If the owner or operator no longer meets the requirements under par. (a)
, the owner or operator shall obtain insurance, a letter of credit, a surety bond, a trust fund, or a guarantee for the entire amount of required liability coverage as specified in this section. Evidence of liability coverage shall be submitted to the department within 90 days after the end of the fiscal year for which the year-end financial data show that the owner or operator no longer meets the test requirements.
The department may disallow use of the test in par. (a)
on the basis of qualifications in the opinion expressed by the independent certified public accountant in the independent certified public accountant's report on examination of the owner's or operator's financial statements as specified in par. (c) 2.
An adverse opinion or a disclaimer of opinion will be cause for disallowance. The department will evaluate other qualifications on an individual basis. The owner or operator shall provide evidence of insurance for the entire amount of required liability coverage as specified in this section within 30 days after notification of disallowance.
Subject to par. (b)
, an owner or operator may meet the requirements of this section by obtaining a written guarantee, hereinafter referred to as “guarantee.” The guarantor shall be the direct or higher-tier parent corporation of the owner or operator, a firm whose parent corporation is also the parent corporation of the owner or operator, or a firm with a “substantial business relationship” with the owner or operator. The guarantor shall meet the requirements for owners or operators under sub. (6) (a)
. The wording of the guarantee shall be identical to the wording specified in s. NR 661.0151 (7) (b)
. A certified copy of the guarantee shall accompany the items sent to the department as specified in sub. (6) (c)
. One of these items shall be the letter from the guarantor's chief financial officer. If the guarantor's parent corporation is also the parent corporation of the owner or operator, this letter shall describe the value received in consideration of the guarantee. If the guarantor is a firm with a “substantial business relationship” with the owner or operator, this letter shall describe this “substantial business relationship” and the value received in consideration of the guarantee.
If the owner or operator fails to satisfy a judgment based on a determination of liability for bodily injury or property damage to third parties caused by sudden or non-sudden accidental occurrences, or both as the case may be, arising from the operation of facilities covered by this corporate guarantee, or fails to pay an amount agreed to in settlement of claims arising from or alleged to arise from such injury or damage, the guarantor will do so up to the limits of coverage.
In the case of corporations incorporated in the United States, a guarantee may be used to satisfy the requirements of this section only if the attorneys general or insurance commissioners of the following states have submitted a written statement to the department that a guarantee executed as described in this section and s. NR 661.0151 (7) (b)
is a legally valid and enforceable obligation in that state:
In the case of corporations incorporated outside the United States, a guarantee may be used to satisfy the requirements of this section only if all of the following conditions are met:
The non-U.S. corporation has identified a registered agent for service of process in each state in which a facility covered by the guarantee is located and in the state in which it has its principal place of business.
The attorney general or insurance commissioner of each state in which a facility covered by the guarantee is located and the state in which the guarantor corporation has its principal place of business, has submitted a written statement to the department that a guarantee executed as described in this section and s. NR 661.0151 (7) (b)
is a legally valid and enforceable obligation in that state.
An owner or operator may satisfy the requirements of this section by obtaining an irrevocable standby letter of credit that conforms to the requirements of this subsection and submitting a copy of the letter of credit to the department.
The financial institution issuing the letter of credit shall be an entity that has the authority to issue letters of credit and whose letter of credit operations are regulated and examined by a federal or state agency.
An owner or operator who uses a letter of credit to satisfy the requirements of this section may also establish a standby trust fund. Under the terms of the letter of credit, all amounts paid pursuant to a draft by the trustee of the standby trust will be deposited by the issuing institution into the standby trust in accordance with instructions from the trustee. The trustee of the standby trust fund shall be an entity that has the authority to act as a trustee and whose trust operations are regulated and examined by a federal or state agency.
An owner or operator may satisfy the requirements of this section by obtaining a surety bond that conforms to the requirements of this subsection and submitting a copy of the bond to the department.
The surety company issuing the bond shall be among those listed as acceptable sureties on federal bonds in the most recent Circular 570 of the U.S. department of the treasury.
A surety bond may be used to satisfy the requirements of this section only if the attorneys general or insurance commissioners of the following states have submitted a written statement to the department that a surety bond executed as described in this section and s. NR 661.0151 (7) (b)
is a legally valid and enforceable obligation in that state:
An owner or operator may satisfy the requirements of this section by establishing a trust fund that conforms to the requirements of this subsection and submitting an originally signed duplicate of the trust agreement to the department.
The trustee shall be an entity that has the authority to act as a trustee and whose trust operations are regulated and examined by a federal or state agency.
