Quad Cities Sub-area Contingency Plan

XIII. Access to Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and CERCLA Reimbursement

  1. OSLTF funding Procedures

    Local, State, tribal, or Federal agencies may get funding for removal costs through, and with the prior approval of, the FOSC, or by submitting a claim. Funding will be in accordance with EPA's "Guidance For Use Of The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund," (OSWER Dir. 9360.8-11) February 1997, and EPA's "Guidance For Use Of Coast Guard Basic Ordering Agreements For Emergency Oil Spill Response Support," February 10, 1997.

  2. Federal Access to the OSLTF

    To access the OSLTF, the Eighth Coast Guard District Office in New Orleans, Louisiana, must be contacted at (504) 589-6225 (24-hour number). The District Office will issue an eight-digit case number and authorize a spending ceiling. After receiving a number and ceiling from the District, the federal agency providing an FOSC must contact its contracting officer within 48 hours to issue a delivery order for services under the applicable Basic Ordering Agreements (BOA's).

  3. State Access to the OSLTF

    In accordance with regulations promulgated under Section 1012(d)(1) of OPA, the President, upon request of a state's governor, or the individual designated by the governor, may obligate the OSLTF for payment in an amount not to exceed $250,000 for removal costs consistent with the NCP that are required for the immediate removal of a discharge, or the mitigation or prevention of a substantial threat of a discharge, of oil. Request for access to the OSLTF must be made by telephone or other rapid means to the FOSC. There are three payment regimes for which the states may obtain Federal funding for oil spill incident removal actions.

    1. Direct State Access

      State access to the Fund provides and avenue for States to receive Federal funds for immediate removal costs resulting from their response to actual or threatened discharges of oil. In making a request to access the OSLTF in Region 7, the individual making the request must:

      • Indicate that the request is a state access request under 33 CFR Part 133.
      • Provide the name, title, department and state,
      • Describe the incident in sufficient detail to allow a determination of jurisdiction, including at a minimum: the date of the incident, type of product discharged, estimated quantity of discharge, the navigable water involved, and the proposed removal actions for which the funds are being requested under Part 133, and
      • Indicate the amount of funds requested.

      Further information is available through USCG Technical Operating Procedures (TOPs) for State Access Under Section 1012(d)(1) of OPA.

    2. Acting as FOSC Contractor

      State agencies may perform removal actions under the direct supervision of an FOSC. In such situations, the FOSC issues a Pollution Removal Funding Authorization (PRFA) to the State to establish a contractual relationship and obligate the Fund. Under this method of funding, the FOSC is actively directing the State's response actions. State involvement in use of the OSLTF through a PRFA can be accomplished as follows.

      • The appropriate state agency notifies EPA of the spill immediately;
      • An FOSC travels to the site and discusses with the SOSC what actions need to be taken;
      • Based on discussions between the SOSC and the FOSC, a brief work plan is written. A PRFA is prepared by the authorizing federal agency and signed by the FOSC to fund the state actions. The purpose of the work plan and the PRFA is to help establish what future claims submitted by the state are appropriate, and;
      • During the course of the cleanup or at the conclusion, the response costs are submitted to the FOSC for approval. The FOSC will forward the costs to the USCG with a cover letter, recommending payment.

    3. Claims

      Section 1012 (d)(1) of OPA 90 authorizes use of the Fund for "the payment of claims in accordance with section 1013 for uncompensated removal costs determined by the President to be consistent with the NCP or uncompensated damages." States may submit claims for uncompensated removal costs, which may include those salaries, equipment, and administrative costs directly related to a specific incident. A state may submit claims for removal costs directly to the Fund, even if the responsible party is unknown. To submit a claim against the OSLTF, the State must:

      • Notify the appropriate Federal agency that a claim will be submitted.
      • Submit a detailed description of the incident, including at a minimum: what type of material was released or potentially released, what navigable water was impacted or potentially impacted, what response actions were taken to prevent, minimize or mitigate the release and were those actions consistent with the NCP.
      • Include a detailed summary of the amount spent by the State during its response actions and provide backup documentation. The removal costs incurred by the State must have been incurred as a result of the response actions taken to prevent, minimize or mitigate the effects of the incident.
      • Submit the package to the appropriate FOSC for approval. If approved, the FOSC will forward the claim to the USCG-NPFC with a cover letter, recommending payment.

    4. CERCLA Local Governments Reimbursement Program

      Section 123 of CERCLA and Section 1002 (b)(2)(F) of OPA authorize EPA to reimburse local governments for some (and in rare cases) possibly all of the expenses incurred in carrying out temporary emergency measures in response to hazardous substance threats or releases. These measures or operations are necessary to prevent or mitigate injury to human health or the environment.

      The intent of this provision is to reduce any significant financial burden that may have been incurred by a city, county, municipality, parish, township, town, federally recognized Native American Tribe, or general purpose unit of local government that takes the above measures in response to hazardous substance threats. Traditional local responsibilities, such as routine fire fighting, are not eligible for reimbursement. States are not eligible for this program and may not request reimbursement on their own behalf or on the behalf of a political subdivision within a given state (40 CFR Parts 310.20 and 310.30).

      The following criteria must be met before a request for reimbursement is to be considered:

      • Response actions were consistent with CERCLA, NCP, EPCRA.
      • The request contains assurances that the response does not supplant local funds normally provided for such activities.
      • The applicant must have first attempted to recover from all known PRPs and any other possible sources if reimbursement (state funds, insurance companies, etc.). Sixty days must be allowed for the responsible party to respond by making payment, expressing an intent to pay, or demonstrating willingness to negotiate payment.

      CERCLA limits the amount of reimbursement to $25,000 per single response. If several agencies or departments are involved in a response, they must determine among themselves which agency will submit the request for reimbursement. Any request must be received by EPA within 1 year of the date the response was completed.

      Some of the allowable costs may include, but are not limited to, the following:

      • Disposal materials and supplies acquired and used specifically for the related response.
      • Employee compensation for response work provided in applicant's operating budget.
      • Rental or leasing of equipment.
      • Replacement costs of equipment contaminated to the extent that it is beyond reuse or repair.
      • Decontamination of equipment.
      • Special technical services needed for the response, such as those provided by experts or specialists.
      • Other special services, such as utilities.
      • Laboratory analysis costs related to the response.
      • Costs associated with supplies, services and equipment procured for a specific evaluation.

      A review panel will evaluate each request and will rank the requests on the basis of financial burden. Financial burden is based on the ratio of eligible response costs to the locality's per capita income adjusted for population. If a request is not reimbursed during the review period for which it is submitted. the EPA's reimbursement official has the discretion to hold the request open for a 1-year reconsideration.

      An application package can be obtained by contacting the LGR Helpline: 1-800-431-9209. The application package contains detailed, line-by-line instructions for completing the application.

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