[Federal Register Volume 63, Number 32 (Wednesday, February 18, 1998)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 8284-8296]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 98-2716]



[[Page 8283]]

_______________________________________________________________________

Part III





Environmental Protection Agency





_______________________________________________________________________



40 CFR Part 310



Reimbursement to Local Governments for Emergency Responses to Hazardous 
Substances Releases; Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 63, No. 32 / Wednesday, February 18, 1998 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 8284]]



ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 310

[FR-5958-1]
RIN 2050-AE36


Reimbursement to Local Governments for Emergency Responses to 
Hazardous Substance Releases

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Interim final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: In response to President Clinton's regulatory reform 
initiative to reduce the burden on small entities, and eliminate, 
streamline, and rewrite regulations in plain English, the Environmental 
Protection Agency (``we'' or EPA) is issuing this interim final rule 
(regulation). Through this regulation, EPA will streamline procedures 
used to reimburse local governments for emergency response costs. Local 
governments may be reimbursed for certain costs they incur in taking 
temporary emergency measures related to releases of hazardous 
substances, pollutants and contaminants. Through this regulation, we 
are: Easing program and reporting requirements to make reimbursement 
more accessible; Simplifying the application process; Streamlining 
EPA's evaluation process to speed up reviewing applications and paying 
eligible applicants; and, Reorganizing the entire part 310 to make it 
clearer and easier to use.
    Reimbursement through this program will help lighten financial 
burdens placed on local governments that respond to hazardous releases 
or threats. Reimbursement will also help strengthen effective emergency 
response at the local level.

DATES: The effective date for this interim final rule is February 18, 
1998. The Director of the Federal Register has approved the 
incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this 
regulation as of February 18, 1998. Comments must be received on or 
before April 20, 1998.

ADDRESSES: Mail comments on specific aspects of this rulemaking and the 
information collection to Local Governments Reimbursement Program, 
Office of Emergency and Remedial Response (5204-G), Environmental 
Protection Agency, 401 M Street, SW, Washington, DC 20460. You may 
review information collection materials from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, by visiting Public Docket No. LGR-xx, located at 
1235 Jefferson Davis Highway (ground floor), Arlington, Virginia. A 
reasonable fee may be charged for copying docket material.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on specific aspects of 
this final rule for reimbursement to local governments, contact: Lisa 
Boynton, (703) 603-9052, Local Governments Reimbursement Project 
Officer, Office of Emergency and Remedial Response (5204-G), U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, 401 M Street, SW, Washington, DC 
20460.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We have included a summary of the changes in 
today's Register. If you would like to see a detailed description of 
the changes and the rationale for them, contact Lisa Boynton at the 
address provided under ``For Further Information.'' If you would like 
to skip the discussion of the changes and refer directly to the 
requirements for reimbursement, turn to Sec. 310.1.

I. What Is the Statutory Authority for This Program?

    Section 123 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, 
Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), as amended, 42 U.S.C. 
9623, authorizes EPA to reimburse local governments for expenses 
incurred in carrying out temporary emergency measures. These measures 
must be necessary to prevent or mitigate injury to human health or the 
environment associated with the release or threatened release of any 
hazardous substance, or pollutant or contaminant. Additionally, Section 
123(d) of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. 9623(d), directs the EPA Administrator to 
issue regulations to implement this program.
    The authority to receive, evaluate, and make determinations 
regarding requests for reimbursement and to issue payments to qualified 
applicants is delegated to the Director of the State and Site 
Identification Center within the Office of Emergency and Remedial 
Response. This rulemaking discusses changes designed to streamline the 
Agency's current procedures for reimbursing local governments and 
clarifies how the reimbursement program works.

II. What Else Do I Need to Know About CERCLA?

    CERCLA provides broad federal authority to respond directly to 
releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances and pollutants 
or contaminants that may endanger human health or welfare or the 
environment. CERCLA responses usually are joint efforts by federal, 
state and local agencies. As local public safety and health 
organizations are normally the first government representatives at the 
scene of a hazardous substance release, they play a critical role in 
providing temporary emergency measures.

III. Did Congress Specify What Was to be Reimbursed Under This 
Program?

    Reimbursement under this program can provide some financial relief 
(limited to $25,000 per single response) to local governments most 
seriously affected by costs above and beyond those incurred routinely 
and traditionally. Congress made it clear in the Conference Report for 
the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 that 
``reimbursement under this provision shall not include reimbursement 
for normal expenditures that are incurred in the course of providing 
what are traditionally local services and responsibilities, such as 
routine emergency firefighting.'' With the specific requirement in 
section 123 that reimbursement not supplant local funds normally 
provided for response, Congress intends that local governments continue 
to bear some share of expenses for providing temporary emergency 
measures. However, Congress recognized that in the past, conducting 
such response activities has placed a significant financial burden on 
some local governments.

IV. Why Is EPA Amending This Regulation?

    EPA believes that the regulations must be amended to: (1) make 
funds that are available under this program more accessible to local 
governments; (2) reduce the reporting burden on local governments that 
apply for reimbursement; and (3) speed up the review and payment of 
funds to eligible applicants. Therefore, EPA is revising this 
regulation to ease several program and reporting requirements and to 
simplify the procedures that local governments follow when applying for 
reimbursement.

V. Did EPA Get Input From Local Governments in Making Changes to This 
Regulation?

    Yes. Through consultation, training and outreach, EPA obtained 
input from local government officials who have participated in the 
reimbursement process. This input has given EPA a greater understanding 
of the difficulties that local governments encounter when seeking 
reimbursement which may discourage overall participation in the 
reimbursement program.

