Local Governments Reimbursement Program

In the event of a release (or threatened release) of hazardous substances, EPA may reimburse local governments for expenses related to the release and associated emergency response measures. The Local Governments Reimbursement (LGR) Program provides a "safety net" of up to $25,000 per incident to local governments that do not have funds available to pay for response actions.

Applying for reimbursement

Determining your eligibility

To be eligible for the Local Governments Reimbursement (LGR) program, your local government must meet the following requirements:

The applicant must be a general purpose unit of local government.

Local governments that are eligible to receive reimbursement under the LGR program include any general purpose unit of local government, such as a county, parish, city, town, township, and municipality. Federally-recognized Indian Tribes are also eligible for reimbursement under the LGR program.

States are not eligible for reimbursement under the Local Governments Reimbursement program.

States may not request reimbursement on the behalf of a local government or a federally-recognized Indian Tribe within the state.

The applicant must have legal jurisdiction over the site where the incident occurred.

Only one request for reimbursement will be accepted for each eligible incident. When more than one local government has participated in such a response, the local government that has legal jurisdiction over the site where the incident occurred must submit the application. The application can be made on behalf of all participating local governments. If multiple local governments or agencies have jurisdiction over the site, then the respondents must decide which single government or agency will submit the reimbursement request.

Reimbursement cannot be made to a responsible party.

If the local government applying for reimbursement is also the responsible party, the application will be denied. Responsible parties are liable for response cost regardless of whether or not they are a local government.

Substances released or threatened to be released must be designated as hazardous under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).

Incidents involving petroleum products including petroleum, natural gas, crude oil, or any other specified fractions thereof that are not specifically designated as CERCLA hazardous substances do not qualify under this program. Some mixed waste may be allowable. Under CERCLA, potentially responsible parties are liable for cleanup costs. Under the LGR program, if a local government is the responsible party, they would not be eligible for reimbursement.

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Requirements for reimbursement

Once a local government has decided to apply for reimbursement, there are a number of basic requirements that must be met to comply with the regulations of the Local Governments Reimbursement (LGR) program. When completing the LGR application, local governments should pay special attention to the following requirements to facilitate the reimbursement process:

Reimbursement cannot supplant local funds normally provided for a response.

In other words, if a local government budgets for emergency response activities, it must draw from this budget to pay for the cost of a response. However, if a local government's funds have been depleted, then it may be eligible for reimbursement under EPA's LGR program. In addition, other items that may not be budgeted for (e.g., overtime pay, unanticipated materials and supplies) may also be reimbursable under the LGR program.

Cost recovery must be pursued prior to applying for reimbursement.

The applicant must complete the Cost Recovery Summary Table, included in the application, to document the background and current status of cost recovery efforts. It should be clear that all available sources of cost recovery (i.e., responsible parties and their insurance, the state, and local government insurance) have been pursued. Although not required, it is recommended that a copy of all related correspondence also be included in the application to document the applicant's cost recovery efforts. Potential cost recovery sources should be given a minimum of 60 days to respond before an LGR application is filed. By signing on the last page of the application, a local government is certifying that cost recovery was pursued.

Detailed cost documentation must be submitted with the application.

The applicant must complete the detailed Cost Breakdown Table, included in the application. All costs for which reimbursement is being requested must be listed and supporting documentation (e.g., invoices, sales receipts, time sheets, or rental agreements) must be attached. (Please note: Costs incurred for long-term remedial measures do not qualify under the LGR program. Reimbursement is made only for temporary emergency measures conducted in response to hazardous substance releases, or threatened releases).

The application must be signed by the local government's highest ranking official.

Examples of the highest ranking official include: Mayor, City Manager, Board of Commissioners Chair, County Judge, or head of a federally recognized Indian Tribe. In instances where the highest ranking local official is unable to sign the application form, a letter of delegation along with the application that authorizes a delegate to sign the application on his or her behalf, must be submitted.

Applications must be submitted to EPA within one year of the "date of response completion" of the response.

For the LGR program, the date of completion is the date when all field work has been completed and all project deliverables (e.g., lab results, technical expert reports, or invoices) have been received by the local government. The date of completion is not determined by cost recovery efforts, which can continue after an application for reimbursement is submitted. In general, a local government should allow at least 60 days for each potential source of reimbursement to respond to a request for repayment before submitting an application to LGR. EPA will consider late applications on a case-by-case basis.

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Reimbursement application

Please review Determining Your Eligibility and Requirements for Reimbursement before starting your application.

The complete Local Governments Reimbursement application package includes the LGR application form and a copy of the LGR regulations (40 CFR part 310).

You must submit your application to EPA within one year of the "date of response completion." The date of completion is the date when all field work has been completed and all project deliverables (e.g., lab results, technical expert reports, or invoices) have been received by the local government. EPA will consider late applications on a case-by-case basis. We highly recommend that you send your applications through the U.S. Postal Service 1st class, unregistered. Any other methods of delivery will delay receipt of your application by EPA. Mail completed applications to:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Local Governments Reimbursement (LGR) Program
Attn: Lisa Boynton, Mail Code 5104-A
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20460

You should receive a confirmation postcard within one month of the receipt of your application. If your application is complete, and it is approved, you will receive reimbursement within three to six months. If EPA requires more information to process the application, we will contact you for further details. This may increase the time it takes for you to receive reimbursement. If you have questions about the status of your application at any point in the process, please call the LGR HelpLine. For more information, see Frequent Questions about Local Governments Reimbursement.

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Additional information

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