Chapter 8.32
LIABILITY FOR COSTS OF RESPONSE TO HAZARDOUS WASTE OR SUBSTANCE SPILLS, RELEASES AND OTHER INCIDENTS

Sections:

8.32.010    Purpose and authority.

8.32.020    Definitions.

8.32.030    Liability for unauthorized disposal or release.

8.32.040    Liability for failure to comply with orders.

8.32.050    Computation of costs.

8.32.060    Recovery of costs where real property is the subject of enforcement.

8.32.070    Recovery of costs where real property is not the subject of enforcement.

8.32.080    Levy, collection and enforcement of special assessment upon real property.

8.32.010 Purpose and authority.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish liability for reimbursement of the city’s expenses incurred in connection with corrective action necessitated by violations of the hazardous waste and substance control laws. The authority for this chapter includes the city charter, the general police power; the provisions of Article 6 of Chapter 10 of Part 2 of the California Government Code (commencing with Section 38771); Sections 3479 and 3494 of the California Civil Code; Section 510 of the California Health and Safety Code, (hereinafter “Health and Safety Code”), and the provisions of Chapter 6.5 (commencing with Section 25100) of Division 20 of the Health and Safety Code. (Ord. No. § 1283, § 1, 1995)

8.32.020 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

A. “City” means the City of San Luis Obispo.

B. “Corrective action” includes, without limitation, any “remedial action” within the meaning of Section 25322 of the Health and Safety Code and any “removal” within the meaning of Section 25323 of the Health and Safety Code.

C. “Disposal” has the meaning assigned to that term by Section 25113 of the Health and Safety Code.

D. “Hazardous waste or substance” means a waste or substance that consists of a material listed in either the List of Chemical Names or the List of Common Names appearing in Section 66680 of Title 22 of the California Administrative Code, a waste or substance as defined in either Section 25280, Section 25316 or Section 25400 of the Health and Safety Code.

E. “Hazardous waste and substance control laws” means Chapter 6.5 (commencing with Section 25100) or Chapter 6.7 (commencing with Section 25280) of Division 20 of the Health and Safety Code or any permit, rule, regulation, standard or requirement issued or promulgated pursuant to such chapters.

F. “Release” has the meaning assigned to that term by Section 25320 and Section 25321 of the Health and Safety Code.

G. “Unauthorized disposal or release” means any disposal of a hazardous waste or substance which is in violation of the provisions of Chapter 6.5 (commencing with Section 25100) of Division 20 of the Health and Safety Code, any “unauthorized release” within the meaning of Section 25280 of the Health and Safety Code, or any release of a hazardous waste or substance which is not “a release authorized or permitted within the meaning of Section 25326 of the Health and Safety Code.

H. “Person” has the meaning assigned to that term by Section 25118 of the Health and Safety Code. (Ord. No. § 1283, § 1, 1995)

8.32.030 Liability for unauthorized disposal or release.

If the city takes any corrective action which, in the judgement of either the city administrative officer or his/her appointed officer, is reasonably necessary to remedy or prevent an imminent substantial danger to the public health, domestic livestock, wildlife or the environment arising out of any unauthorized disposal or release of hazardous waste or substance, the following described persons shall be jointly and severally liable to the city for the cost incurred by it in taking any such corrective action:

1. The person or persons whose negligent or willful act or omission proximately caused such disposal or release;

2. The person or persons who owned or had custody or control of the hazardous waste or substance at the time of such disposal or release, without regard to fault or proximate cause; and

3. The person or persons who owned or had custody or control of the container which held such hazardous waste or substance at the time of or immediately prior to such disposal or release, without regard to fault or proximate cause. (Ord. No. § 1283, § 1, 1995)

8.32.040 Liability for failure to comply with orders.

If the city administrative officer or his/her appointed officer issues a lawful order directing any person who has violated or is in violation of any provisions of the hazardous waste or substance control laws to take corrective action respecting such violation, and if such person does not take corrective action on or before the date and time specified in the order, the city may take or contract for the taking of such corrective action. If such corrective action is taken by or contracted for by the city, the person to whom the order was directed shall be liable to the city for the cost incurred by it in taking or contracting for such corrective action. If such corrective action is taken by the person to whom the order is directed or by such person’s agent, the person to whom the order is directed shall be liable to the city for the cost of supervising such corrective action or otherwise verifying compliance to the order. (Ord. No. § 1283, § 1, 1995)

