Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund

Third Party Compensation

REMINDER ---The Fund reimburses third-party costs. Third party costs are costs awarded to a third party by a final judgment or court-approved settlement or arbitration award by a court-appointed arbitrator. Costs incurred as a result of a default judgment are not eligible for reimbursement. Third parties do not include owners of the real property from which the release occurred, owners or operators of the USTs that are the subject of the claim, or tenants or landlords of the sites. (See H&SC § 25299.58; see also Fund regulations, §§ 2804 and 2812.2(f).) Third party costs are only eligible for reimbursement if the claimant has not yet been reimbursed in excess of $1 million (less the deductible).

Once a claimant has been reimbursed for $1 million in eligible costs, an additional $500,000 per occurrence is only available for reasonable and necessary corrective action and any regulatory technical assistance costs. The additional $500,000 may NOT be used to reimburse the claimant for any third party costs. (See H&SC § 25299.58; see also Fund regulations, §§ 2808.2(b) and 2812.5.)

Eligible third party costs are:

  • Medical expenses occasioned by an unauthorized release;
  • Actual loss of wages or business income caused by an unauthorized release;
  • Actual expenses for remedial action necessary to remedy the effects of property damage caused by an unauthorized release; and
  • Damages equal to the fair market value of the property rendered permanently unsuitable for beneficial use by an unauthorized release.