Arizona Revised Statutes § 49-282.04 Cross-Contamination Inspection; Remedial Measures

49-282.04. Cross-contamination inspection; remedial measures

A. The director of environmental quality, in consultation with the director of water resources, may inspect wells for vertical cross-contamination of groundwater by hazardous substances and may take appropriate remedial actions to prevent or mitigate this cross-contamination at no cost to the well owner, subject to subsection D of this section. The director shall consult with and seek the voluntary compliance of affected well owners regarding well access, investigations and remedial actions. On receiving permission from the well owner or operator, the director or the director's designee may enter property owned or operated by the well owner at reasonable times under any of the following circumstances:

1. To inspect and collect samples from a well and to inspect and copy all documents or records relating to the well. If a sample is obtained pursuant to this section, the director, before leaving the property, shall give to the well owner or operator a receipt describing the sample obtained and, if requested, a portion of each sample. A copy of the results of any analysis made of these samples shall be furnished promptly to the well owner.

2. To conduct appropriate remedial actions regarding vertical cross-contamination or to investigate liability regarding contamination of groundwater caused by vertical cross-contamination.

B. The director of environmental quality shall notify the director of water resources of the results of the inspection and shall provide copies of its records and documents and the analysis of any samples taken. If it is determined that a well results in vertical cross-contamination, the director of environmental quality, upon receiving permission from the well owner or operator, may take appropriate remedial action, including well modification, abandonment or replacement, or provision of a replacement water supply.

C. A well owner who is not a responsible party pursuant to this article and who cooperates with the investigation and remedial activities of the director and the department of water resources to the extent possible consistent with its water delivery responsibilities and system operational requirements shall receive a covenant not to sue for secondary contamination resulting from the well unless the well owner had actual knowledge of groundwater contamination and constructed a well in violation of well construction requirements administered by the director of water resources, resulting in vertical cross-contamination of an aquifer.

D. Notwithstanding subsection C of this section, if the director takes remedial action pursuant to subsection A of this section and the well owner or operator is later determined to be responsible under this article for a release of hazardous substances which contaminated the well, the well owner or operator responsible for the release shall reimburse the fund for the owner or operator's proportionate share of the costs incurred in taking the action.

E. This section shall not be construed to limit the director's authority to take actions as authorized by other provisions in this article or any other law.

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Last modified: October 13, 2016