BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend Subchapter II, Chapter 60, Title 7, Delaware Code by adding thereto the following new Section to read as follows:
§6036. Obligation of persons who contaminate drinking water supplies.
(a) The Secretary shall develop and publish the necessary forms to be used by any person who believes his drinking water supply has been contaminated to petition for an alternative water supply, said petition will include, at a minimum, the following:
(1) Nell information including a valid ONREC well permit number, or other certified documentation as to how and when the well or other water intake was constructed, and,
(2) The contaminant and its concentration in the form of a signed analytical report from a certified drinking water laboratory which identifies the sample, the contaminant, its concentration and the analytical method detection limit, and,
(3) The date the sample was collected, the name of the person collecting the sample, a description of the sample container, and the preservation techniques used, if any. The form shall be notarized and certified as being true and factual by the petitioner. Failure to provide all relevant information, or providing false information, will be grounds to reject a petition.
(b) Upon the Secretary's receipt of a certified petition that sets forth allegations that a discharge of a substance into a drinking water supply has affected a petitioner's use of an existing drinking supply well or other drinking water intake through any activity, the Secretary shall notify all potentially responsible parties who shall be given 30 days in which to either respond to the petition, propose remedial action, or request a hearing on the merits of the petition.
(c) After evaluating all available information in his possession, the Secretary will issue an order either verifying or rejecting the contentions contained in the petition. The Secretary's decision to verify the petition and grant relief must be based on findings of fact contained in the certified petition and other scientifically conclusive evidence in his possession, which at a minimum establishes that:
(1) A State or Federal drinking water standard has been exceeded, and,
(2) A source, due to its nature, proximity, and hydrogeologic connection to the affected water supply is the likely cause of the contamination provided that the activity does not contain a valid State or Federal permit with which the permittee has fully complied and provided that the permit did not anticipate the contamination of the drinking water supply.
(d) Upon verification of a petition as set forth in Section 6036 (c), the Secretary shall require that if any activity results in the contamination of an existing drinking water supply by contaminants other than bacteria, viruses, nitrate or pesticides, which have been applied according to the manufacturer's instructions, then the person(s) who is responsible for the contamination shall complete one of the following activities which is deemed to be the most cost effective:
(1) Provide at no cost to each person who has had his existing drinking water supply contaminated, the installation of an alternative water supply of at least equal quantity and quality to said person's water supply that existed on the date the water supply was contaminated, or:
(2) Provide at no cost to each person who has had his existing drinking water supply contaminated, a complete water supply connection to a water supply distribution system, and provide water to said person for a term of up to three years in an amount not to exceed 100,000 gallons per year. Said three year term shall commence on the first day water is supplied to said person by the person who contaminated the drinking water supply. Water used by said person that exceeds 100,000 gallons per year shall be paid by said person at a rate that is established by the appropriate rate setting body taking into consideration the rate charged for the supply of public water in the water supply area before it was contaminated, or the rate charged in a similar area, or:
(3) Provide at no cost the treatment system necessary to maintain the water supply as an adequate drinking water supply and provide the costs of operation and maintenance of the system for a period of three years.
(e) In addition to the provisions of subsection (d) of this section the Secretary may require that the person who has caused the contamination of a person's drinking water supply by contaminates other than bacteria, viruses, nitrate or pesticides, shall provide at no cost to each person who has had his drinking water supply contaminated an interim water supply that is of a quality and quantity to meet said person's needs as shall be determined by the Secretary on a case by case basis. In addition, the Secretary shall determine the dates on which the interim water supply shall commence and be terminated.
(f) Any affected party may appeal a decision by the Secretary concerning a replacement water supply petition to the Environmental Appeals Board in accordance with Section 6008 of this Title.
(g) Any hearing that may be conducted pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be done according to procedures as set forth in 7 Del. C. §6006.
(h) For the purposes of this section, 'Contamination' means the human alteration of the chemical, physical, biological or radiological integrity of water which violates Federal or State drinking water standards."