[[Page 8285]]

VI. Why Is EPA Issuing an Interim Final Rule for These Changes?

    Because this rule falls under the grants, benefits, and contracts 
exemption of Section 553 of the Administrative Procedures Act (5 U.S.C. 
553(a)(2)), the Agency is not required to solicit public comment before 
this rule becomes effective. In addition, the Agency may make the rule 
effective immediately upon publication.
    The interim final approach is designed to allow EPA to implement 
these changes and to make the reimbursement money available quickly, 
while continuing to solicit public comments. Public comments are 
invited and should be sent to the address listed in the ADDRESSES 
section above. Comments received by April 20, 1998 will be considered 
in the final rule.

VII. What Is EPA Changing in This Regulation?

    Based on the Agency's experience in overseeing the reimbursement 
program and its ongoing consultation with local governments, EPA is 
making the following substantive changes to the 1993 Final Rule:
    (1) Section 310.5 has been modified to clarify the purpose of the 
regulations and the possibility that funds may not be available in a 
particular year;
    (2) Section 310.10 has been modified to include several 
abbreviations;
    (3) Section 310.11 has been modified to include definitions of the 
terms application, Federally-recognized Indian tribes, and potentially 
responsible parties;
    (4) Section 310.25(a) has been added to specify remedies EPA may 
rely on if incorrect, false or misleading information is submitted with 
an application for reimbursement;
    (5) Section 310.20 has been modified for clarification purposes;
    (6) Section 310.30 has been changed to ease the program and 
reporting requirements for requesting reimbursement;
    (7) Section 310.40 has been changed to clarify allowable costs and 
to streamline the cost documentation requirements;
    (8) Section 310.50 has been changed to reduce the reporting 
requirements and to clarify the application signature authority;
    (9) Section 310.60 has been changed to:
    (a) streamline and clarify the application evaluation process 
(including the Agency's approach when there are competing demands on 
available reimbursement funds);
    (b) extend the time periods for applicants to provide additional 
information to EPA to support their applications; and
    (c) give applicants an opportunity to request exceptions to the 
requirements when there is good cause;
    (10) Section 310.70 has been changed to reduce applicant record 
keeping requirements from ten years to three;
    (11) Section 310.80 has been incorporated into Section 310.60 for 
organizational purposes; and
    (12) Section 310.90 has been renumbered and modified to clarify the 
disputes resolution process.

VIII. What Else Is Different?

    EPA reorganized the entire Part 310 to make it clearer and easier 
to use. The conversion table below will allow you to determine where 
the various sections of the old regulation are now located:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Existing section             Action               New section(s)     
------------------------------------------------------------------------
310.5.................  Revise................  310.1, 310.5, 310.6.    
310.10................  Revise................  310.4.                  
310.11................  Revise................  310.3.                  
310.12................  Revise................  310.24.                 
310.20................  No change.............  310.5, 310.6.           
310.30................  Revise................  310.11, 310.13, 310.14, 
                                                 310.17.                
310.40................  Revise................  310.11, 310.12, 310.16. 
310.50................  Revise................  310.7, 310.8, 310.9,    
                                                 310.10, 310.15, 310.17.
310.60................  Revise................  310.18, 310.19, 310.20, 
                                                 310.23, 310.24.        
310.70................  Revise................  310.22.                 
310.80................  Revise................  310.23.                 
310.90................  Revise................  310.65.                 
------------------------------------------------------------------------

IX. Regulatory Analyses

A. Executive Order No. 12866

    Under Executive Order No. 12866, EPA must judge whether a 
regulation is ``major'' and thus would be subject to the requirement of 
a Regulatory Impact Analysis. The Agency believes that the notice 
published today does not meet the definition of a significant 
regulation because it does not have an annual effect on the economy of 
$100 million or more; nor does the rule fall within the other 
definitional criteria for a significant regulatory action because the 
rule eases program and reporting requirements. Therefore, EPA has not 
prepared a Regulatory Impact Analysis under the Executive Order. OMB 
did not review this rule because it is not significant.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), as amended 
by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 
(SBREFA), generally requires an agency to prepare, and make available 
for public comment, a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes 
the impact of a proposed or final rule on small entities (i.e., small 
businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions). 
However, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of 
an agency certifies the rule will not have a significant adverse impact 
on a substantial number of small entities.
    SBREFA amended the Regulatory Flexibility Act to require Federal 
agencies to provide a statement of the factual basis for certifying 
that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. The following discussion explains 
EPA's determination.
    This regulation involves reimbursement to local governments for the 
costs of responding to a hazardous substance release. This is a benefit 
authorized by CERCLA and does not adversely affect the private sector 
economy or small entities, which may include local governments. In 
fact, this rule provides a benefit to local governments in the form of 
reimbursement to offset financial hardship incurred from responses to 
hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants. The revisions to this 
regulation are intended to minimize the burden imposed on local 
governments in seeking this benefit. EPA, therefore, certifies that 
this regulation will not have a significant impact on a substantial 
number of small entities.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

    OMB has approved the original information collection requirements 
contained in this rule under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction 
Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) and assigned control number 2050-0077.
    The revised information collection requirements in this rule was 
submitted for approval to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. An 
Information Collection Request (ICR) document has been prepared by EPA 
(ICR No.1425.04) and a copy may be obtained from Sandy Farmer by mail 
at OPPE Regulatory Information Division; U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency (2137); 401 M St., S.W.; Washington, DC 20460, by email at 
farmer.sandy@epamail.epa.gov, or by calling (202) 260-2740. A copy may 
also be downloaded off the internet at http://www.epa.gov/icr. The 
information

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requirements are not effective until OMB approves them.
    The Agency requires applicants for reimbursement to submit an 
application package that demonstrates consistency with program 
eligibility criteria and certifies compliance with the reimbursement 
requirements. This information collection is necessary to ensure proper 
use of the Superfund and appropriate distribution of reimbursement 
awards among applicants. EPA will receive and closely evaluate 
reimbursement requests in accordance with the promulgated final rule to 
ensure that the most deserving cases receive awards. We estimate the 
public reporting burden for this collection of information to average 9 
hours per response, including time for reviewing instructions, 
searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data 
needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. We 
estimate we will receive 36 responses per year for an annual burden 
estimate of 324 hours per year.
    Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources 
expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or 
provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time 
needed to review instructions; develop, acquire, install, and utilize 
technology and systems for the purposes of collecting, validating, and 
verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and 
disclosing and providing information; adjust the existing ways to 
comply with any previously applicable instructions and requirements; 
train personnel to be able to respond to a collection of information; 
search data sources; complete and review the collection of information; 
and transmit or otherwise disclose the information.
    An Agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required 
to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a 
currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA's 
regulations are listed in 40 CFR Part 9 and 48 CFR Chapter 15.
    Send comments on the Agency's need for this information, the 
accuracy of the provided burden estimates, and any suggested methods 
for minimizing respondent burden, including through the use of 
automated collection techniques to the Director, OPPE Regulatory 
Information Division; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2137); 401 
M St., S.W.; Washington, DC 20460; and to the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th St., 
N.W., Washington, DC 20503, marked ``Attention: Desk Officer for EPA.'' 
Comments are requested by March 20, 1998. Include the ICR number in any 
correspondence.

D. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    Under 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A) as added by the Small Business 
Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, EPA submitted a report 
containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, 
the U.S. House of Representatives and the Comptroller General of the 
General Accounting Office prior to publication of the rule in today's 
Federal Register . This rule is not a ``major rule'' as defined by 5 
U.S.C. 804(2).

E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    ``Today's rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202, 
203 and 205 of the UMRA. EPA has determined that this rule does not 
contain a Federal mandate that may result in expenditures of $100 
million or more for State, local, and tribal governments, in the 
aggregate, or the private sector in any one year. On the contrary, the 
Agency expects that today's rule will ease program and reporting 
requirements for local governments so that reimbursement is more 
accessible.
    In addition, the Agency does not believe that today's rule is 
subject to section 203 of the UMRA to the extent that today's rule 
simplifies the application process for local governments and does not 
impose additional regulatory requirements. Indeed, today's rule is 
being promulgated in response to a long standing request by local 
governments after substantial input from such local governments into 
the rule's development.''

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 310

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, 
Hazardous substances, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental 
relations, Local governments, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Superfund.

    Dated: January 27, 1998.
Carol Browner,
Administrator.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, EPA amends title 40, 
chapter I of the Code of Federal Regulations by revising part 310 to 
read as follows:

PART 310--REIMBURSEMENT TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS FOR EMERGENCY RESPONSE 
TO HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE RELEASES

Subpart A--General Information

Sec.
310.1  What is the purpose of this part?
310.2  What is the statutory authority for this part?
310.3  What terms have specific definitions?
310.4  What abbreviations should I know?

Subpart B--Provisions

Who Can Be Reimbursed

310.5  Am I eligible for reimbursement?
310.6  Are states eligible?
310.7  Can more than one local agency or government be reimbursed 
for response to the same emergency?

What Can Be Reimbursed

310.8  Can EPA reimburse the entire cost of my response?
310.9  If more than one local agency or government is involved, can 
each receive up to $25,000?
310.10  What are temporary emergency measures?
310.11  What costs are allowable?
310.12  What costs are NOT allowable?

How to Get Reimbursed

310.13  Do I need to notify anyone while the response is underway?
310.14  Must I try to recover my costs from those potentially 
responsible for the emergency?
310.15  How do I apply for reimbursement?
310.16  What kind of cost documentation is necessary?
310.17  Are there any other requirements?
310.18  How will EPA evaluate my application?
310.19  Under what conditions would EPA deny my request?
310.20  What are my options if EPA denies my request?
310.21  How does EPA resolve disputes?

Other Things You Need to Know

310.22  What records must I keep?
310.23  How will EPA rank approved requests?
310.24  What happens if I provide incorrect or false information?

Appendices to Part 310

Appendix I to Part 310--FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Appendix II to Part 310--EPA Regions and NRC Telephone Lines
Appendix III to Part 310--FORM: Application for Reimbursement to 
Local Governments for Emergency Response to Hazardous Substance 
Release Under CERCLA Sec. 123

    Authority: 42 U.S.C. 9611(c)(11), 9623.

Subpart A--General Information


Sec. 310.1  What is the purpose of this part?

    This part sets up procedures for EPA to reimburse local governments 
for certain emergency response costs. Local

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governments may receive up to $25,000 to help lighten financial burdens 
related to emergency response to hazardous substance releases. This 
reimbursement does NOT replace funding that local governments normally 
provide for emergency response.


Sec. 310.2  What is the statutory authority for this part?

