(a) Indemnity of . shall indemnify and hold the harmless from any and all liability, on account of injury to persons or damage to property occasioned by the construction, maintenance, repair, inspection, the issuance of permits, or the operation of the located in the public ways and public grounds. The shall not be indemnified for losses or claims occasioned through its own negligence except for losses or claims arising out of or alleging the negligence as to the issuance of permits for, or inspection of, plans or work.
(b) Defense of . In the event a suit is brought against the under circumstances where this agreement to indemnify applies, at its sole cost and expense shall defend the in such suit if written thereof is promptly given to within a period wherein is not prejudiced by lack of such . If is required to indemnify and defend, it will thereafter have control of such litigation, but may not settle such litigation without the consent of the , which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld. This section is not, as to third parties, a waiver of any defense or immunity otherwise available to the . The , in defending any action on behalf of the , shall be entitled to assert in any action every defense or immunity that the could assert in its own behalf. This franchise agreement shall not be interpreted to constitute a waiver by the of any of its defenses of immunity or limitations on liability under M.S. Chapter 466, as it may be amended from time to time.
(c) Compliance with laws. In its operations under this Article I, the shall observe all applicable federal, state, and local laws, rules, regulations, and orders with respect to the transmission, distribution, transformation, or furnishing of gas energy. shall not release, spill or dispose in the or or permit to be released, spilled or disposed in the or any materials, substances, and wastes regulated as toxic or hazardous to health, natural resources, or the environment by the State of Minnesota, the United States, or any other applicable government authority with jurisdiction (“hazardous materials”). In the event releases, spills or disposes hazardous materials in the or , shall comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and lawful governmental orders of federal, state, and local governmental agencies related to such hazardous materials. The shall remove or remediate any hazardous materials caused or permitted by the to be released, spilled or disposed on, in, or immediately adjacent to the and within the in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and lawful governmental orders, and pay or cause to be paid all costs associated therewith, but shall not be responsible for removing or remediating any pre-existing hazardous materials encountered in the or within the . The indemnification terms and conditions of subsections (a) and (b) above shall apply to all claims made against by any person, including any governmental agency, who or which asserts any right to costs, damages, or other relief which arise solely or directly from the negligent acts or failure to act in compliance with any law, rule, regulation, or lawful order governing hazardous materials.