Health & Safety Code Section 25360.2
(a) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Owner” means either (A) the owner of property who occupies a single-family residence or one-half of a duplex constructed on the property, or (B) the owner of common areas within a residential common interest development who owns those common areas for the benefit of the residential homeowners. This paragraph does not include the developer of the common interest development.
(2) “Property” means either (A) real property of five acres or less which is zoned for, and on which has been constructed, a single-family residence, or (B) common areas within a residential common interest development.
(b) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, an owner of property that is the site of a hazardous substance release is presumed to have no liability pursuant to this chapter for either of the following:
(A) A hazardous substance release that has occurred on the property.
(B) A release of a hazardous substance to groundwater underlying the property if the release occurred at a site other than the property.
(2) The presumption may be rebutted as provided in subdivision (d).
(c) An action for recovery of costs or expenditures incurred from the state account pursuant to this chapter in response to a hazardous substance release may not be brought against an owner of property unless the department first certifies that, in the opinion of the department, one of the following applies:
(1) The hazardous substance release that occurred on the property occurred after the owner acquired the property.
(2) The hazardous substance release that occurred on the property occurred before the owner acquired the property and at the time of acquisition the owner knew or had reason to know of the hazardous substance release.
(3) The owner of property where there has been a release of a hazardous substance to groundwater underlying the property took, or is taking, one or more of the following actions:
(A) Caused or contributed to a release of a hazardous substance to the groundwater.
(B) Fails to provide the department, or its authorized representative, with access to the property.
(C) Interferes with response action activities.
(d) In an action brought against an owner of property to recover costs or expenditures incurred from the state account pursuant to this chapter in response to a hazardous substance release, the presumption established in subdivision (b) may be rebutted if it is established by a preponderance of the evidence that the facts upon which the department made the certification pursuant to paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of subdivision (c) are true.
(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, this section governs liability pursuant to this chapter for an owner of property, as defined in subdivision (a).
(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 77, Sec. 32. Effective July 18, 2006.)