Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 62.1. Waters of the State, Ports and Harbors
Chapter 3.1. State Water Control Law
9/20/2020

§ 62.1-44.34:12. Financial responsibility.

A. The Board shall adopt regulations that conform to the federal financial responsibility requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 6991b (d) and any regulations adopted thereunder. Owners and operators of underground storage tanks shall annually demonstrate and maintain evidence of financial responsibility for taking corrective action and for compensating third parties for bodily injury and property damage in accordance with regulations adopted by the Board. Financial responsibility established in accordance with regulations adopted by the Board may be demonstrated by any combination of the following mechanisms: insurance, guarantee, surety bond, letter of credit, irrevocable trust fund, qualification as a self-insurer, or the Fund. The Fund may be used as a mechanism to demonstrate the portion of the federal financial responsibility requirements that are in excess of the state financial responsibility requirements contained in subsection B.

B. State requirements for owners and operators of underground storage tanks for maintaining evidence of financial responsibility for taking corrective action and for compensating third parties for bodily injury and property damage shall be as follows:

1. Owners and operators with 600,000 gallons or less of petroleum pumped on an annual basis into all underground storage tanks owned or operated, $5,000 per occurrence for taking corrective action and $15,000 per occurrence for compensating third parties, with an annual aggregate of $20,000;

2. Owners and operators with between 600,001 to 1,200,000 gallons of petroleum pumped on an annual basis into all underground storage tanks owned or operated, $10,000 per occurrence for taking corrective action and $30,000 per occurrence for compensating third parties, with an annual aggregate of $40,000;

3. Owners and operators with between 1,200,001 to 1,800,000 gallons of petroleum pumped on an annual basis into all underground storage tanks owned or operated, $20,000 per occurrence for taking corrective action and $60,000 per occurrence for compensating third parties, with an annual aggregate of $80,000;

4. Owners and operators with between 1,800,001 to 2,400,000 gallons of petroleum pumped on an annual basis into all underground storage tanks owned or operated, $30,000 per occurrence for taking corrective action and $120,000 per occurrence for compensating third parties, with an annual aggregate of $150,000;

5. Owners and operators with in excess of 2,400,000 gallons of petroleum pumped on an annual basis into all underground storage tanks owned or operated, $50,000 per occurrence for taking corrective action and $150,000 per occurrence for compensating third parties, with an annual aggregate of $200,000; and

6. Other owners and operators, $50,000 per occurrence for taking corrective action and $150,000 per occurrence for compensating third parties, with an annual aggregate of $200,000.

C. Any claim arising out of conduct for which evidence of financial responsibility must be provided under this section may be asserted directly against the person guaranteeing or providing evidence of financial responsibility. In such a case, the person against whom the claim is made shall be entitled to invoke all rights and defenses which would have been available to the owner or operator had such action been brought directly against the owner or operator.

This section shall not limit any other state or federal statutory, contractual, or common law liability of the guarantor for bad faith in negotiating or in failing to negotiate the settlement of any claim. This section does not diminish the liability of any person under § 107 or § 111 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, or other applicable law.

The Board shall adopt regulations specifying compliance dates for the demonstration of financial responsibility required by this section, in accordance with the compliance dates established in federal regulations by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

D. Owners and operators of underground storage tanks who are unable to demonstrate financial responsibility in the minimum amounts specified in subsection B, and operators of facilities who are unable to demonstrate financial responsibility in amounts established pursuant to subsection D of § 62.1-44.34:16, may establish an insurance pool in order to demonstrate such financial responsibility. Any contract establishing such an insurance pool shall provide:

1. For election by pool members of a governing authority for the pool, which may be a board of directors, a majority of whom shall be elected or appointed officials of pool members.

2. A financial plan setting forth in general terms:

a. The insurance coverages to be offered by the insurance pool, applicable deductible levels, and the maximum level of claims which the pool will self-insure;

b. The amount of cash reserves to be set aside for the payment of claims;

c. The amount of insurance to be purchased by the pool to provide coverage over and above the claims which are not to be satisfied directly from the pool's resources; and

d. The amount, if any, of aggregate excess insurance coverage to be purchased and maintained in the event that the insurance pool's resources are exhausted in a given fiscal period.

3. A plan of management which provides for all of the following:

a. The means of establishing the governing authority of the pool;

b. The responsibility of the governing authority for fixing contributions to the pool, maintaining reserves, levying and collecting assessments for deficiencies, disposing of surpluses, and administration of the pool in the event of termination or insolvency;

c. The basis upon which new members may be admitted to, and existing members may leave, the pool;

d. The identification of funds and reserves by exposure areas; and

e. Such other provisions as are necessary or desirable for the operation of the pool.

E. The formation and operation of an insurance pool under this section shall be subject to approval by the State Corporation Commission which may, after notice and hearing, establish reasonable requirements and regulations for the approval and monitoring of such pools, including prior approval of pool administrators and provisions for periodic examinations of financial condition.

The State Corporation Commission may disapprove an application for the formation of an insurance pool, and may suspend or withdraw such approval whenever it finds that such applicant or pool:

1. Has refused to submit its books, papers, accounts, or affairs to the reasonable inspection of the Commission or its representative;

2. Has refused, or its officers or agents have refused, to furnish satisfactory evidence of its financial and business standing or solvency;

3. Is insolvent, or is in such condition that its further transaction of business in this Commonwealth is hazardous to its members and creditors in this Commonwealth, and to the public;

4. Has refused or neglected to pay a valid final judgment against it within sixty days after its rendition;

5. Has violated any law of this Commonwealth or has violated or exceeded the powers granted by its members;

6. Has failed to pay any fees, taxes or charges imposed in this Commonwealth within sixty days after they are due and payable, or within sixty days after final disposition of any legal contest with respect to liability therefor; or

7. Has been found insolvent by a court of any other state, or by the Insurance Commissioner or other proper officer or agency of any other state, and has been prohibited from doing business in such state.

1987, c. 677; 1989, c. 627; 1990, c. 581; 1992, c. 819; 1993, c. 375; 1996, c. 737; 1998, c. 87.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.