The trust fund for liability coverage shall be funded for the full amount of the liability coverage to be provided by the trust fund before it may be relied upon to satisfy the requirements of this section. If at any time after the trust fund is created the amount of funds in the trust fund is reduced below the full amount of the liability coverage to be provided, the owner or operator, by the anniversary date of the establishment of the fund, shall either add sufficient funds to the trust fund to cause its value to equal the full amount of liability coverage to be provided, or obtain other financial assurance as specified in this section to cover the difference. For the purposes of this paragraph, “the full amount of the liability coverage to be provided” means the amount of coverage for sudden or non-sudden occurrences, or both, required to be provided by the owner or operator by this section, less the amount of financial assurance for liability coverage that is being provided by other financial assurance mechanisms being used to demonstrate financial assurance by the owner or operator.
NR 661.0147 History
History: CR 19-082
: cr. Register August 2020 No. 776
, eff. 9-1-20; correction in (2) (f), (10) (c) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7.
, Stats., and correction in (6) (c) 3., (10) (c) made under s. 35.17
, Stats., Register August 2020 No. 776
correction in (7) (b) 2. b. made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register April 2021 No. 784.
Incapacity of owners or operators, guarantors, or financial institutions. NR 661.0148(1)(1)
An owner or operator shall notify the department by certified mail of the commencement of a voluntary or involuntary bankruptcy proceeding under Title 11, U.S. Code, naming the owner or operator as debtor, within 10 days after commencement of the proceeding. A guarantor of a corporate guarantee as specified in s. NR 661.0143 (5)
shall make such a notification if named as debtor, as required under the terms of the corporate guarantee.
An owner or operator who fulfills the requirements specified in s. NR 661.0143
by obtaining a trust fund, surety bond, letter of credit, or insurance policy will be deemed to be without the required financial assurance or liability coverage in the event of bankruptcy of the trustee or issuing institution, or a suspension or revocation of the authority of the trustee institution to act as trustee or of the institution issuing the surety bond, letter of credit, or insurance policy to issue such instruments. The owner or operator shall establish other financial assurance or liability coverage within 60 days after such an event.
NR 661.0148 History
History: CR 19-082
: cr. Register August 2020 No. 776
, eff. 9-1-20; correction in (2) made under s. 35.17
, Stats., Register August 2020 No. 776
A trust agreement for a trust fund, as specified in s. NR 661.0143 (1)
shall be worded as follows, except that instructions in brackets are to be replaced with the relevant information and the brackets deleted:
Trust Agreement, the “Agreement,” entered into as of [date] by and between [name of the owner or operator], a [name of State] [insert “corporation,” “partnership,” “association,” or “proprietorship”], the “Grantor,” and [name of corporate trustee], [insert “incorporated in the State of -----” or “a national bank”], the “Trustee.”
Whereas, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, “the department,” has established certain regulations applicable to the Grantor, requiring that an owner or operator of a facility regulated under ch. NR 664
, or 665
, Wis. Adm. Code, or satisfying the conditions of the exclusion under s. NR 661.0004 (1) (x)
, Wis. Adm. Code, shall provide assurance that funds will be available if needed for care of the facility under subch. G of ch. NR 664
or subch. G of ch. NR 665
, Wis. Adm. Code as applicable,
Whereas, the Grantor has elected to establish a trust to provide all or part of such financial assurance for the facilities identified herein,
Whereas, the Grantor, acting through its duly authorized officers, has selected the Trustee to be the trustee under this agreement, and the Trustee is willing to act as trustee,
Now, Therefore, the Grantor and the Trustee agree as follows:
Section 1. Definitions. As used in this Agreement:
(a) The term “Grantor” means the owner or operator who enters into this Agreement and any successors or assigns of the Grantor.
(b) The term “Trustee” means the Trustee who enters into this Agreement and any successor Trustee.
Section 2. Identification of Facilities and Cost Estimates. This Agreement pertains to the facilities and cost estimates identified on attached Schedule A [on Schedule A, for each facility list the EPA Identification Number (if available), name, address, and the current cost estimates, or portions thereof, for which financial assurance is demonstrated by this Agreement].
Section 3. Establishment of Fund
. The Grantor and the Trustee hereby establish a trust fund, the “Fund,” for the benefit of the department in the event that the hazardous secondary material of the grantor no longer meet the conditions of the exclusion under s. NR 661.0004 (1) (x)
, Wis. Adm. Code. The Grantor and the Trustee intend that no third party have access to the Fund except as herein provided. The Fund is established initially as consisting of the property, which is acceptable to the Trustee, described in Schedule B attached hereto. Such property and any other property subsequently transferred to the Trustee is referred to as the Fund, together with all earnings and profits thereon, less any payments or distributions made by the Trustee pursuant to this Agreement. The Fund shall be held by the Trustee, IN TRUST, as hereinafter provided. The Trustee may not be responsible nor shall it undertake any responsibility for the amount or adequacy of, nor any duty to collect from the Grantor, any payments necessary to discharge any liabilities of the Grantor established by the department.
