PETROLEUM CLEAN WATER TRUST FUND ACT
41-4902. Legislative findings and intent. (1) The legislature finds that significant quantities of petroleum and petroleum products are being stored in tanks in Idaho to meet the needs of its citizens, foster economic growth and development and the overall quality of life in the state. While most storage tanks are being operated and managed responsibly, there are occasions when releases occur, threatening the public health and safety, and the environment. It is to the benefit of Idaho’s citizens to correct any such threats to the public health and safety or environment as quickly and completely as possible. Significant financial resources must be available to investigate and remedy any release. However, reasonably affordable petroleum liability insurance coverage is unavailable to pay for such corrective and cleanup measures. Thus, creation of a fund for corrective actions for petroleum releases would be beneficial to the state and would provide a method for Idaho petroleum storage tank owners or operators to satisfy the financial responsibility requirements imposed on them by the federal environmental protection agency. Such a fund would be created by the imposition of a "transfer fee" of one cent ($.01) per gallon on the delivery or storage of petroleum products within the state of Idaho. Such a fund would provide moneys for the immediate protection of the public health and safety and the environment, while helping avoid catastrophic losses to the owners and operators which could result in negative impacts on Idaho’s economy.
(2) Therefore, it is hereby declared that the intent of the legislature in the passage of this chapter is to create and regulate in the public interest the formation and operation of a liability insurance trust fund that will make contracts of liability insurance available to owners and operators of petroleum storage tanks as defined herein through fair and equitable insurance contracts issued by a state-licensed nonprofit organization meeting reasonable standards as to its administration, reserves, financial soundness and the prompt and fair payment of claims arising out of the legal liability of the public and private entities protected and insured by these contracts, which will also provide for swift corrective action for releases of petroleum or petroleum products from leaking storage tanks. While the release of petroleum from any storage tank in the state may be a threat to public health and safety and the environment, this fund shall only be available for costs incurred as to those tanks which are covered by a contract of insurance between the owner or operator and the trust fund.
[41-4902, added 1990, ch. 119, sec. 1, p. 267; am. 1991, ch. 59, sec. 1, p. 115.]