CHAPTER V. PUBLIC OFFENSESCHAPTER V. PUBLIC OFFENSES\Article 7. Emergency Environmental Response

For the purposes of this article, the following terms shall have the indicated meanings:

(a)   Emergency action means all of the concerted activities conducted in order to prevent or mitigate injury to human health or the environment from a release or threatened release of any material into or upon the environment.

(b)   Governmental entities means the City of Abilene, Dickinson County, the Dickinson County Emergency Preparedness Department, and any entity responding under a mutual aid agreement with the city.

(c)   Person means any individual corporation, association, partnership, firm, trustee, or legal representative.

(d)   Recoverable expenses means all expenses that are reasonable, necessary and allocable to the emergency action. Recoverable expenses shall not include normal expenditures that are incurred in the course of providing traditionally local services and responsibilities, such as routine firefighting. Expenses allowable for recovery may include, but are not limited to:

(1)   Disposable materials and supplies acquired, consumed and expended specifically for the purpose of the emergency action

(2)   Compensation of employees for the time and efforts devoted specifically to the emergency action that is not otherwise provided for in the governmental entity’s operating budget

(3)   Rental or leasing of equipment used specifically for the emergency action (e.g., protective equipment or clothing, scientific and technical equipment)

(4)   Replacement costs for equipment owned by the governmental entity that is contaminated beyond reuse or repair, if the governmental entity can demonstrate that the equipment was a total loss and that the loss occurred during the emergency action (e.g., self-contained breathing apparatus irretrievably contaminated during the response)

(5)   Decontamination of equipment contaminated during the response

(6)   Special technical services specifically required for the response (e.g., costs associated with the time and efforts of technical experts or specialists not otherwise provided for by the governmental entity) action

(7)   Other special services specifically required for the emergency

(8)   Laboratory costs for purposes of analyzing samples taken during the emergency action

(9)   Any costs of cleanup, storage, or disposal

(10) Costs associated with the services, supplies and equipment procured for a specific evacuation

(11) Medical expenses incurred as a result of response activities

(12) Legal expenses incurred as a result of the emergency action, including efforts to recover expenses pursuant to this article

(e)   Release means any spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, discharging, injecting, escaping, leaching, dumping or disposing into or upon the environment.

This article provides a means for the governmental entities to recover, through civil suit, the recoverable expenses they incur in taking an emergency action.

Any and all persons responsible for a release or threatened release which results in an emergency action shall be liable to the governmental entities for the recoverable expenses resulting from the emergency action.

The staffs of the governmental entities involved in the emergency action shall keep a detailed record of its recoverable expenses resulting from the emergency action. Promptly after completion of the emergency action, the staffs shall certify those expenses to the appropriate legal counsel and shall request that legal counsel bring a civil action for recovery of the recoverable expenses against any and all persons responsible for the emergency action. Not less than thirty (30) days before filing the civil suit, legal counsel shall submit a written, itemized claim for the total certified expenses incurred by the governmental entities for the emergency action to the responsible party and a written notice that, unless the amounts are paid in full to the respective governmental entities within thirty (30) days after the date of the mailing of the claim and notice, legal counsel will file a civil action for the stated amount. Moneys recovered under this article shall be credited to the appropriate funds of the governmental entity from which moneys were expended in performing the emergency action.