    This part is authorized under section 123 of the Comprehensive 
Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 
(CERCLA) (Pub. L. 96-510, 42 U.S.C. 9601-9675), as amended by the 
Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA) (Pub. L. 
99-499, 42 U.S.C. 9601).


Sec. 310.3  What terms have specific definitions?

    For purposes of this part except when otherwise specified:
    (a) Application means Form 9310-1, shown in Appendix III of this 
part, including all documentation and additional information you submit 
to support a request for reimbursement.
    (b) Date of completion means the date when you have completed all 
field work and you have received all deliverables (such as lab results, 
technical expert reports, or invoices) due under a contract or other 
agreement.
    (c) Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 
means Title III--Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 
the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (EPCRA) (Pub. 
L. 99-499, 42 U.S.C. 11000-11050).
    (d) Federally-recognized Indian Tribe, as defined by section 
101(36) of CERCLA, means any Indian Tribe, band, nation, or other 
organized group or community, including any Alaska Native village but 
not including any Alaska Native regional or village corporation, which 
is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services 
provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as 
Indians.
    (e) General purpose unit of local government means the governing 
body of a county, parish, municipality, city, town, township, 
Federally-recognized Indian tribe or similar governing body. This term 
does not include special purpose districts.
    (f) Hazardous substance. (1) Hazardous substance, as defined by 
section 101(14) of CERCLA, means:
    (i) Any substance designated pursuant to section 311(b)(2)(A) of 
the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Pub. L. 101-380, 33 U.S.C. 
1251 et seq.);
    (ii) Any element, compound, mixture, solution, or substance 
designated pursuant to section 102 of CERCLA;
    (iii) Any hazardous waste having the characteristics identified 
under or listed pursuant to section 3001 of the Solid Waste Disposal 
Act (Pub. L. 89-272, 42 U.S.C. 3259 et seq.) (but not including any 
waste the regulation of which under the Solid Waste Disposal Act has 
been suspended by Act of Congress);
    (iv) Any toxic pollutant listed under section 307(a) of the Federal 
Water Pollution Control Act (Pub. L. 101-380, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.);
    (v) Any hazardous air pollutant listed under section 112 of the 
Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401-7642); and
    (vi) Any imminently hazardous chemical substance or mixture with 
respect to which the Administrator has taken action pursuant to section 
7 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (Pub. L. 94-469, 15 U.S.C. 2601-
2629).
    (2) The term does not include petroleum, including crude oil or any 
fraction thereof that is not otherwise specifically listed or 
designated as a hazardous substance under paragraphs (f)(1)(i) through 
(f)(1)(vi) of this section, and the term does not include natural gas, 
natural gas liquids, liquefied natural gas, or synthetic gas usable for 
fuel (or mixtures of natural gas and such synthetic gas).
    (g) Local emergency response plan means the emergency plan prepared 
by the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) as required by section 
303 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 
(EPCRA or SARA Title III).
    (h) National Contingency Plan means the National Oil and Hazardous 
Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (40 CFR part 300).
    (i) National Response Center means the national communications 
center located in Washington, DC, that receives and relays notice of 
oil discharge or releases of hazardous substances to appropriate 
Federal officials.
    (j) Pollutant or contaminant, as defined by section 104(a)(2) of 
CERCLA, includes, but is not limited to, any element, substance, 
compound, or mixture, including disease-causing agents, which after 
release into the environment and upon exposure, ingestion, inhalation, 
or assimilation into any organism, either directly from the environment 
or indirectly by ingestion through food chains, will or may reasonably 
be anticipated to cause death, disease, behavioral abnormalities, 
cancer, genetic mutation, physiological malfunctions (including 
malfunctions in reproduction) or physical deformations, in such 
organisms or their offspring. The term does not include petroleum, 
including crude oil and any fraction thereof that is not otherwise 
specifically listed or designated as a hazardous substance under 
section 101(14)(A) through (F) of CERCLA, nor does it include natural 
gas, liquefied natural gas, or synthetic gas of pipeline quality (or 
mixtures of natural gas and such synthetic gas).
    (k) Potentially responsible party (PRP) means any person who may be 
liable under section 107 of CERCLA for a release or threatened release 
of hazardous substances or pollutants or contaminants.
    (l) Release, as defined by section 101(22) of CERCLA, means any 
spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, discharging, 
injection, escaping, leaching, dumping, or disposing into the 
environment, but excludes: any release that results in exposure to 
persons solely within a workplace, with respect to a claim that such 
persons may assert against the employer of such persons; emissions from 
the engine exhaust of a motor vehicle, rolling stock, aircraft, vessel, 
or pipeline pumping station engine; release of source, by-product or 
special nuclear materials from a nuclear incident, as those terms are 
defined in the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.), if 
such release is subject to requirements with respect to financial 
protection established by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission under 
section 170 of such act, or, for the purpose of section 104 of CERCLA 
or any other response action, any release of source, by-product, or 
special nuclear material from any processing site designated under 
section 122(a)(1) or 302(a) of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation 
Control Act of 1978 (Pub. L. 95-604, 42 U.S.C. 2014 et seq.); and the 
normal application of fertilizer. For purposes of this part, release 
also means the threat of release.
    (m) Single response means all of the concerted activities conducted 
in response to a single episode, incident, or threat causing or 
contributing to a release or threatened release of hazardous 
substances, or pollutants or contaminants.


Sec. 310.4  What abbreviations should I know?