8.32.050 Computation of costs.

The costs referred to in Section 8.32.030 and Section 8.32.040 shall include, in addition to the city’s direct out-of-pocket expenses, the cost of all city personnel engaged in such work computed in accordance with the city’s standard accounting procedures for computing the hourly cost of services by such personnel and any other costs or fees set by resolution. (Ord. No. § 1283, § 1, 1995)

8.32.060 Recovery of costs where real property is the subject of enforcement.

All costs as computed by Section 8.32.050 shall constitute a lien against the real property and special assessment against the real property owned by a person liable under this chapter if said property is the subject of the enforcement. Moreover, all such costs shall also be a personal obligation against the property owner, recoverable in a civil action as provided by Section 8.32.070. (Ord. No. § 1283, § 1, 1995)

8.32.070 Recovery of costs where real property is not the subject of enforcement.

Where real property is not the subject of the enforcement, the amount of such costs for which liability is imposed pursuant to this chapter shall be recoverable in a civil action by the city and shall be in addition to any other fees or penalties authorized by law, provided that any sums actually received by the city in connection with such work pursuant to Chapter 6.8 (commencing with Section 25300) of Division 20 of the Health and Safety Code shall be credited against any amount recoverable in such civil action

(Ord. No. § 1283, § 1, 1995)

8.32.080 Levy, collection and enforcement of special assessment upon real property.

The following procedure shall apply concerning the levy, collection, and enforcement of a special assessment for the recovery of costs as provided by Section 8.32.060.

A. On or before June 1st of each year, the director of finance or his/her appointed officer shall give notice to each real property owner to be levied by causing personal service to be made upon the owner, agent, or person in control of the subject real property, or by depositing such notice in the United States Mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the owner of the subject real property, at the address shown by the last equalized assessment roll. The notice shall bear the date of personal service or mailing and shall set forth the rights and procedures governing a request of hearing as provided for herein.

B. Within ten days of the date of the notice, the owner or any other person interested in the subject real property may request a hearing on the correct amount of the proposed assessment. Such request shall be in writing and shall state the objections, name and address of the person filing the request. The request shall be filed with the department of finance.

C. If a hearing is requested, notice of the hearing shall be mailed, by registered mail, at least ten days before the hearing, to the party requesting the hearing. The hearing shall be conducted by the director of finance who shall not be limited by the technical rules of evidence and shall hear all facts and testimony he/she deems pertinent. The decision of the director of finance is a final order.

D. Any interested party may appeal the decision of the director of finance by filing a written notice of appeal with the director within five days after his/her decision. Such appeal shall be heard by the city council which may affirm, modify, or reverse the order or take other action it deems appropriate. The city clerk shall give written notice of the time and place of the hearing to appellant, by registered mail, at least ten days before the hearing. In conducting the hearing, the city council shall not be limited by the technical rules of evidence.

E. On or before July of each year, the city administrative officer or his/her appointed officer shall prepare a list of parcels of real property which are subject to such costs. On or before the tenth day of July each year, the city administrative officer or his/her appointed officer shall transmit, upon resolution and approval by city council, such list to the county auditor and request the auditor to enter the amounts of the respective assessments against the respective parcels of land as they appear on the current assessment roll.

F. The assessment shall be included on the bills for taxes levied against respective lots and parcels of real property, and such assessment shall be listed separately on the tax bill. Thereafter, the amounts of such assessment shall be collected at the same time and in the same manner as county taxes are collected.

G. San Luis Obispo County may deduct its reasonable costs incurred for its services in connection with such collection before remittal of the balance to the city treasury.

H. All laws applicable to the levy, collection, and enforcement of county taxes are applicable to such special assessment made pursuant to this chapter. (Ord. No. § 1283, § 1, 1995)