AGO 86-11.

Case Date:August 27, 1986
Court:Colorado
 
FREE EXCERPT
Colorado Attorney General Opinions 1986. AGO 86-11. August 27, 1986Department of Law Attorney General Opinion FORMAL OPINION of DUANE WOODARD Attorney General Opinion No. 86-11 AG Alpha No. LW HW AGAPL Robert A. Arnott, Ph.D. Assistant Director Colorado Department of Health 4210 East 11th Avenue Denver, CO 80220 RE: Proper disposition of moneys recovered on behalf of the state pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental, Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980Dear Dr. Arnott: This opinion letter responds to your inquiry about the proper disposition of moneys which may be recovered on behalf of the state from defendants through settlement or judgment in lawsuits pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, 42 U.S.C. secs. 9601-57 (1982) (hereafter "CERCLA"). QUESTION PRESENTED AND CONCLUSION Your request for an attorney general's opinion presents the question: Whether moneys recovered on behalf of the state from defendants in CERCLA lawsuits through consent decrees or court ordered judgments must be credited to the "CERCLA Recovery Fund," pursuant to section 25-16-201, C.R.S. (1985 Supp.), or whether such moneys must be credited to the "Hazardous Substance Response Fund," established by section 25-16-104.6, C.R.S. (1985 Supp.), and used by the Department of Health for the purposes designated in the consent decree or judgment? In my opinion the General Assembly intended different disposition of moneys awarded pursuant to CERCLA depending upon the purpose of such awards. Moneys awarded as reimbursement for the state's costs of responding to released hazardous substances ("past response costs") must be credited to the Hazardous Substance Response Fund and, if such past response costs came originally from the general fund, the moneys must be used to reimburse the general fund. Moneys awarded to cover the costs of the state's future response to released hazardous substances ("future response costs") must be credited to the Hazardous Substance Response Fund and used to accomplish such measures associated with the site for which the award is made. Natural resource damage awards must be credited to the CERCLA Recovery Fund and may be appropriated by the General Assembly for any lawful purpose. Nothing in this attorney general's opinion should be construed to apply to response costs...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP