Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 7. Remedial Action Upon Release of Hazardous Substance

Condemnation -- Creation Of State Lien

75-10-720. Condemnation -- creation of state lien. (1) Whenever the department determines that property upon which a release or threatened release of a hazardous or deleterious substance has occurred may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to the public health, safety, or welfare or the environment, the department may condemn the property for public use to mitigate the threat. The taking of the property must be conducted in accordance with the procedure set forth in Title 70, chapter 30.

(2) All costs, penalties, and natural resource damages for which a person has been judicially determined to be liable to the state pursuant to 75-10-715 constitute a lien in favor of the state upon all property and rights to the property that belong to the person.

(3) The lien imposed by this section arises at the time notice incorporating a description of the property subject to the remedial action and an identification of the amount of costs, penalties, and natural resource damages is filed with the clerk and recorder of the county in which the real property is located. A copy of the notice must be served by certified mail upon the liable person.

(4) The costs, penalties, and natural resource damages constituting the lien may be recovered in an action in the district court for the district in which the property is located or in which the remedial action is occurring or has occurred. This section does not affect the right of the state to bring an action against a person to recover all costs, penalties, and natural resource damages for which that person is liable under this part or any other provision of state or federal law.

(5) The lien must continue until the liability for the costs and damages incurred as a result of the release of a hazardous or deleterious substance is satisfied.

(6) If the department expends money from the fund for orphan share remedial action costs at a facility or for a facility at which a reimbursed orphan share exists, the state has a lien upon the facility for the unrecovered costs. The lien:

(a) may not exceed the increase in fair market value of the property attributable to the unfunded portion of the remedial action at the time of a subsequent sale or other disposition of the property;

(b) arises at the time costs are first incurred by the department with respect to a remedial action at the facility;

(c) must be filed according to subsection (3); and

(d) continues until the earlier of satisfaction of the lien or recovery of all remedial action costs incurred at the facility.

(7) Payment of any liens under this section must be deposited in one of the two accounts from which the remedial action costs originated, including the fund established in 75-10-704 or the orphan share fund established in 75-10-743.

History: En. Sec. 12, Ch. 709, L. 1989; amd. Sec. 9, Ch. 415, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 89, Ch. 125, L. 2001.