(1) Any responsible person or his or her designated representative who has taken remedial action in response to a release first reported after July 17, 1983, and on or before June 30, 2024, or against whom there is a third-party claim may apply to the department under the rules and regulations adopted and promulgated pursuant to section 66-1518 for reimbursement for the costs of the remedial action or third-party claim. Partial payment of such reimbursement to the responsible person may be authorized by the department at the approved stages prior to the completion of remedial action when a remedial action plan has been approved. If any stage is projected to take more than ninety days to complete partial payments may be requested every sixty days. Such partial payment may include the eligible and reasonable costs of such plan or pilot projects conducted during the remedial action.
(2) No reimbursement may be made unless the department makes the following eligibility determinations:
(a) The tank was in substantial compliance with any rules and regulations of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the State Fire Marshal, and the department which were applicable to the tank. Substantial compliance shall be determined by the department taking into consideration the purposes of the Petroleum Release Remedial Action Act and the adverse effect that any violation of the rules and regulations may have had on the tank thereby causing or contributing to the release and the extent of the remedial action thereby required;
(b) Either the State Fire Marshal or the department was given notice of the release in substantial compliance with the rules and regulations adopted and promulgated pursuant to the Environmental Protection Act and the Petroleum Products and Hazardous Substances Storage and Handling Act. Substantial compliance shall be determined by the department taking into consideration the purposes of the Petroleum Release Remedial Action Act and the adverse effect that any violation of the notice provisions of the rules and regulations may have had on the remedial action being taken in a prompt, effective, and efficient manner;
(c) The responsible person reasonably cooperated with the department and the State Fire Marshal in responding to the release;
(d) The department has approved the plan submitted by the responsible person for the remedial action in accordance with rules and regulations adopted and promulgated by the department pursuant to the Environmental Protection Act or the Petroleum Products and Hazardous Substances Storage and Handling Act or that portion of the plan for which payment or reimbursement is requested. However, responsible persons may undertake remedial action prior to approval of a plan by the department or during the time that remedial action at a site was suspended at any time after April 1995 because the fund was insufficient to pay reimbursements and be eligible for reimbursement at a later time if the responsible person complies with procedures provided to the responsible party by the department or set out in rules and regulations adopted and promulgated by the Environmental Quality Council;
(e) The costs for the remedial action were actually incurred by the responsible person or his or her designated representative after May 27, 1989, and were eligible and reasonable;
(f) If reimbursement for a third-party claim is involved, the cause of action for the third-party claim accrued after April 26, 1991, and the Attorney General was notified by any person of the service of summons for the action within ten days of such service; and
(g) The responsible person or his or her designated representative has paid the amount specified in subsection (1) or (2) of section 66-1523.
(3) The State Fire Marshal shall review each application prior to consideration by the department and provide to the department any information the State Fire Marshal deems relevant to subdivisions (2)(a) through (g) of this section. The State Fire Marshal shall issue a determination with respect to an applicant's compliance with rules and regulations adopted and promulgated by the State Fire Marshal. The State Fire Marshal shall issue a compliance determination to the department within thirty days after receiving an application from the department.
(4) The department may withhold taking action on an application during the pendency of an enforcement action by the state or federal government related to the tank or a release from the tank.
(5) Reimbursements made for a remedial action may be reduced as much as one hundred percent for failure by the responsible person to comply with applicable statutory or regulatory requirements. In determining the amount of the reimbursement reduction, the department shall consider:
(a) The extent of and reasons for noncompliance;
(b) The likely environmental impact of the noncompliance; and
(c) Whether noncompliance was negligent, knowing, or willful.
(6) Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, the department shall notify the responsible person of its approval or denial of the remedial action plan within one hundred twenty days after receipt of a remedial action plan which contains all the required information. If after one hundred twenty days the department fails to either deny, approve, or amend the remedial action plan submitted, the proposed plan shall be deemed approved. If the remedial action plan is denied, the department shall provide the reasons for such denial.