Connecticut Seal

House Bill No. 5114

Public Act No. 04-172

AN ACT CONCERNING REVISIONS TO THE UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK ACCOUNT PROVISIONS AND A STAY OF CERTAIN ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS AND ACCRUAL OF INTEREST.

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

Section 1. Subsection (d) of section 22a-449d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(d) To the extent that funds are available in the residential underground heating oil storage tank system clean-up subaccount, the board may order payment from such subaccount to registered contractors for reimbursement of eligible costs for services associated with the remediation of a residential underground heating oil storage tank system prior to July 1, 2001, to owners of such systems for payment for eligible costs incurred after July 1, 2001. No such payment shall be authorized unless the board deems the costs reasonable based on the guidelines established pursuant to subsection (c) of this section. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, if the board determines that the owner may not receive reimbursement payment from the contractor, the board may, if reimbursement has not been sent to the contractor, directly reimburse the owner of such system for eligible costs incurred by the owner and paid to the registered contractor for services associated with a remediation of a system prior to July 1, 2001.

Sec. 2. Subdivision (1) of subsection (c) of section 22a-449l of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(c) (1) In order to receive reimbursement of eligible costs for services commenced after July 1, 1999, and prior to July 1, 2001, a registered contractor shall on or before December 1, 2001, submit to the Underground Storage Tank Petroleum Clean-Up Account Review Board established under section 22a-449d, as amended by this act, for a disbursement from the residential underground heating oil storage tank system clean-up subaccount, all reasonable costs for work commenced prior to July 1, 2001, pursuant to a contract with the owner or the state for the remediation of a residential underground heating oil storage tank system for the purpose of providing payment for the costs of such remediation. An owner of a residential underground heating oil storage tank system shall not be responsible to the registered contractor or any subcontractor of the registered contractor for any costs that are eligible for payment from the residential underground heating oil storage tank system clean-up subaccount over five hundred dollars. The registered contractor or any subcontractor shall not bill the owner for any costs eligible for payment from said subaccount over five hundred dollars unless the contractor or subcontractor enters into a separate written contract with the owner, on a form prescribed by the commissioner, authorizing the contractor or subcontractor to bill the owner more than five hundred dollars and such separate contract gives the owner the right to cancel such contract up to three days after entering into it. Such owner shall provide to the review board a statement confirming the registered contractor has been engaged by such owner to remove or to replace such residential underground heating oil storage tank system and perform the remediation and shall execute an instrument which provides for payment to said account of any amounts realized by the owner, after any costs of litigation or attorney's fees have been paid, from a judgment or settlement regarding any claim for the costs of such remediation made against an insurance policy or any party. In any service contract entered into between a registered contractor and an owner for the remediation of a residential underground heating oil storage tank system, the registered contractor shall clearly identify all costs, including markup costs, that are not or may not be eligible for payment from said subaccount.

Sec. 3. Subsection (d) of section 22a-449l of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(d) Neither the Underground Storage Tank Petroleum Clean-Up Account Review Board nor the Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall accept applications pursuant to this section on or after December 1, 2001, for the reimbursement of eligible costs for services completed prior to July 1, 2001, except that, notwithstanding subsection (c) of this section, prior to July 1, 2004, the board may accept applications for reimbursement from and make payments to any owner who demonstrates that the owner paid for eligible costs for services provided to the owner prior to July 1, 2001, and either (1) the registered contractor filed an application for reimbursement between December 1, 2001, and January 1, 2003, or (2) the owner, prior to May 1, 2003, filed a complaint with the board or the commissioner regarding the failure of the registered contractor to file a timely application.

Sec. 4. (Effective from passage) The assessment of administrative costs and the accrual of interest on the actual cost pursuant to section 22a-451 of the general statutes shall be stayed for any person who owns property on which a residential dwelling is located from which lead paint residue was removed with funds from the emergency spill response account established pursuant to said section after January 1, 2002, and prior to December 31, 2002, during the pendency of a federal or state criminal investigation or prosecution of a licensed home improvement contractor for causing such property to be contaminated with lead paint residue.

Approved June 1, 2004