AGO 87-8.

Case Date:September 14, 1987
Colorado Attorney General Opinions 1987. AGO 87-8. September 14, 1987Department of Law Attorney General Opinion FORMAL OPINION of DUANE WOODARD Attorney General Opinion No. 87-8 AG Alpha No. HL SH AGAQA Thomas P. Looby Assistant Director Colorado Department of Health 4210 East Eleventh Avenue Denver, CO 80220 RE: Uses of Moneys in the Colorado Hazardous Substance Response FundDear Mr. Looby: This opinion letter responds to your inquiry regarding the uses of moneys in the Hazardous Substances Response Fund ("HSRF"). QUESTIONS PRESENTED AND CONCLUSIONS Your request for an Attorney General's opinion presents the following questions: 1. Whether moneys which have been appropriated by the General Assembly to the HSRF may be used for "necessary state activities at natural resource damage sites."? Yes. 2. What activities are encompassed within the phrase "necessary state activities at natural resource damage sites."? Natural resource damage assessment activities undertaken at sites previously identified by the federal government on its National Priority List pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. secs. 9601-75 (1980 & 1987 Supp.) ("CERCLA"). ANALYSIS Section 25-16-104.6(2), C.R.S. (1986 Supp.) sets forth the purposes for which funds appropriated by the General Assembly to the HSRF may be used. One such purpose is "{t}o implement the measures provided for in section 24-16-104.7," section 25-16-104.2(d), C.R.S. (1986 Supp.), which include, "necessary state activities at natural resource damage sites." Section 25-16-104.7(1)(c), C.R.S. (1986 Supp.). The phrase "necessary state activities at natural resource damage sites" is nowhere defined in title 25, article 16, of the Colorado Revised Statutes. Its meaning, however, may be discerned from the legislative intent evidenced in other relevant provisions of the Act, see, e.g., Allen v. Charnes, 674 P.2d 378, 381 n. 8 (Colo. 1984), including, of course, its caption. SeeBlanchard v. Griswold, 121 Colo. 29, 214 P.2d 362 (1949). Part 1 of article 16, title 25, C.R.S. (1986 Supp.) is captioned, "Cleanup," and the HSRF is expressly noted as having been created "to provide the necessary state share of the response costs of cleaning up such {CERCLA} sites." Section 25-16-101, C.R.S. (1986 Supp.). In my view, these...

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