Attorney General: Honorable Arthur J. Rocque, Jr., Department of Environmental Protection, 2001-005 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut

Attorney General's Opinion

Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal

March 15, 2001

Honorable Arthur J. Rocque, Jr.
Department of Environmental Protection
79 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106

Dear Commissioner Rocque:

Your Department has asked our opinion whether Section 6 of Public Act 00-201 requires that an owner of a residential underground heating oil storage tank system contract with a registered contractor for all work necessary for the removal or replacement of that tank system, and remediation as may be necessary, in order for the Underground Storage Tank Petroleum Clean-Up Account Review Board ("Review Board") to reimburse eligible costs.

Section 3(a) of Public Act 00-201 authorizes the Review Board to "order payment. . . to registered contractors for reasonable costs associated with the remediation of a residential underground heating oil storage tank system" in accordance with certain guidelines. Section 5 of the Act limits individuals authorized to remove or replace such underground systems that will involve remediation of contaminated soil or groundwater, the costs of which will be paid out of the residential underground heating oil storage tank system clean-up subaccount, to registered contractors.

Section 6(c)(1) of Public Act 00-201 provides that a registered contractor is authorized to request reimbursement for "all reasonable costs for work performed pursuant to a contract with the owner for the remediation of a residential underground heating oil storage tank system." Part of the reimbursement application process requires the owner to "provide to the review board a statement confirming the registered contractor has been engaged by such owner to remove or to replace such residential underground heating oil storage tank system and perform the remediation" that may be necessary.

This statutory language requires, as a prerequisite for reimbursement by the Review Board, that a registered contractor perform all removal, replacement, and remediation work and that the application for reimbursement for costs of this work contain a statement confirming that all the work was done by a registered contractor. According to Public Act 00-201, therefore, the Board would not be authorized to make reimbursement payments if a non-registered contractor does removal and replacement work, even if a registered contractor thereafter conducts the remediation.

We trust this answers your question.

Very truly yours,

RICHARD BLUMENTHAL
ATTORNEY GENERAL

Richard F. Webb
Assistant Attorney General

RB/RFW/bjg


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