3734.20 Investigations.

(A) If the director of environmental protection has reason to believe that hazardous waste was treated, stored, or disposed of at any location within the state, the director may conduct such investigations and make such inquiries, including obtaining samples and examining and copying records, as are reasonable or necessary to determine if conditions at a hazardous waste facility, solid waste facility, or other location where the director has reason to believe hazardous waste was treated, stored, or disposed of constitute a substantial threat to public health or safety or are causing or contributing to or threatening to cause or contribute to air or water pollution or soil contamination. The director or the director's authorized representative may apply for, and any judge of a court of common pleas shall issue, an appropriate search warrant necessary to achieve the purposes of this section within the court's territorial jurisdiction. The director may expend moneys from the hazardous waste facility management fund created in section 3734.18 of the Revised Code, the hazardous waste clean-up fund created in section 3734.28 of the Revised Code, or the environmental protection remediation fund created in section 3734.281 of the Revised Code for conducting investigations under this section.

(B) If the director determines that conditions at a hazardous waste facility, solid waste facility, or other location where hazardous waste was treated, stored, or disposed of constitute a substantial threat to public health or safety or are causing or contributing to or threatening to cause or contribute to air or water pollution or soil contamination, the director shall initiate appropriate action under this chapter or Chapter 3704. or 6111. of the Revised Code or seek any other appropriate legal or equitable remedies to abate the pollution or contamination or to protect public health or safety.

If an order of the director to abate or prevent air or water pollution or soil contamination or to remedy a threat to public health or safety caused by conditions at such a facility issued pursuant to this chapter or Chapter 3704. or 6111. of the Revised Code is not wholly complied with within the time prescribed in the order, the director may, through officers or employees of the environmental protection agency or through contractors employed for that purpose in accordance with the bidding procedure established in division (C) of section 3734.23 of the Revised Code, enter upon the facility and perform those measures necessary to abate or prevent air or water pollution or soil contamination from the facility or to protect public health or safety, including, but not limited to, measures prescribed in division (B) of section 3734.23 of the Revised Code. The director shall keep an itemized record of the cost of the investigation and measures performed, including costs for labor, materials, and any contract services required. Upon completion of the investigation or measures, the director shall record the cost of performing those measures at the office of the county recorder of the county in which the facility is located. The cost so recorded constitutes a lien against the property on which the facility is located until discharged. Upon written request of the director, the attorney general shall institute a civil action to recover the cost. Any moneys so received shall be credited to the hazardous waste facility management fund, the hazardous waste clean-up fund, or the environmental protection remediation fund, as applicable.

When entering upon a facility under this division, the director shall perform or cause to be performed only those measures necessary to abate or prevent air or water pollution or soil contamination caused by conditions at the facility or to abate threats to public health or safety caused by conditions at the facility. For this purpose the director may expend moneys from the hazardous waste facility management fund, the hazardous waste clean-up fund, or the environmental protection remediation fund and may expend moneys from loans from the Ohio water development authority to the environmental protection agency that pledge moneys from the hazardous waste facility management fund, the hazardous waste clean-up fund, or the environmental protection remediation fund for the repayment of and for the interest on such loans.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Effective Date: 05-08-1996; 09-29-2005