§ 23-19.9-10. Fees, compensation and liability.
(a) Each party state may establish reasonable fees which shall be imposed upon generators, shippers, or carriers to recover the cost of inspections and other administrative actions taken under this compact.
(b) A host state may establish reasonable fees and surcharges which shall be imposed upon users of a regional facility. No distinction in fees or surcharges shall be made among persons of the several party states to this compact.
(1) A host state shall approve and periodically review operational fee schedules to be imposed on all users of the regional facility situated within its borders. One fee schedule shall be established by the operator of the regional facility, under applicable state and federal regulations, and shall be reasonable and sufficient to cover all costs related to the development, operation, closure and post-closure observation and maintenance of the regional facility. The host state shall also establish a schedule for contributions to an institutional control fund. The party states and the Commission shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to review and comment on all proposed fee schedules.
(2) A host state may establish an additional administrative surcharge per unit of waste received at any regional facility situated within its borders. The surcharge shall be sufficient to cover all reasonable costs associated with administrative oversight and regulation of the facility. A host state may also impose reasonable surcharges for purposes of host community compensation and development incentives. The Commission shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to review and comment on any proposed host state surcharge.
(c) The Commission is authorized to expend monies from the operating account established in § 23-19.9-5 for the expenses of any staff and consultants retained pursuant to this compact and for official Commission business. Financial support for the operating account shall be provided as follows:
(1) In accordance with the provisions of § 23-19.9-8(b), each eligible state, upon becoming a party state, shall pay an entry fee to the Commission, which shall be used for administrative costs of the Commission.
(2) The Commission shall impose a "Commission surcharge" per unit of waste received at any regional facility. The size of the surcharge shall be calculated by the Commission in its annual budget preparation process after a public hearing pursuant to subsection (h) of § 23-19.9-5. This surcharge shall be collected for the Commission by the host state.
(3) Until such time as at least one regional facility is in operation and accepting waste for management, or to the extent that revenues under subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection are unavailable or insufficient to cover the approved annual budget of the Commission, each party shall pay an apportioned amount of the difference between the funds available and the total budget in accordance with the following formula:
(i) Twenty percent (20%) in equal shares;
(ii) Thirty percent (30%) in the proportion that the population of the party state bears to the total population of all party states, according to the most recent U.S. census;
(iii) Fifty percent (50%) in the proportion that the low-level waste originating in each party state bears to the total waste generated in the region for the most recent calendar year in which reliable data are available, as determined by the Commission.
(d) It shall be the responsibility of each regional facility's operator or custodial agency to take all necessary steps to clean up, stabilize and restore the facility and surrounding areas whenever there has been damage to the facility or surrounding areas which may cause or contribute to a hazard to the public health or the environment. Any person who carries on an abnormally dangerous activity involving the management of low-level waste shall be subject to strict liability for harm to the person, land or property of another resulting from the activity. This strict liability shall be limited to the kind of harm, the possibility of which makes the activity abnormally dangerous.
(e) During a regional facility's operational, closure and post-closure periods, the host state shall ensure the availability of funds and procedures for the facility operator to satisfy its responsibilities and liabilities under subsection (d), and for the compensation of injured facility employees. The state may satisfy this obligation by requiring bonds, insurance or compensation funds of the facility operator, or by providing bonds, insurance or compensation funds itself, or by any other means or combination of means. The funds available to satisfy third party liability claims shall be equal to the maximum amount available from the nuclear insurance pools or other commercial insurers.
(f) During a regional facility's institutional control period, the custodial agency shall administer the institutional control funds collected pursuant to subdivision (1) of subsection (b), for surveillance and all required maintenance of the regional facility, including any clean-up, stabilization or restoration required by subsection (d). The custodial agency shall ensure that funds equal to the maximum amount available from the nuclear insurance pools or other commercial insurers are available to satisfy third party liability claims.
(g) If all other sources of funds, including federal assistance, have been exhausted, all party states shall be responsible for the reasonable costs of clean-up, stabilization and restoration of a regional facility in the proportion that the low-level waste disposed of at the facility which originated in each party state bears to the total low-level waste disposed of at the facility. If the clean-up, stabilization or restoration of the facility has become necessary as the result of gross negligence by the host state in its regulatory oversight of the regional facility, each party state shall be entitled to indemnification by the host state of the funds contributed pursuant to this section.
(h) The Commission shall provide a means of compensation for third party injuries to persons, land or property, which shall be available only if no other funds, insurance, tort compensation or other means of satisfying a damage judgment or settlement resulting from the management of low-level waste are available from the host state or other entities.
(1) This responsibility shall be met by a special fund, insurance, or other means. The same fund for compensation shall provide liability coverage for all subsequent and concurrent regional facilities. The Commission is authorized to take any measures that may be necessary to implement this section, including the use of a portion of the fees collected pursuant to subdivision (2) of subsection (c) to establish an independent insurance entity. Subject to host state approval, an independent insurance entity shall be exempt from state insurance regulations.
(2) The existence of a special fund or other means of compensation shall not imply any liability by the Commission, by the party states, or by any of their officials and staff. Claims or suits for compensation shall be directed against the fund, the insurance entity or other responsible entity.
(3) The liability of the special fund, insurance entity, or other entity shall be limited to the amount contained therein at the time a final judgment or settlement awarding damages is executed.
(P.L. 1986, ch. 300, § 1.)