2015 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 17. Corporation Commission
§17-309. Release from storage tank system - Corrective action.

17 OK Stat § 17-309 (2015) What's This?

A. No owner or operator, employee or agent of such owner or operator, or transporter shall knowingly allow a release from a storage tank system to occur or continue to occur without reporting the release to the Corporation Commission within twenty-four (24) hours upon discovering such a release.

B. The owner or operator of a storage tank system shall immediately take all reasonable corrective actions necessary to prevent a release or a threatened release of regulated substances from a storage tank system and to abate and remove any such releases subject to applicable federal and state requirements. The Corporation Commission shall require that any corrective action taken by a storage tank system owner or operator or authorized by the Commission shall be in compliance with all applicable state statutes and rules and federal laws and regulations for the protection of air quality and water quality and for the transportation and disposal of any waste.

C. If there is a release from a storage tank system, the Commission may:

1. Issue an administrative order stating the existence of an emergency and requiring that such action be taken as the Commission deems necessary to meet the emergency. Such order shall be effective immediately. Any person to whom such an order is directed shall comply with the order immediately but on application to the Commission shall be afforded a hearing within ten (10) days after receipt of the administrative order. On the basis of such hearing, the Commission shall continue such order in effect, revoke it, or modify it. Any person aggrieved by such order continued after the hearing provided for in this subsection may appeal to the Supreme Court as provided in Section 318 of Title 75 of the Oklahoma Statutes. Such appeal when docketed shall have priority over all cases pending on the docket; and

2. Require an owner, operator, or responsible person to submit investigation, remediation or other corrective action plans to the Petroleum Storage Tank Division of the Corporation Commission for preapproval prior to initiating such investigation, remediation, or other corrective action.

D. 1. The Commission may take corrective action if:

a.an owner or operator of the storage tank system cannot be identified,

b.an identified owner or operator cannot or will not comply with the order issued pursuant to subsection C of this section,

c.an administrative or judicial proceeding on an order issued pursuant to subsection C of this section is pending and the Commission determines corrective action is necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare or the environment until the administrative or judicial proceeding is resolved, or

d.the Commission determines that the release constitutes a danger requiring immediate action to prevent, minimize or mitigate damage to the public health and welfare or the environment. Before taking an action under this paragraph, the Commission shall make all reasonable efforts, taking into consideration the urgency of the situation, to afford an owner or operator notice and hearing to take a corrective action and notify the owners or occupants of adjacent or affected real property as specified by Section 310 of this title.

2. The owner or operator is liable for the cost of any corrective action taken by the Commission pursuant to this subsection, including the cost of investigating the release and administrative and legal expenses, if:

a.the owner or operator has failed to take a corrective action ordered by the Commission and the Commission has taken the corrective action, or

b.the Commission has taken corrective action in an emergency pursuant to subparagraph d of paragraph 1 of this subsection.

3. Reasonable and necessary expenses incurred by the Commission in taking a corrective action, including costs of investigating a release and administrative and legal expenses, may be recovered by application to the Commission with notice and hearing pursuant to Section 311 of this title. The Commission's certification of costs incurred is prima facie evidence that the costs incurred are reasonable and necessary. The Commission shall be entitled to apply for and receive payment from the Indemnity Fund Program on behalf of an eligible person for an eligible release upon any site upon which the Commission has taken corrective action. Such payments shall be deemed to be reimbursement of the eligible person. Costs incurred that are recovered under this subsection shall be deposited in the Corporation Commission Storage Tank Regulation Revolving Fund.

E. Any order issued by the Commission pursuant to this section shall not limit the liability of the owner or operator or both such owner or operator for any injury, damages, or costs incurred by any person as a result of the release. The owner or operator shall not avoid any liability, statutory environmental responsibility imposed by Section 301 et seq. of this title; or as a result of such release by means of a conveyance of any right, title or interest in real property; or by any indemnification, hold harmless agreement, or similar agreement.

1. This subsection does not:

a.prohibit a person who may be liable from entering an agreement by which the person is insured, held harmless, or indemnified for part or all of the liability,

b.prohibit the enforcement of an insurance, hold harmless, or indemnification agreement, or

c.bar a cause of action brought by a person who may be liable or by an insurer or guarantor, whether by right of subrogation or otherwise.

2. Except as otherwise provided by law, if there is more than one person liable, such persons shall be jointly liable for any injury, damages, or costs.

Added by Laws 1989, c. 90, § 9, emerg. eff. April 21, 1989. Amended by Laws 1992, c. 406, § 3, emerg. eff. June 11, 1992; Laws 1993, c. 344, § 8, emerg. eff. June 9, 1993; Laws 1998, c. 375, § 16, emerg. eff. June 9, 1998; Laws 2005, c. 435, § 6, eff. Nov. 1, 2005; Laws 2008, c. 307, § 3, eff. July 1, 2008.

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