Section 4. Payments from the Fund.
The Trustee shall make payments from the Fund as the department shall direct, in writing, to provide for the payment of the costs of the performance of activities required under subch. G of ch. NR 664
or subch. G of ch. NR 665
, Wis. Adm. Code,
for the facilities covered by this Agreement. The Trustee shall reimburse the Grantor or other persons as specified by the department from the Fund for expenditures for such activities in such amounts as the beneficiary shall direct in writing. In addition, the Trustee shall refund to the Grantor such amounts as the depart specifies in writing. Upon refund, such funds shall no longer constitute part of the Fund as defined herein.
Section 5. Payments Comprising the Fund. Payments made to the Trustee for the Fund shall consist of cash or securities acceptable to the Trustee.
Section 6. Trustee Management. The Trustee shall invest and reinvest the principal and income of the Fund and keep the Fund invested as a single fund, without distinction between principal and income, in accordance with general investment policies and guidelines which the Grantor may communicate in writing to the Trustee from time to time, subject, however, to the provisions of this section. In investing, reinvesting, exchanging, selling, and managing the Fund, the Trustee shall discharge the duties with respect to the trust fund solely in the interest of the beneficiary and with the care, skill, prudence, and diligence under the circumstances then prevailing which persons of prudence, acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters, would use in the conduct of an enterprise of a like character and with like aims; except that:
(a) Securities or other obligations of the Grantor, or any other owner or operator of the facilities, or any of their affiliates as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, 15 USC 80a-2
. (a), may not be acquired or held, unless they are securities or other obligations of the Federal or a State government;
(b) The Trustee is authorized to invest the Fund in time or demand deposits of the Trustee, to the extent insured by an agency of the Federal or State government; and
(c) The Trustee is authorized to hold cash awaiting investment or distribution uninvested for a reasonable time and without liability for the payment of interest thereon.
Section 7. Commingling and Investment. The Trustee is expressly authorized in its discretion:
(a) To transfer from time to time any or all of the assets of the Fund to any common, commingled, or collective trust fund created by the Trustee in which the Fund is eligible to participate, subject to all of the provisions thereof, to be commingled with the assets of other trusts participating therein; and
(b) To purchase shares in any investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, 15 USC 80a-1 et seq.,
including one which may be created, managed, underwritten, or to which investment advice is rendered or the shares of which are sold by the Trustee. The Trustee may vote such shares in its discretion.
Section 8. Express Powers of Trustee. Without in any way limiting the powers and discretions conferred upon the Trustee by the other provisions of this Agreement or by law, the Trustee is expressly authorized and empowered:
(a) To sell, exchange, convey, transfer, or otherwise dispose of any property held by it, by public or private sale. No person dealing with the Trustee shall be bound to see to the application of the purchase money or to inquire into the validity or expediency of any such sale or other disposition;
(b) To make, execute, acknowledge, and deliver any and all documents of transfer and conveyance and any and all other instruments that may be necessary or appropriate to carry out the powers herein granted;
(c) To register any securities held in the Fund in its own name or in the name of a nominee and to hold any security in bearer form or in book entry, or to combine certificates representing such securities with certificates of the same issue held by the Trustee in other fiduciary capacities, or to deposit or arrange for the deposit of such securities in a qualified central depositary even though, when so deposited, such securities may be merged and held in bulk in the name of the nominee of such depositary with other securities deposited therein by another person, or to deposit or arrange for the deposit of any securities issued by the United States Government, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, with a Federal Reserve bank, but the books and records of the Trustee shall at all times show that all such securities are part of the Fund;
(d) To deposit any cash in the Fund in interest-bearing accounts maintained or savings certificates issued by the Trustee, in its separate corporate capacity, or in any other banking institution affiliated with the Trustee, to the extent insured by an agency of the Federal or State government; and
(e) To compromise or otherwise adjust all claims in favor of or against the Fund.
Section 9. Taxes and Expenses. All taxes of any kind that may be assessed or levied against or in respect of the Fund and all brokerage commissions incurred by the Fund shall be paid from the Fund. All other expenses incurred by the Trustee in connection with the administration of this Trust, including fees for legal services rendered to the Trustee, the compensation of the Trustee to the extent not paid directly by the Grantor, and all other proper charges and disbursements of the Trustee shall be paid from the Fund.
Section 10. Annual Valuation. The Trustee shall annually, at least 30 days prior to the anniversary date of establishment of the Fund, furnish to the Grantor and to the department a statement confirming the value of the Trust. Any securities in the Fund shall be valued at market value as of no more than 60 days prior to the anniversary date of establishment of the Fund. The failure of the Grantor to object in writing to the Trustee within 90 days after the statement has been furnished to the Grantor and the department shall constitute a conclusively binding assent by the Grantor, barring the Grantor from asserting any claim or liability against the Trustee with respect to matters disclosed in the statement.
