The House Environmental Affairs Committee heard SB 346 sponsored by Rep. Wolkins on the environmental legal action statute of limitations. The bill was presented by author Sen. Gard with the help of environmental attorney John Kyle of Barnes & Thornburg. Mr. Kyle explained that the “knew or should have known” standard for the statute of limitations does not work well in the field of environmental actions, and that this bill will only affect cases filed after the effective date of the bill. The bill clarifies the statute of limitations for environmental legal actions, so that a person may seek to recover costs incurred for a removal action, a remedial action, or a corrective action for ten years before the date the action is brought, even if the person or any other person also incurred costs more than ten years before the date the action is brought, and the costs incurred on or after the date the action is brought. Additional testimony was heard in support of the bill. The bill was amended with a technical correction by consent. The amended bill passed 10-0.
The Senate Corrections, Criminal, and Civil Matters Committee continued discussion on HB 1365 pertaining to volunteer fire department recovery of costs sponsored by Sen. Zakas. The bill authorizes a volunteer fire department to recover attorney’s fees and costs incurred by the department in an action to recover unpaid service charges. An amendment was adopted specifying, among other items, that fire departments may enter into agreements with one another for the reimbursement of costs when multiple departments respond to an incident. The amended bill passed 9-0.