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3741Ratification Number: 311Act Number: 282Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: HouseIntroduced Date: 19990316Primary Sponsor: SharpeAll Sponsors: Sharpe, Wilkes and DavenportDrafted Document Number: l:\council\bills\psd\7291ac99.docDate Bill Passed both Bodies: 20000503Date of Last Amendment: 20000419Governor's Action: SDate of Governor's Action: 20000519Subject: Environmental Emergency Fund Act, Health and Environmental Control; Water and Sewer, ConservationHistory Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ ______________________________________ _______ ____________ ------ 20000606 Act No. A282 ------ 20000519 Signed by Governor ------ 20000516 Ratified R311 House 20000503 Concurred in Senate amendment, enrolled for ratification Senate 20000426 Read third time, returned to House with amendment ------ 20000420 Scrivener's error corrected Senate 20000420 Notice of general amendments, returned to second reading Calendar Senate 20000420 Reconsidered vote whereby read third time Senate 20000420 Read third time, returned to House with amendment Senate 20000419 Amended, read second time Senate 20000413 Recalled from Committee, 13 SMA placed on the Calendar Senate 20000314 Introduced, read first time, 13 SMA referred to Committee House 20000310 Read third time, sent to Senate House 20000309 Read second time, unanimous consent for third reading on Friday, 20000310 House 20000309 Debate adjourned House 20000308 Debate adjourned until Thursday, 20000309 House 20000301 Committee report: Favorable 20 HANR House 19990316 Introduced, read first time, 20 HANR referred to Committee Versions of This Bill Revised on March 1, 2000 - Word format Revised on April 13, 2000 - Word format Revised on April 19, 2000 - Word format Revised on April 20, 2000 - Word format
(A282, R311, H3741)
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 2 OF TITLE 48, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION FUND, BY ADDING ARTICLE 3 SO AS TO ENACT THE ENVIRONMENTAL EMERGENCY FUND ACT WHICH CREATES THE "ENVIRONMENTAL EMERGENCY FUND", DEFINES ENVIRONMENTAL EMERGENCIES, REQUIRES THAT ALL FINES AND PENALTIES COLLECTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL, NOT OTHERWISE DESIGNATED, TO BE CREDITED TO THE FUND, ESTABLISHES A TWO HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLAR CAP FOR THE FUND, AND PROVIDES FOR USE OF THESE FUNDS; TO DESIGNATE SECTIONS 48-2-10 THROUGH 48-2-90 AS ARTICLE 1, CHAPTER 2, TITLE 48 ENTITLED ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION FUND, TO RENAME CHAPTER 2 OF TITLE 48, AS ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION FUNDS, AND TO DIRECT THE CODE COMMISSIONER TO CHANGE ALL REFERENCES TO CONFORM TO THESE CHANGES, WHEN ECONOMICALLY AND PRACTICALLY FEASIBLE.
Whereas, the General Assembly finds that:
(1) Environmental emergencies occur which require immediate and comprehensive response from the State to deter pollution and protect the public's health.
(2) Existing response capabilities are limited and do not provide an instrument for exigencies that may require an immediate availability of funds for certain activities which do not fall into any existing program.
(3) The utilization of environmental penalties for such a fund represents a sound fiscal and conscientious use of limited funds for immediate threats to the environment and public health. Now, therefore,
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Environmental Emergency Fund Act created
SECTION 1. Chapter 2, Title 48 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 48-2-310. This article may be cited as the 'Environmental Emergency Fund Act'.
Section 48-2-320. As used in this article:
(1) 'Commissioner' means the Commissioner of the Department of Health and Environmental Control.
(2) 'Department' means the Department of Health and Environmental Control.
(3) 'Environmental Emergency' means a situation, to be determined by the commissioner, that constitutes an immediate threat to the environment or public health, or both, and providing immediate, but temporary relief to the situation may require the expenditure of funds to effect a solution, provide temporary relief, or retain the services of appropriate technical personnel or contractors.
(4) 'Fund' means the 'Environmental Emergency Fund' established pursuant to this article.
(5) 'Responsible party' means a person determined to be legally responsible for any environmental pollution or threat to public health which requires expenditures from the fund.
Section 48-2-330. (A) There is created within the Department of Health and Environmental Control a restricted account to be known as the Environmental Emergency Fund.
(B) The fund must be financed through the collection and deposit of fines and penalties levied by the department. However, a fine or penalty collected under any statute which provides explicitly for distribution of the fine or penalty, other than to the general fund including, but not limited to, those penalties distributed to the counties pursuant to Section 48-1-350, must not be deposited in the fund.
(C) Fines and penalties must be credited to the fund until the fund reaches two hundred fifty thousand dollars, at which time all subsequent fines and penalties must be deposited to the general fund or as otherwise prescribed by law. At no time shall the balance in the fund exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars, and no more than two hundred fifty thousand dollars may be deposited to the fund in any fiscal year.
(D) Interest accruing to the fund must be remitted to the general
fund of the State.
Section 48-2-340. (A) The department, through the commissioner or the commissioner's designee, shall certify that funding for a specific emergency was necessary to protect the environment or public health, or both. Annually, the department shall prepare an independent accounting of all revenue in the fund. The report must be submitted to the chairman of the Board of the Department of Health and Environmental Control and must be made available to the public upon request.
(B) Nothing in this section precludes the department from seeking appropriate enforcement action, including civil penalties and recovery of costs expended from the fund, against a party determined to be responsible for the environmental emergency. Costs recovered pursuant to an enforcement action must be deposited in the fund in accordance with the limitation prescribed in Section 48-2-330."
Section designated as article; chapter renamed
SECTION 2. Sections 48-2-10 through 48-2-90 are designated as
Article 1, Chapter 2, Title 48 of the 1976 Code and entitled "Environmental Protection Fund". Chapter 2, Title 48 of the 1976 Code is renamed "Environmental Protection Funds".
References to be changed
SECTION 3. The Code Commissioner shall change all references in Article 1, Chapter 2, Title 48 of the 1976 Code, as designated in Section 2 of this act, from chapter to article and shall change other cross references from Chapter 2, Title 48 to Article 1, Chapter 2, Title 48 when these changes are economically and practically feasible.
SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Ratified the 16th day of May, 2000.
Approved the 19th day of May, 2000.
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