Section 11. Advice of Counsel. The Trustee may from time to time consult with counsel, who may be counsel to the Grantor, with respect to any question arising as to the construction of this Agreement or any action to be taken hereunder. The Trustee shall be fully protected, to the extent permitted by law, in acting upon the advice of counsel.
Section 12. Trustee Compensation. The Trustee shall be entitled to reasonable compensation for its services as agreed upon in writing from time to time with the Grantor.
Section 13. Successor Trustee. The Trustee may resign or the Grantor may replace the Trustee, but such resignation or replacement may not be effective until the Grantor has appointed a successor trustee and this successor accepts the appointment. The successor trustee shall have the same powers and duties as those conferred upon the Trustee hereunder. Upon the successor trustee's acceptance of the appointment, the Trustee shall assign, transfer, and pay over to the successor trustee the funds and properties then constituting the Fund. If for any reason the Grantor cannot or does not act in the event of the resignation of the Trustee, the Trustee may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for the appointment of a successor trustee or for instructions. The successor trustee shall specify the date on which it assumes administration of the trust in a writing sent to the Grantor, the department, and the present Trustee by certified mail 10 days before such change becomes effective. Any expenses incurred by the Trustee as a result of any of the acts contemplated by this Section shall be paid as provided in Section 9.
Section 14. Instructions to the Trustee. All orders, requests, and instructions by the Grantor to the Trustee shall be in writing, signed by such persons as are designated in the attached Exhibit A or such other designees as the Grantor may designate by amendment to Exhibit A. The Trustee shall be fully protected in acting without inquiry in accordance with the Grantor's orders, requests, and instructions. All orders, requests, and instructions by the department to the Trustee shall be in writing, signed by department, or their designees, and the Trustee shall act and shall be fully protected in acting in accordance with such orders, requests, and instructions. The Trustee shall have the right to assume, in the absence of written notice to the contrary, that no event constituting a change or a termination of the authority of any person to act on behalf of the Grantor or the department hereunder has occurred. The Trustee shall have no duty to act in the absence of such orders, requests, and instructions from the Grantor and/or the department, except as provided for herein.
Section 15. Amendment of Agreement. This Agreement may be amended by an instrument in writing executed by the Grantor, the Trustee, and the department, or by the Trustee and the department if the Grantor ceases to exist.
Section 16. Irrevocability and Termination. Subject to the right of the parties to amend this Agreement as provided in Section 16, this Trust shall be irrevocable and shall continue until terminated at the written agreement of the Grantor, the Trustee, and the department, or by the Trustee and the department, if the Grantor ceases to exist. Upon termination of the Trust, all remaining trust property, less final trust administration expenses, shall be delivered to the Grantor.
Section 17. Immunity and Indemnification. The Trustee may not incur personal liability of any nature in connection with any act or omission, made in good faith, in the administration of this Trust, or in carrying out any directions by the Grantor or the department issued in accordance with this Agreement. The Trustee shall be indemnified and saved harmless by the Grantor or from the Trust Fund, or both, from and against any personal liability to which the Trustee may be subjected by reason of any act or conduct in its official capacity, including all expenses reasonably incurred in its defense in the event the Grantor fails to provide such defense.
Section 18. Choice of Law. This Agreement shall be administered, construed, and enforced according to the laws of the State of Wisconsin.
Section 19. Interpretation. As used in this Agreement, words in the singular include the plural and words in the plural include the singular. The descriptive headings for each Section of this Agreement may not affect the interpretation or the legal efficacy of this Agreement.
In Witness Whereof the parties have caused this Agreement to be executed by their respective officers duly authorized and their corporate seals to be hereunto affixed and attested as of the date first above written: The parties below certify that the wording of this Agreement is identical to the wording specified in s. NR 661.0151 (1) (a)
, Wis. Adm. Code, as such regulations were constituted on the date first above written.
[Signature of Grantor]
[Signature of Trustee]
The following is an example of the certification of acknowledgment that shall accompany the trust agreement for a trust fund as specified in s. NR 661.0143 (1)
State of [ ]
County of [ ]
On this [date], before me personally came [owner or operator] to me known, who, being by me duly sworn, did depose and say that she/he resides at [address], that she/he is [title] of [corporation], the corporation described in and which executed the above instrument; that she/he knows the seal of said corporation; that the seal affixed to such instrument is such corporate seal; that it was so affixed by order of the Board of Directors of said corporation, and that she/he signed her/his name thereto by like order.