    The following abbreviations appear in this part:

CERCLA--The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and 
Liability Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-510, 42 U.S.C. 9601-9675), as 
amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986, 
also known as Superfund.

[[Page 8288]]

EPA or the Agency--Environmental Protection Agency.
EPCRA--Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 
(Pub. L. 99-499, 42 U.S.C. 11000-11050).
LEPC--Local Emergency Planning Committee.
NCP--National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency 
Plan also known as the National Contingency Plan (40 CFR part 300).
NRC--National Response Center.
OMB--Office of Management and Budget.
PRP--Potentially Responsible Party.
SARA--The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (Pub. 
L. 99-499, 42 U.S.C. 9601).
SERC--State Emergency Response Commission.
USCG--U.S. Coast Guard.

Subpart B--Provisions

Who Can Be Reimbursed?


Sec. 310.5  Am I eligible for reimbursement?

    If you are the governing body of a county, parish, municipality, 
city, town, township, federally-recognized Indian tribe or general 
purpose unit of local government, you are eligible for reimbursement. 
This does not include special purpose districts.


Sec. 310.6  Are states eligible?

    States are NOT eligible for reimbursement under this part, and 
states may NOT request reimbursement on behalf of their local 
governments.


Sec. 310.7  Can more than one local agency or government be reimbursed 
for response to the same incident?

    No. EPA will accept only one reimbursement request for a single 
response. A single response includes all of the temporary emergency 
measures that ALL local governments or agencies conduct in response to 
a single hazardous substance release. If more than one local government 
or agency responds, you must decide among yourselves who will request 
reimbursement on behalf of all.

What Can Be Reimbursed?


Sec. 310.8  Can EPA reimburse the entire cost of my response?

    Possibly not. EPA can only reimburse you for temporary emergency 
measures you take in response to releases of hazardous substances, 
pollutants, or contaminants. The statute allows reimbursement for only 
certain costs, and by statute, the total amount of the reimbursement 
may not exceed $25,000 for a single response.


Sec. 310.9  If more than one local agency or government is involved, 
can each receive up to $25,000?

    No. The maximum amount EPA can reimburse is $25,000 for a single 
response, which includes all activities by ALL local responders. If the 
costs incurred by multiple local governments or agencies exceed 
$25,000, you must decide among yourselves how the total reimbursement 
will be divided.


Sec. 310.10  What are temporary emergency measures?

    (a) Temporary emergency measures are actions taken to control or 
eliminate immediate threats to human health and the environment.
    (b) Examples of temporary emergency measures are:
    (1) Site security;
    (2) Controlling the source of contamination;
    (3) Containing the release to prevent spreading;
    (4) Neutralizing or treating pollutants released; and
    (5) Controlling contaminated runoff.


Sec. 310.11  What costs are allowable?

    (a) Reimbursement under this part does NOT supplant funds you 
normally provide for emergency response. Allowable costs are only those 
necessary for you to respond effectively to a specific incident that is 
beyond what you might normally respond to.
    (b) Examples of allowable costs are:
    (1) Disposable materials and supplies you acquired and used to 
respond to the specific incident;
    (2) Payment of unbudgeted wages for employees responding to the 
specific incident (for example, overtime pay for response personnel);
    (3) Rental or leasing of equipment you used to respond to the 
specific incident (for example, protective equipment or clothing, 
scientific and technical equipment) (Note: rental costs are only 
allowable for the duration of your response; once you complete the 
response to the specific incident, further rental costs are NOT 
allowable);
    (4) Replacement costs for equipment you own that is contaminated or 
damaged beyond reuse or repair, if you can demonstrate that the 
equipment is a total loss and that the loss occurred during the 
response (for example, self-contained breathing apparatus irretrievably 
contaminated during the response);
    (5) Decontamination of equipment contaminated during the response;
    (6) Special technical services specifically required for the 
response (for example, costs associated with the time and efforts of 
technical experts/specialists that are not on your staff);
    (7) Other special services specifically required for the response 
(for example, utilities);
    (8) Laboratory costs of analyzing samples that you took during the 
response;
    (9) Evacuation costs associated with the services, supplies, and 
equipment that you procured for a specific evacuation; and
    (10) Containerization or packaging cost and transportation and 
disposal of hazardous wastes.
    (c) To be allowable, costs must:
    (1) NOT be higher than what a careful person would spend for 
similar products or services in your area; and
    (2) Be consistent with CERCLA and the federal cost principles 
outlined in OMB Circular A-87, ``Cost Principles for State and Local 
Governments.'' (Copies of the circular are available from the Office of 
Administration, Publications Office, New Executive Office Building, 725 
17th Street, NW., Room 2200, Washington, DC 20503.)
    (d) EPA will make final determinations on whether your costs are 
reasonable.


Sec. 310.12  What costs are NOT allowable?

    (a) Costs that are NOT allowable are expenditures you incur in 
providing what are traditionally local services and responsibilities. 
Examples include:
    (1) Routine firefighting;
    (2) Preparing contingency plans;
    (3) Training; and
    (4) Response drills and exercises.
    (b) Costs that are NOT allowable also include items such as 
supplies, equipment, and services that you routinely purchase to 
maintain your ability to respond effectively to hazardous releases when 
they occur. Examples of other costs that are NOT allowable are:
    (1) Purchase or routine maintenance of durable equipment expected 
to last one year or more, except when contaminated or damaged as 
described in Sec. 310.11(b)(4) and (b)(5);
    (2) Materials and supplies you did NOT purchase specifically for 
the response;
    (3) Rental costs for equipment that you own or that another unit of 
local government owns;
    (4) Employee fringe benefits;
    (5) Administrative costs for filing reimbursement applications;
    (6) Employee out-of-pocket expenses normally provided for in your 
operating budget (for example, meals or fuel);
    (7) Legal expenses you may incur due to response activities, 
including efforts to recover costs from PRPs; and
    (8) Medical expenses you incur due to response activities.

