The person or persons responsible for discharges or releases are liable for costs of cleanup. Action will be initiated by the agency administering the funding mechanism to recover such expenditures from the party responsible for the discharge, if known. The OSC may also issue an Administrative Order, either by consent or unilaterally, to require financially viable responsible parties to conduct the removal action.
Until new guidance is published, all incidents requiring funding must be screened by category:
(a) CWA Section 311(k) for oil only, and
(b) CERCLA for any release or threat of release of a hazardous material as defined by CERCLA.
A U.S. EPA and USCG Headquarters agreement states that response to any potentially hazardous oil and hazardous materials mixture shall be CERCLA-funded. This section addresses U.S. EPA and State access to OPA and CERCLA funding. USCG procedures can be found in USCG ACPs.
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund, was enacted by Congress on December 11, 1980 and updated under the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) in 1986. An overview can be found at www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/summary-comprehensive-environmental-response-compensation-and-liability-act
Funding guidance can be found through the National Pollution Fund Center at www.uscg.mil/Mariners/National-Pollution-Funds-Center/
Local Government Reimbursement under CERLCA: www.epa.gov/emergency-response/reimbursement-local-governments-emergency-response-hazardous-substance-releases