|(a) For a person to be an eligible owner or operator under this subchapter, each of the following requirements must be met. (1) The person must meet the other requirements of this chapter (including, but not limited to, the restrictions under §334.302 of this title (relating to General Conditions and Limitations Regarding Reimbursement; Assignments)) and must be: (A) an owner or an operator of a petroleum storage tank, hydraulic lift system, or a spent oil tank which is subject to the requirements of Subchapter D of this chapter (relating to Release Reporting and Corrective Action); (B) any past owner or operator of a tank described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph who performed corrective action on or after September 1, 1987 in response to a release of petroleum products from such tank; (C) an owner of land who can clearly prove that the land has been contaminated by a release of petroleum products from a tank described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph which is or was located on said land and who performed corrective action in response to a release of petroleum products from such tank; (D) a lender who has a bona fide security or lienhold interest in or mortgage lien on any property where a tank described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph is or was located and who performed corrective action in response to a release of petroleum products from such tank; (E) a lender who forecloses on or receives an assignment or deed in lieu of foreclosure and becomes the owner of property contaminated by a release of petroleum products from a tank described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, and who performed corrective action in response to a release of petroleum products from such tank; or (F) an adjacent landowner who can clearly prove that the land has been contaminated by a release of petroleum products from a tank described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph which is not located on said land, and who performed corrective action in response to a release of petroleum products from such tank, and either: (i) performed emergency abatement actions by completing all the following: (I) notifying the agency within 24 hours of discovery that the emergency condition exists; (II) notifying the local fire marshall (or state fire marshall if no local authority is available) within 24 hours; (III) taking actions necessary to protect against imminent danger to human health and safety by mitigating fire, explosion, and vapor hazards, by removing phase-separated product from structures, basements, sumps, etc., or performing other actions as deemed necessary by the executive director. Restoration of site to preexisting conditions, cost of relocating utility structures, site assessment, and remediation are not considered part of emergency abatement activities. Any expenses incurred after 72 hours from commencement of the action must be approved by the agency in writing; and (IV) having the release and threat ultimately confirmed by the agency; or (ii) committed to undertake the entire cleanup of the leak and contamination from the tank on his property and on all other property by: (I) obtaining prior approval in writing from the agency; (II) performing a site assessment to define the extent of the vertical and horizontal contamination at the time of the agreement; (III) entering into a legal agreement with the owner of the tank whereby the adjacent landowner agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the owner, operator, and other affected landowners for any corrective action or third-party liability effective from the date of the agreement; and (IV) performing all corrective action in conformance with this chapter, and all other applicable rules and regulations. The applicable deductible for reimbursement under §334.312 of this title (relating to Owner/Operator Contribution) for cleanups undertaken by adjacent landowners under this subsection shall be the same as that applicable to the registered owner of the tank. (2) An underground and aboveground storage tank installed prior to December 1, 1995, which is required to be registered under §334.7 of this title (relating to Registration for Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) and UST Systems) or §334.127 of this title (relating to Registration for Aboveground Storage Tanks (ASTs)) must be registered with the agency on or before December 31, 1995, or the owner or operator is not eligible to receive reimbursement for that tank, except for: (A) an owner or operator of a registered facility who discovers an unregistered tank while removing, upgrading, or replacing a tank or while performing a site assessment; (B) a state or local governmental agency that discovers an unregistered storage tank in a right-of-way during construction; or (C) a property owner who reasonably could not have known that a tank was located on the property because a title search or the previous use of the property does not indicate a tank on the property. (3) The owner or operator of an underground and aboveground storage tank installed on or after December 1, 1995, must be registered with the agency under §334.7 or §334.127 of this title no later than the 30th day after the date the installation is completed to be eligible for reimbursement for such tank. (4) All annual facility fees due since September 1, 1987, under §334.21 of this title (relating to Fee Assessment), and since September 1, 1989, under §334.128 of this title (relating to Annual Facility Fees for Aboveground Storage Tanks (ASTs)) for all underground and aboveground storage tanks which they own or operate must be paid to the agency, except for those tanks which the owner or operator, upon reasonable inquiry, could not have known existed. All fees which come due up until the time that reimbursement funds are released to the claimant must be paid. (5) Any release on which a claim under this subchapter is based must be discovered and reported to the agency on or before December 22, 1998, and must subsequently be confirmed by the agency. (b) If an otherwise eligible owner or operator misses a deadline under §334.71(b) of this title (relating to Applicability and Deadlines), and that missed deadline is the fault of that person or his agent or contractor, then that person shall no longer be eligible for reimbursement for those or future corrective action expenses at that site. (c) Agency eligibility determinations must be done in accordance with the standards of Texas Water Code, §26.3571. (d) Compliance with Texas Water Code, Chapter 26, Subchapter I, for the purposes of determining eligibility under this subchapter and Texas Water Code, §26.3571, does not mean that an eligible owner or operator has not violated a statute or a rule or order of the commission. Eligibility of an owner or operator under this subchapter does not preclude the issuance of an enforcement order or the assessment of administrative penalties against an eligible owner or operator. (e) In no case will reimbursement be made under subsection (a)(1)(F) of this section for duplication of assessment and remediation activities involving the same contamination plume. There will be no reimbursement for adjacent landowner cleanup allowed under subsection (a)(1)(F) of this section for activities at a site which occur after the site has been designated for state lead cleanup under §334.84 of this title (relating to Corrective Action by the Agency). (f) Unless otherwise approved by the executive director and except as provided in §334.301(h)(2) and §334.313(d) of this title (relating to Applicability of this Subchapter and Review of Application), all corrective action activities, including activities proposed in corrective action plans, must be approved in writing by the executive director prior to implementation. Pre-approval of proposed corrective action activities and costs does not create an entitlement to reimbursement for any corrective action task, at the amount pre-approved or a different amount. For reimbursement of emergency, initial abatement measures and phase-separated product recovery as required by §334.77 of this title (relating to Initial Abatement Measures and Site Check), approval by the executive director is not required prior to implementation, unless the emergency action extends beyond 72 hours, then written approval will be required for all activities.
|Source Note: The provisions of this §334.310 adopted to be effective September 26, 1990, 15 TexReg 5209; amended to be effective March 4, 1992, 17 TexReg 1385; amended to be effective March 25, 1993, 18 TexReg 1687; amended to be effective June 7, 1993, 18 TexReg 3293; amended to be effective November 8, 1995, 20 TexReg 8800; amended to be effective October 22, 1997, 22 TexReg 10324; amended to be effective November 23, 2000, 25 TexReg 11442; amended to be effective April 2, 2002, 27 TexReg 2522; amended to be effective November 18, 2004, 29 TexReg 10532; amended to be effective November 9, 2006, 31 TexReg 9034