[[Page 8289]]

How to get Reimbursed


Sec. 310.13  Do I need to notify anyone while the response is underway?

    No. You should notify EPA, the National Response Center, or use 
another established response communication channel, but it is not a 
requirement for reimbursement. Telephone numbers for EPA regional 
offices and the NRC are in Appendix II to this part.


Sec. 310.14  Must I try to recover my costs from those potentially 
responsible for the emergency?

    Yes. Before applying for reimbursement from EPA, you must try to 
recover your costs from all known potentially responsible parties 
(PRPs). After you ask them for payment, you should give PRPs 60 days 
either to pay you, express their intent to pay you, or indicate 
willingness to negotiate. You must also try to get reimbursed by other 
sources (for example, your insurance company or your state). If you are 
not successful, you must certify on your reimbursement application that 
you made a good-faith, reasonable effort to recover your costs from 
other sources before applying to EPA. If you recover any portion of the 
costs from these sources after you receive reimbursement from us, you 
must return the recovered amount to EPA.


Sec. 310.15  How do I apply for reimbursement?

    (a) You must apply for reimbursement on EPA Form 9310-1, shown in 
Appendix III to this part.
    (b) You must submit your request within one year of the date you 
complete the response for which you request reimbursement. If you 
submit your application late, you must include an explanation for the 
delay. We will consider late applications on a case-by-case basis.
    (c) Your application must be signed by the highest ranking official 
of your local government (for example, mayor or county executive), or 
you must include a letter of delegation authorizing a delegate to act 
on his or her behalf.
    (d) Mail your completed application and supporting data to the LGR 
Project Officer, (5204-G), Office of Emergency and Remedial Response, 
Environmental Protection Agency, 401 M Street SW, Washington DC 20460.


Sec. 310.16  What kind of cost documentation is necessary?

    Cost documentation must be adequate for an audit. At a minimum, you 
must:
    (a) Include a description of the temporary emergency measures for 
which you request reimbursement;
    (b) Specify the local agency that incurred the cost, (such as, the 
Town Fire Department, the County Health Department, or the City 
Department of Public Works);
    (c) Include invoices, sales receipts, rental or leasing agreements, 
or other proof of costs you incurred; and
    (d) Certify that all costs are accurate and that you incurred them 
specifically for the response for which you are requesting 
reimbursement.


Sec. 310.17  Are there any other requirements?

    (a) You must certify that reimbursement under this regulation does 
not supplant local funds that you normally provide for emergency 
response. This means that the reimbursement you request is for costs 
you would not normally incur; rather, they are for significant, 
unanticipated costs related to a specific incident beyond what you 
normally respond to.
    (b) You must also certify that your response actions are not in 
conflict with CERCLA, the National Contingency Plan (NCP), and the 
local emergency response plan prepared by your Local Emergency Planning 
Committee, if there is one. If you need help with this requirement, 
contact the LGR Help line (800-431-9209) or your EPA regional office.
    (c) You, as a local government, should be included in the local 
emergency response plan completed by your LEPC, as section 303(a) of 
EPCRA requires. This does not apply if your State Emergency Response 
Commission (SERC) has not established an LEPC responsible for the 
emergency planning district(s) that encompasses your geographic 
boundaries.


Sec. 310.18  How will EPA evaluate my application?

    (a) When we receive your application, we will make sure it meets 
all requirements of this section. If your request is incomplete or has 
significant defects, we will contact you for additional information. 
You should provide any additional information within 90 days. If you 
don't provide requested information within a year, we may deny your 
application.
    (b) If your application meets all requirements, we will consider 
whether the costs claimed are allowable and reasonable. We will then 
send you written notification of our decision to award or deny 
reimbursement in full or in part.


Sec. 310.19  Under what conditions would EPA deny my request?

    We may deny your reimbursement request in full or in part if:
    (a) Your records, documents, or other evidence are not maintained 
according to generally accepted accounting principles and practices 
consistently applied;
    (b) The costs you claim are NOT reasonable or allowable, that is, 
they are higher than what a careful person would spend for similar 
products or services in your area; or
    (c) You do not supply additional information within one year from 
when we request it; and
    (d) Reimbursement would be inconsistent with CERCLA section 123, or 
the regulations in this part.


Sec. 310.20  What are my options if EPA denies my request?

    If we deny your request because you failed to meet a requirement in 
this regulation, you may request, in writing, that EPA grant an 
exception. You may also file a request for an exception with your 
initial application. In your request for an exception, you must state 
the requirement you cannot comply with and the reasons why EPA should 
grant an exception. We will grant exceptions only if you establish good 
cause for the exception and if granting the exception would be 
consistent with section 123 of CERCLA.


Sec. 310.21  How does EPA resolve disputes?

