64.44.040  <<  64.44.050 >>   64.44.060

RCW 64.44.050

Decontamination, demolition, or disposal by owner—Requirements and procedure—Costs—Decontamination timeline.

(1) An owner of contaminated property who desires to have the property decontaminated, demolished, or disposed of shall use the services of an authorized contractor unless otherwise authorized by the local health officer. The contractor and property owner shall prepare and submit a written work plan for decontamination, demolition, or disposal to the local health officer. The local health officer may charge a reasonable fee for review of the work plan. If the work plan is approved and the decontamination, demolition, or disposal is completed and the property is retested according to the plan and properly documented, then the health officer shall allow reuse of the property. A release for reuse document shall be recorded in the real property records indicating the property has been decontaminated, demolished, or disposed of in accordance with rules of the state department of health. The property owner is responsible for: (a) The costs of any property testing which may be required to demonstrate the presence or absence of hazardous chemicals; and (b) the costs of the property's decontamination, demolition, and disposal expenses, as well as costs incurred by the local health officer resulting from the enforcement of this chapter.
(2)(a) In a case where the contaminated property is a motor vehicle as defined in RCW 46.04.320, a vehicle as defined in RCW 46.04.670, or a vessel as defined in RCW 88.02.310, and the local health officer has issued an order declaring the property unfit and prohibiting its use, the city or county in which the property is located shall take action to prohibit use, occupancy, or removal, and shall require demolition, disposal, or decontamination of the property. The city, county, or local law enforcement agency may impound the vehicle or vessel to enforce this chapter.
(b) The property owner shall have the property demolished, disposed of, or decontaminated by an authorized contractor, or under a written work plan approved by the local health officer, within thirty days of receiving the order declaring the property unfit and prohibited from use. After all procedures granting the right of notice and the opportunity to appeal in RCW 64.44.030 have been exhausted, if the property owner has not demolished, disposed of, or decontaminated the property using an authorized contractor, or under a written work plan approved by the local health officer within thirty days, then the local health officer or the local law enforcement agency may demolish, dispose of, or decontaminate the property. The property owner is responsible for the costs of the property's demolition, disposal, or decontamination, as well as all costs incurred by the local health officer or the local law enforcement agency resulting from the enforcement of this chapter, except as otherwise provided under this subsection.
(c) The legal owner of a motor vehicle as defined in RCW 46.04.320, a vehicle as defined in RCW 46.04.670, or a vessel as defined in RCW 88.02.310 whose sole basis of ownership is a bona fide security interest is responsible for costs under this subsection if the legal owner had knowledge of or consented to any act or omission that caused contamination of the vehicle or vessel.
(d) If the vehicle or vessel has been stolen and the property owner neither had knowledge of nor consented to any act or omission that contributed to the theft and subsequent contamination of the vehicle or vessel, the owner is not responsible for costs under this subsection. However, if the registered owner is insured, the registered owner shall, within fifteen calendar days of receiving an order declaring the property unfit and prohibiting its use, submit a claim to his or her insurer for reimbursement of costs of the property's demolition, disposal, or decontamination, as well as all costs incurred by the local health officer or the local law enforcement agency resulting from the enforcement of this chapter, and shall provide proof of claim to the local health officer or the local law enforcement agency.
(e) If the property owner has not acted to demolish, dispose of, or decontaminate as set forth in this subsection regardless of responsibility for costs, and the local health officer or local law enforcement agency has taken responsibility for demolition, disposal, or decontamination, including all associated costs, then all rights, title, and interest in the property shall be deemed forfeited to the local health jurisdiction or the local law enforcement agency.
(f) This subsection may not be construed to limit the authority of a city, county, local law enforcement agency, or local health officer to take action under this chapter to require the owner of the real property upon which the contaminated vehicle or vessel is located to comply with the requirements of this chapter, including provisions for the right of notice and opportunity to appeal as provided in RCW 64.44.030.
(3) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, the local health officer has thirty days from the issuance of an order declaring a property unfit and prohibiting its use to establish a reasonable timeline for decontamination. The department of health shall establish the factors to be considered by the local health officer in establishing the appropriate amount of time.
The local health officer shall notify the property owner of the proposed time frame by United States mail to the last known address. Notice shall be postmarked no later than the thirtieth day from the issuance of the order. The property owner may request a modification of the time frame by submitting a letter identifying the circumstances which justify such an extension to the local health officer within thirty-five days of the date of the postmark on the notification regardless of when received.
NOTES:
IntentEffective date2011 c 171: See notes following RCW 4.24.210.
IntentPart headings not law2006 c 339: See notes following RCW 74.34.020.
FindingIntent1999 c 292: See note following RCW 64.44.010.
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