(a) (1) For purposes of this article, unless the context otherwise requires, “agency” means the state board or a regional board.
(2) The terms used in this article shall have the same meaning as the definitions specified in the statutory authority under which the agency takes any action subject to this article, except that, notwithstanding Section 25317 of the Health and Safety Code, for purposes of this article, “hazardous substance” includes a hazardous substance specified in subdivision (h) of Section 25281 of the Health and Safety Code.
(b) On or before July 1, 1997, the agency shall adopt a billing system for the agency’s cost recovery of investigation, analysis, planning, implementation, oversight, or other activity related to the removal or remedial or corrective action of a release of a hazardous substance that includes both of the following:
(1) Billing rates and overhead rates by employee job classification.
(2) Standardized description of work tasks.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, after July 1, 1997, any charge imposed upon a responsible party by the agency, to compensate the agency for some, or all, of its costs incurred in connection with the agency’s investigation, analysis, planning, implementation, oversight, or other activity related to a removal or remedial action or a corrective action to a release of a hazardous substance, shall not be assessed or collected unless all of the following requirements are met:
(1) Except as provided in subdivision (f), prior to commencing the work or service for which the charge is assessed, and at least annually thereafter if the work or service is continuing, the agency shall provide all of the following information to the responsible party:
(A) A detailed estimate of the work to be performed or services to be provided, including a statement of the expected outcome of that work, based upon data available to the agency at the time.
(B) The billing rates for all individuals and classes of employees expected to engage in the work or service.
(C) An estimate of all expected charges to be billed to the responsible party by the agency, including, but not limited to, any overhead assessments that the agency may be authorized to levy.
(2) (A) Invoices shall be issued not less than semiannually with appropriate incentives for prompt payment.
(B) Invoices shall be mailed to the correct person or persons for the responsible party or parties.
(C) Invoices shall provide a daily detail of work performed and time spent by each employee and contractor employee using the billing and overhead rates and the standardized description of work tasks adopted pursuant to subdivision (b).
(D) Invoices shall include the source and amount of all other charges.
(E) Invoices shall be supplemented with statements of any changes in rates and a justification for any changes.
(F) Invoices shall be reviewed for accuracy and appropriateness.
(3) Upon request and within a reasonable time, not to exceed 30 working days from the date of receipt of a request, the agency shall provide the responsible party with copies of time records and other materials supporting the invoice described in paragraph (2). No fees or charges may be assessed for the preparation and delivery of those copies pursuant to this section.
(4) The agency shall identify a party who is responsible for resolving disputes regarding the charges subject to this section and who is not responsible for, or performing, the work or service for which the charges are assessed.
(d) The agency may adjust the scope of the work or service, type of studies, or other tasks to be performed, based upon analyses necessary to accommodate new information regarding the extent of contamination of the site, and only after providing written notice of the change to the responsible party containing the information specified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c).
(e) The agency may increase billing rates not more than once each calendar year, to the extent authorized by law. Any increase in billing rates or other charges, including, but not limited to, overhead charges, shall operate prospectively only, and shall take effect not sooner than 10 days from the date that written notice has been provided to the responsible party.
(f) (1) Paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) shall not apply when a situation exists that requires prompt action to protect human health or safety or the environment.
(2) Paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) does not apply with respect to those responsible parties who are not identified until after the beginning of a removal or remedial action or corrective action to a release of a hazardous substance.
(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 999, Sec. 65. Effective January 1, 2003.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018