, public and private donations, judicial actions and appropriated funds.
(f) Monies in the fund at the end of the fiscal year shall be retained in the fund for use in the next succeeding fiscal year.
(2)(a) There is hereby created the Uncontrolled Site Voluntary Evaluation Program to provide for the administration and evaluation of uncontrolled sites. If any person has a legal or equitable interest in a site within the jurisdiction of the uncontrolled sites program at the department, and that site is not currently under expedited review or evaluation, that person may request that the department accelerate such review by considering the site under the voluntary evaluation program. The department shall determine the eligibility of an uncontrolled site for inclusion into the voluntary evaluation program. The site may be placed in the voluntary program if:
(i) The department accepts the site for the voluntary review and evaluation; and
(ii) The person pays to the department the fees as specified in a fee schedule adopted by the commission.
(b) The owner of an uncontrolled site who participates in the voluntary program shall pay all costs of any actions associated with the administration and evaluation of the site.
(c) The commission shall set by order a schedule of fees and costs for the Uncontrolled Site Voluntary Evaluation Program.
(d) All monies collected under this section shall be deposited into the fund.
(3) The commission may delegate to the department responsibility for the collection of uncontrolled site administration and evaluation fees.
(4) All uncontrolled site administration and evaluation fees shall be due before a date specified by the department in an invoice which shall be no less than thirty (30) days following the invoice date. If any part of an uncontrolled site administration and evaluation fees imposed is not paid within thirty (30) days after the due date, a penalty of up to twenty-five percent (25%) of the amount due may be imposed and be added thereto. Any penalty collected under this section shall be deposited into the fund. If the department has to pursue legal action to collect fees incurred, reasonable attorneys' fees and costs may be assessed against the nonpaying party.
(5) Any person required to pay a fee under this section who disagrees with the calculation or applicability of the fee may petition the commission for a hearing in accordance with Section 49-17-35 . Any hearing shall be in accordance with the provisions of Section 49-17-33 .
(6) Fees collected under this section shall not supplant or reduce in any way the General Fund appropriation to the Department of Environmental Quality.
(7) The department may suspend any activities or actions related to the administration or evaluation of an uncontrolled site if the person fails to meet any condition or requirement or fails to pay any required fees or penalties imposed under the voluntary evaluation program.
(8) Nothing in this section affects any existing program at the department or affects any authority of the commission or department to take any action authorized by law.
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