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(a) Those expenses of an emergency response necessary to protect public health and safety or the environment, incurred by the County of San Diego to confine, prevent or mitigate the release, escape or burning of any hazardous substance, or hazardous waste, are a charge against any person whose negligence causes the emergency conditions. Liability may be based on section 25515 or section 13009.6 of the California Health and Safety Code, sections 53150 to 53152 of the California Government Code, section 22.214.171.124 of this Code, or section 364.1 of the County Administrative Code, or a combination of these sections.
(b) Those expenses of an emergency response necessary to protect public health and safety and the environment, incurred by the County of San Diego to confine, prevent or mitigate the release or escape of any hazardous substance, hazardous waste, or flammable material are a charge against any person who causes such emergency conditions by violating or being in violation of any law relating to the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, recycling, disposal, abandonment or handling of such hazardous substance, hazardous waste or flammable material, including, but not limited to the provisions of Chapters 6.5, 6.7 and 6.95 of Division 20 of the California Health and Safety Code, any County ordinance, or any permit, rule, regulation, standard, or requirement issued or adopted pursuant to State law or a County ordinance, or by illegally manufacturing, storing, selling, transporting or disposing a controlled substance or the precursor hazardous materials, hazardous substances, or flammable materials used, or the waste products of such manufacture, are a charge against any person whose violation causes the emergency conditions. Liability may be based on section 25515 or section 13009.6 of the California Health and Safety Code, sections 53150 to 53152 of the California Government Code, section 126.96.36.199 of this Code, or section 364.1 of the County Administrative Code, or a combination of these sections.
(c) Persons who may be liable pursuant to this Chapter shall include, but are not limited to, present or prior owners, lessees, or operators of the property where the hazardous substance, hazardous waste, or flammable material is located and producers, transporters or disposers of such hazardous substance, hazardous waste, flammable material or controlled substance.
(d) Whenever emergency response expenses have been incurred by the County for the purposes specified in this Chapter, the Director shall calculate the amount of expenses incurred, identify the person or persons liable for reimbursement, and promptly prepare and serve an invoice and accompanying documentation as specified in subsection (k) of this section to all responsible parties. Where the emergency response is undertaken pursuant to a contract with USDCOES, the Director may arrange for OES to prepare and serve these invoices.
(e) Expenses reimbursable to the County pursuant to this section are a debt of the person or persons liable therefor, and shall be collectible in the same manner as in the case of an obligation under contract, express or implied, and shall also be collectible as provided in section 68.805 of this Code.
(f) Persons liable for the expenses of an emergency response pursuant to this Chapter shall pay the costs of that response when and as invoiced by the Director or by the County Office of Emergency Services (OES).
(g) For purposes of this Chapter, the negligence or wrongful conduct of an employee acting within the scope and course of employment shall be attributed to both the employee and his or her employer.
(h) Unless an appeal is filed, costs and expenses payable under this Chapter shall be paid as invoiced.
(i) For responses undertaken pursuant to a contract with USDCESO, funds recovered by the Director in excess of the County's collection costs shall be reimbursed to USDCESO.
(j) For responses undertaken jointly with another agency but not pursuant to a contract with USDCESO, funds recovered for the costs of other participating agencies shall be reimbursed to those agencies.
(k) Invoices for costs and expenses payable under this chapter shall be served as provided in section 11.112 of this Code. The invoice or an included statement shall set out the provisions of law or ordinance on which the invoice is based, a brief summary of the facts establishing liability, an itemization of costs and expenses by category, and procedures for appealing the invoice.
(l) The costs and expenses of emergency response recoverable under this Chapter include the following:
(1) Time expended by County staff for any activity described in subsection (c) of Section 68.803 of his Code. Environmental Health Specialist time shall be charged at the hourly rate in subsection (m)(6) of Section 65.107 of this Code. All other County staff, management, and legal services time shall be charged at the rates otherwise approved by the Auditor and Controller. Time expended includes time for travel, time at the release site, and time for documentation, follow-up reporting, enforcement, appeals and collections processes.
(2) The costs of equipment usage, the cost of supplies, laboratory costs and charges, and all other contract service costs including any legal services costs.
(3) Administrative and overhead costs.
(4) Recoverable costs incurred by other agencies participating in the emergency response, as reported to the County by those agencies.
(5) Where the liability of a business or facility for an emergency response are based at least in part on Section 25515 of the Health and Safety Code, costs and expenses that can be invoiced pursuant to this Chapter also include the costs of cleaning up and disposing of released hazardous wastes and materials, whether incurred as part of an emergency response or after that emergency has been contained.
(Added by Ord. No. 10412 (N.S.), effective 2-26-16; amended by Ord. No. 10536 (N.S.), effective 7-1-18)