Claims for Removal Costs


Removal costs are the costs of containing and removing oil after a discharge of oil has occurred; or, when there is a substantial threat of a discharge of oil, removal costs are the costs to prevent, minimize, or mitigate oil pollution.

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Examples of Removal Cost Claims

You own waterfront property where a boat and dock were oiled from an OPA incident. You notified the National Response Center of the incident, discussed it with the Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC), and hired a local contractor to remove the oil. You may have a claim for the cost of the contractor used to remove the oil from your property.

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Claim Requirements

To be valid, a removal cost claim must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be able to prove that the oil spill you helped clean up falls under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. (See the General OPA Claims Requirements page for more information.)
  • You must show that your actions were reasonable and consistent with the National Contingency Plan. (The easiest way to meet this requirement is to show that you coordinated your efforts with the Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC).)
  • You must prove that your actions aided in the spill clean-up and that the amount you are claiming is appropriate:
    • Show that your actions were necessary to prevent or reduce the effects of the spill.
    • Show that the removal costs you are claiming resulted from these actions.
  • You must show that you first presented your claim to the responsible party (RP), if that party is known.
    Exceptions: You may submit your removal cost claim to the NPFC without first presenting it to the RP if:
  • The claim must be for a sum certain (specific dollar amount).
  • You must submit the claim within six years of the last removal action as determined by the FOSC.
  • You must submit the claim in writing and sign it.

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Examples of Supporting Documentation

You must provide evidence that supports your claim, and you can use whatever documentation you believe best supports that claim. Listed below are examples of documentation often submitted with removal cost claims:

  • Photographs or videos of the incident and the response actions
  • Reports from local, State, or Federal agencies
  • Analysis of spill substance
  • Report or statement from the FOSC stating:
  • Contractor and subcontractor invoices and receipts
  • Proof of payment (copies of cancelled checks or affidavits) indicating the date and the amount you paid each contractor and subcontractor
  • Contractor and subcontractor daily logs that include:
    • The names of personnel, labor categories/titles, hours worked, dates worked, and personnel rates
    • Equipment used, equipment rates, and hours/dates used
    • Summary of work accomplished each day
  • Disposal manifests provided by the disposal facility
  • Disposal facility’s invoice (and proof of payment)
  • Affidavits/witness statements
  • Any other documentation you feel supports your claim

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How to Submit Your Claim

  1. Develop a document or complete the Optional Claims form that describes your claim, including the dollar amount you are claiming, and sign the document in ink.
  2. Attach supporting documentation, such as those listed above.
  3. Mail your claims package to the NPFC.

WASHINGTON DC 20593-7605

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Examples of claim determinations are posted and may help you better understand the process and provide real examples of what was submitted in various claim types and spill scenarios. The more complete your claim submission is will make the adjudication processes quicker.