§ 23-19.14-8. Voluntary investigations and remedial actions.
(a) A person who is not otherwise defined as a responsible party under § 23-19.14-6 and/or § 23-19.14-6.1 will not become a responsible party if that person voluntarily undertakes and completes response actions under a remedial action plan approved by the department of environmental management. Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve a person from liability for failure to complete a remedial response action or failure to exercise due care in performing remedial response actions.
(b) A person who is not otherwise defined as a responsible party under § 23-19.14-6 and/or § 23-19.14-6.1 will not become associated with a release or threat of release as a result of their performing investigations of the presence, nature, and extent of hazardous materials and/or petroleum at any site; provided, however, that the investigations do not aggravate or contribute to a release at the site, and that the persons provide the results of those investigations to the department of environmental management.
(c) A person who is defined as a responsible party under § 23-19.14-6 and/or § 23-19.14-6.1 may defer their clean-up obligations for up to three (3) years if they conduct, or allow another party to conduct, an investigation of the site to determine the presence, nature, and extent of hazardous materials and/or petroleum; provided, however, that:
(1) The site has not been subject to previous notification to the department for a release of hazardous materials or petroleum which has not been addressed in accordance with the requirements of the department;
(2) Any contamination found that presents an imminent threat to human health, public safety or the environment, as determined by the department, shall be remediated in a timely and effective manner; and
(3) Any contamination, which requires removal or remediation pursuant to the applicable requirements of the department, found that is migrating off-site, or presents a threat to migrate off-site within one year as determined by the department, shall be mitigated in a timely manner that effectively prevents off-site migration of contaminants.
A responsible party may only defer clean-up obligations when at the discretion of the director, the delay will not aggravate or contribute to a release at the site and the results of those investigations are submitted to the department of environmental management in a timely manner.
(d) After meeting all notification and investigation requirements set by the department in regulation, a person who is defined as a responsible party under §§ 23-19.14-6 and/or 23-19.14-6.1 will have resolved their liability for contamination identified through such investigation after either:
(1) Receiving a remedial decision letter and remaining actively engaged in implementing the remedial action approved therein; provided, that the remedial action is being diligently pursued to completion in accordance with approved work schedule; or
(2) Receiving a letter of compliance confirming successful completion of a remedial action approved by the department; or
(3) Entering into an enforceable settlement agreement under § 23-19.14-10.
(P.L. 1995, ch. 187, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 41, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 60, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 250, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 275, § 1.)