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(a) Whenever the Director of Health or a duly authorized representative discovers a hazardous materials release site, the Director is empowered to order the responsible party or parties to vacate or close the hazardous materials release site and institute emergency remedial actions, as provided in this Section, without a written notice or hearing, until the condition requiring such action has been abated.
(b) Following any unauthorized release, the Director of Health is empowered to order the hazardous materials release site secured from public and/or private access, including the ordering of the evacuation, closure or other isolation of the hazardous materials release site so as to prevent any further public or private exposures to hazardous materials. The Director of Health is also empowered to issue directives as to what monitoring must be done to assess the degree of contamination present and to evaluate what degree of cleanup shall be undertaken in order to assure safe reoccupancy of the hazardous materials release site.
(c) The Director of Health may verify that the unauthorized release of hazardous material is being contained and appropriately disposed. Any time the Director of Health has reason to believe that any responsible party is not adequately containing and disposing of such hazardous material, the Director of Health may undertake and direct an emergency response in order to protect the public health and safety.
(d) In the event the Director of Health determines that immediate action is necessary and the responsible party has not undertaken and will not undertake such necessary action, the Director may direct the institution of those remedial actions reasonably necessary under the circumstances to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community from the hazards attending the unauthorized release. The responsible party shall be strictly liable to the City for the reimbursement of all costs incurred by the City for any such emergency remedial action, including, but not limited to, the costs of fighting fires. All costs due for which payment is not received within 30 days of the mailing of a notice to the responsible party of payment due, shall be delinquent and subject to a penalty of 10 percent, not to exceed $2,000, and interest at the rate of one percent per month on the outstanding balance from the date payment is due. In addition, the City may impose a special assessment lien against the property as provided in Section 1136. The lack of either negligence or wilfulness of the responsible party in causing or allowing such discharge shall have no bearing on the liability imposed by this Section.
(e) The decision whether any hazardous materials release site is safe for reentry by the public following such order of the Director of Health regarding evacuation, closures, etc. shall be made exclusively by the Director of Health.
(Added by Ord. 164-92, App. 6/10/92; amended by Ord. 399-97, App. 10/17/97)