    (a) The EPA reimbursement official's decision is final EPA action 
unless you file a request for review by registered or certified mail 
within 60 calendar days of the date you receive our decision. Send your 
request for review to the address given in Sec. 310.15(d).
    (b) You must file your request for review with the disputes 
decision official identified in the final written decision.
    (c) Your request for review must include:
    (1) A statement of the amount you dispute;
    (2) A description of the issues involved;
    (3) A statement of your objection to the final decision; and
    (4) Any additional information relevant to your objection to EPA's 
decision.
    (d) After filing for review:
    (1) You may request an informal conference with the EPA disputes 
decision official;
    (2) You may be represented by counsel and may submit documentary 
evidence and briefs to be included in a written record; and
    (3) You will receive a written decision by the disputes decision 
official within 45 days after we receive your final submission of 
information unless the

[[Page 8290]]

official extends this period for good cause.

Other Things You Need To Know


Sec. 310.22  What records must I keep?

    (a) If you receive reimbursement under the regulations in this 
part, for three years you must keep all cost documentation and any 
other records related to your application. You must also provide EPA 
access to those records if we need them.
    (b) After three years from the date of your reimbursement, if we 
have NOT begun a cost recovery action against a potentially responsible 
party, you may dispose of the records. You must notify EPA of your 
intent to dispose of the records 60 days before you do so, and allow us 
to take possession of these records beforehand.


Sec. 310.23  How will EPA rank approved requests?

    (a) If necessary, EPA will rank approved reimbursement requests 
according to the financial burden the response costs impose on the 
local governments. We will estimate your financial burden by 
calculating the ratio of your allowable response costs to your annual 
per capita income adjusted for population. We will make adjustments for 
population so that a large city with a low per capita income will not 
necessarily receive a higher rank than a small town with a slightly 
higher per capita income. We will also consider other relevant 
financial information you may supply.
    (b) We will use the per capita income and population statistics 
published by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, in 
Current Population Reports, Local Population Estimates, Series P-26, 
``1988 Population and 1987 Per Capita Income Estimates for Counties and 
Incorporated Places,'' Vols. 88-S-SC, 88-ENC-SC, 88-NE-SC, 88-W-SC, 88-
WNC-SC, March 1990. The Director of the Federal Register has approved 
this incorporation by reference in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 
1 CFR Part 51. Copies are available from the Bureau of the Census, 
Office of Public Affairs, Department of Commerce, Constitution Avenue, 
NE., Washington, DC 20230 (1-202-763-4040). You may review a copy at 
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 401 M Street, SW., 
Washington, DC 20460 or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 N. 
Capitol Street, NW., 7th Floor, Suite 700, Washington, DC.
    (c) Larger ratios receive a higher rank. We will reimburse requests 
with the highest ranks first. Once we rank your request, we will 
either:
    (1) Reimburse the request; or
    (2) Hold the request for reconsideration once additional funding is 
available.
    (d) The EPA reimbursement official will give you a written decision 
on whether the request will be reimbursed or held for future 
reconsideration.


Sec. 310.24  What happens if I provide incorrect or false information?

    (a) You must not knowingly or recklessly make any statement or 
provide any information in your reimbursement application that is 
false, misleading, misrepresented, or misstated. If you do provide 
incorrect or false information, and EPA relies on that information in 
making a reimbursement decision, we may deny your application and 
withdraw or recover the full amount of your award. In such a case, we 
would give you written notice of our intentions.
    (b) If you, as a reimbursement applicant or someone providing 
information to the applicant, knowingly give any false statement or 
claim as part of any application for reimbursement under section 123 of 
CERCLA, you may be subject to criminal, civil, or administrative 
liability under the False Statement Act (Pub. L. 97-398, 18 U.S.C. 
1001) the False Claims Act (Pub. L. 99-562, 31 U.S.C. 3729), and the 
Program Fraud and Civil Remedies Act (Pub. L. 99-509, 31 U.S.C. 3801).

Appendices to Part 310

Appendix I to Part 310--Frequently Asked Questions

    (1) Can I be reimbursed for hazmat team salaries?
    Generally, no; only unbudgeted overtime and/or extra time can be 
considered for reimbursement. (Sec. 310.11(b)(2))
    (2) Will I be reimbursed for the cost of a destroyed fire truck?
    Up to $25,000 of the cost of a lost fire truck can be considered 
an allowable cost and therefore, reimbursable. However, if the local 
government has insurance covering such losses, then we would not 
reimburse you for a destroyed fire truck. (Secs. 310.11(b)(4) and 
310.14)
    (3) If I have a release in an elementary school, can the school 
district apply for reimbursement?
    No, for purposes of the regulation in this part, a school 
district is considered a special purpose district of local 
government and therefore not eligible for reimbursement. The county 
or city where the incident happened may apply for reimbursement on 
behalf of the school district. (Secs. 310.03(e) and 310.05)
    (4) Why are incidents that involve a release of petroleum not 
eligible?
    Because this program is authorized under CERCLA, and petroleum 
is excluded under CERCLA, we can't reimburse you for response to 
releases involving only petroleum. If, however, some hazardous 
substances are also involved, your incident may be reimbursed. 
(Sec. 310.03(f))
    (5) Can I be reimbursed for laying water lines to a community 
whose drinking water is affected by a release?
    No, laying water lines doesn't fall within the definition of 
temporary emergency measures. Providing bottled water on a temporary 
emergency basis is reimbursable. (Sec. 310.10(a))
    (6) What if EPA gets too many applications in one year?
    In the beginning of the program, there was a statutory 
limitation on the amount of the Superfund that could be used for 
reimbursements. That limitation was approximately $1,000,000. The 
limitation has expired, and EPA has only reimbursed slightly over 
$1,000,000 in ten years. There has not been a year where we received 
too many applications.
    (7) If I incur significant costs trying to recover from the PRP, 
can I be reimbursed by EPA for those costs?
    No, legal expenses are not allowable costs. (Sec. 310.12(b)(7)).
    (8) Can I add attachments to the Application Form?
    Yes, attach any additional information that you feel is 
necessary. EPA will review all the information that you send.
    (9) Do I have to notify EPA before I send an application in, or 
before I take a response action?
    No, you aren't required to notify EPA in either case. We do 
suggest that you call the National Response Center to report the 
hazardous substance release, or if you use other response reporting 
channels, use them. If you need some help before submitting your 
application, we do suggest you call the LGR Help line (800-431-
9209).
    (10) If two incidents happen in my town, within hours of each 
other, do I have to submit two separate applications?
    You aren't required to submit separate applications in this 
case, but if your total response costs are more than $25,000, it may 
be in your interest to submit separate applications for each single 
response. (Sec. 310.9)

