(A) As used in this section, "political subdivision" has the same meaning as in section 2744.01 of the Revised Code, but includes a community improvement corporation as that term is defined in section 1724.01 of the Revised Code.
(1) A political subdivision may do any of the following for an underground storage tank located within its territorial boundaries if the political subdivision is the tank owner but not the operator:
(a) Initiate, continue, or properly complete the closure in place or removal of an underground storage tank system;
(b) Initiate, continue, or properly complete an assessment of the site of an underground storage tank or the site of an underground storage tank system;
(c) Initiate, continue, or properly complete a corrective action.
(2) A political subdivision may take any of the actions described in divisions (B)(1)(a) to (c) of this section for the site of a previously existing release to which all of the following apply:
(a) The political subdivision is not the responsible person.
(b) The release has not received a no-further-action determination from the state fire marshal.
(c) The site of the release is located within the political subdivision's territorial boundaries.
(d) The responsible person is not identifiable or the state fire marshal determines that an identified responsible person is unable to pay the costs of the action to be taken by the political subdivision.
(C) The state fire marshal or the state fire marshal's designee shall administer an underground storage tank revolving loan program under which the state fire marshal issues loans to assist with the costs of actions taken under divisions (B)(1) and (2) of this section. The state fire marshal shall issue a loan under the program to a political subdivision that meets the application requirements of division (D) of this section and agrees to written terms and conditions of the loan with the state fire marshal.
(D) A political subdivision shall apply to the state fire marshal for a loan under this section on a form prescribed by the state fire marshal. In the application, the political subdivision shall do all of the following:
(1) Describe the action for which it is requesting a loan;
(2) State the requested loan amount;
(3) Explain how the political subdivision plans to spend, of its own funds, in undertaking the action for which the loan is requested, an amount equal to at least five per cent of the requested loan amount;
(4) Provide any other information requested by the state fire marshal.
(E) The state fire marshal shall consult with the director of development services before issuing any loan under this section.
(F) A loan issued under this section shall not carry interest. No loan issued under this section shall have a term of more than ten years. The political subdivision shall repay a loan issued under this section to the state fire marshal.
(G) If, at any time after the expenditure of loan funds by a political subdivision under division (B)(2) of this section, the state fire marshal or any law enforcement agency identifies the responsible person or determines, for any reason, that the previously identified responsible person was or is able to pay the costs of the action for which the loan was issued, the political subdivision may bring any appropriate proceedings against the responsible person to recover the costs incurred by the political subdivision. The proceedings may be brought in either the court of common pleas having jurisdiction where the underground storage tank is located or the court of common pleas of Franklin county.
(1) The state fire marshal shall adopt and may amend and rescind rules as necessary for the administration and operation of the underground storage tank revolving loan program. The rules may do any of the following:
(a) Further define the entities considered "political subdivisions" eligible to receive loans;
(b) Establish qualifying criteria for loan recipients;
(c) Establish criteria for awarding loans, loan amounts, loan payment terms, and permissible expenditures of loan funds, including methods that the state fire marshal may use to verify the proper use of loan funds or to obtain reimbursement for or the return of improperly used loan funds.
(2) The state fire marshal may adopt and may amend and rescind rules for the issuance of emergency underground storage tank revolving loans to qualifying entities during a natural disaster or another similar event as defined in the rules.
Added by 130th General Assembly File No. 25, HB 59, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2013.