Appendix--II to Part 310--EPA Regions and NRC Telephone Lines

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        
------------------------------------------------------------------------
National Response Center.............................     (800) 424-8802
EPA Regional Phone Numbers:                                             
  Region I (ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT)..................     (617) 223-7265
  Region II (NJ, NY, PR, VI).........................     (908) 548-8730
  Region III (PA, DE, MD, DC, VA, WV)................     (215) 597-9898
  Region IV (NC, SC, TN, MS, AL, GA, FL, KY).........     (404) 347-4062
  Region V (OH, IN, IL, WI, MN, MI)..................     (312) 353-2318
  Region VI (AR, LA, TX, OK, NM).....................     (215) 655-2222
  Region VII (IA, MO, KS, NE)........................     (913) 236-3778
  Region VIII (CO, UT, WY, MT, ND, SD)...............     (303) 293-1788

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  Region IX (AZ, CA, NV, AS, HI, GU, TT).............     (415) 744-2000
  Region X (ID, OR, WA, AK)..........................     (206) 553-1263
------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Appendix--III to Part 310--Form: Application for Reimbursement to 
Local Governments for Emergency Response to Hazardous Substance 
Release Under CERCLA Sec. 123
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                           Attachment 1 to Form 9310-1 Cost Element Codes and Comments                          
                                     [Cost Element Codes for use in Table 1]                                    
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Code                      Cost category                   Cost element                Comments        
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PC.....................  Personnel Compensation.............  PC1: Overtime--for        Compensation of overtime
                                                               services excess of the    costs incurred         
                                                               local agency's standard   specifically for a     
                                                               work day or work week.    response will be       
                                                              PC2: Experts and           considered only if     
                                                               consultants--for          overtime is not        
                                                               services rendered on a    otherwise provided for 
                                                               per diem or fee basis     in the applicant's     
                                                               or for services of an     operating budget.      
                                                               intermittent, advisory                           
                                                               nature.                                          
TR.....................  Transportation.....................  TR1: Passenger vehicle    Passenger and           
                                                               rental--for               nonpassenger vehicle   
                                                               transportation of         rental costs will be   
                                                               persons during            considered for private 
                                                               evacuation.               vehicles not owned or  
                                                              TR2: Nonpassenger          operated by the        
                                                               vehicle rental--for       applicant or other unit
                                                               transportation of         of local government.   
                                                               equipment or supplies.                           
RC.....................  Utilities..........................  RC1: Utilities--for       Utility costs will be   
                                                               power, water,             considered for private 
                                                               electricity and other     utilities not owned or 
                                                               services exclusive of     operated by the        
                                                               transportation and        applicant or other unit
                                                               communications.           of local government.   
OS.....................  Other Contractual Services.........  OS1: Contracts for        May include such items  
                                                               technical or scientific   as specialized         
                                                               analysis--for tasks       laboratory analyses and
                                                               requiring specialized     sampling.              
                                                               hazardous sustance                               
                                                               response expertise.                              
                                                              OS2: Decontamination                              
                                                               services--for                                    
                                                               specialized cleaning or                          
                                                               decontamination                                  
                                                               procedures and supplies                          
                                                               to restore clothing,                             
                                                               equipment or other                               
                                                               serviceable gear to                              
                                                               normal functioning.                              
SM.....................  Supplies and Materials.............  SM1: Commodities--for     May include such items  
                                                               protective gear and       as chemical foam to    
                                                               clothing, cleanup tools   suppress a fire; food  
                                                               and supplies and          purchased specifically 
                                                               similar materials         for an evacuation; air 
                                                               purchased specifically    purifying canisters for
                                                               for, and expended         breathing apparatus;   
                                                               during, the response.     disposable, protective 
                                                                                         suits and gloves; and  
                                                                                         sampling supplies.     
EQ.....................  Equipment..........................  EQ1: Replacement--for     Equipment replacement   
                                                               durable equipment         costs will be          
                                                               declared a total loss     considered if applicant
                                                               as a result of            can demonstrate total  
                                                               contamination during      loss and proper        
                                                               the response.             disposal of            
                                                              EQ2: Rents--for use of     contaminated equipment.
                                                               equipment owned by       Equipment rental costs  
                                                               others.                   will be considered for 
                                                                                         privately owned        
                                                                                         equipment not owned or 
                                                                                         operated by the        
                                                                                         applicant or other unit
                                                                                         of local government.   
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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[FR Doc. 98-2716 Filed 2-17-98; 8:45 am]
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