40 CFR 307.21 - Nature of eligible claims.
(a) Claims may be asserted against the Fund for necessary costs incurred for response actions due to a release or substantial threat of release of a hazardous substance into the environment; a release or substantial threat of release of pollutants or contaminants into the environment that may present an imminent or substantial danger to public health or welfare; or actions taken by a potentially responsible party subject to an agreement reached pursuant to section 122(b)(1) of CERCLA. Claims must be filed in accordance with § 307.22. Claims may be asserted for the costs of removal actions, remedial planning activities, and remedial actions.
(b) Costs will be considered to be eligible under this section if:
(1) The response action is preauthorized by EPA pursuant to § 307.22;
(2) The costs are incurred for activities within the scope of EPA's preauthorization;
(3) The response action is conducted in a manner consistent with the NCP; and
(4) The costs incurred are necessary costs pursuant to § 307.11 of this part.
(c)Money in the Fund may be used for paying any claim under this section for expenses incurred for the payment of contractor claims either through settlement of such claims or an award by a third party to the extent EPA determines that:
(1) The contractor claim arose from work within the scope of the contract at issue and the contract was for preauthorized response activities;
(2) The contractor claim is meritorious;
(3) The contractor claim was not caused by the mismanagement of the claimant;
(4) The contractor claim was not caused by the claimant's vicarious liability for the improper actions of others;
(5) The claimed amount is reasonable and necessary;
(6) The claim for such costs is filed by the claimant within 5 years of completion of the preauthorized response action; and
(7) Payment of such a claim will not result in total payments from the Fund in excess of the maximum amount for which claims were preauthorized.
(d) An award by a third party on a contractor claim under paragraph (c) of this section should include:
(1) Findings of fact;
(2) Conclusions of law;
(3) Allocation of responsibility for each issue;
(4) Basis for the amount of award; and
(5) The rationale for the decision.
(e) Money in the Fund may not be used for paying any claim under this section for expenses incurred for procurement transactions that were not conducted in a manner that provided to the maximum extent practicable, open and free competition; unduly restricted or eliminated competition; and did not provide where applicable for the award of contracts to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder where the selection was made principally on the basis of price.
(f) Money in the Fund may not be used for paying any claim under this section for expenses incurred by a person operating pursuant to a procurement contract or assistance agreement with the United States.
(g) Money in the Fund may not be used for paying any claim under this section for expenses incurred for the payment of persons who are on the “List of Parties Excluded From Federal Procurement or Non-Procurement” at the time the contract is awarded, unless EPA approval is obtained in advance.
(h) Unless EPA waives this requirement prior to the award of a construction contract, money in the Fund may not be used for paying any claim under this section for expenses incurred under such a construction contract that does not contain a “differing site conditions” clause equivalent to the following:
(1) The contractor shall promptly, and before such conditions are disturbed, notify the claimant in writing of:
(i) Subsurface or latent physical conditions at the site differing materially from those listed in this contract, or
(ii) Unknown physical conditions at the site, of an unusual nature, differing materially from those ordinarily encountered and generally recognized as inherent in work of the character provided for in this contract.
(2) Upon notification by the construction contractor, the claimant shall promptly investigate the conditions. If the claimant finds that conditions materially differ and will cause an increase or decrease in the contractor's cost or the time required to perform any part of the work under its contract, whether or not changed as a result of such conditions, the claimant shall make an equitable adjustment and modify the contract in writing.
(3) No claim of the contractor under the differing site conditions clause shall be allowed unless the contractor has given the notice required in paragraph (h)(1) of this section. However, the claimant may extend the time prescribed in paragraph (h)(1) of this section.
(4) No claim by the contractor for an equitable adjustment shall be allowed if asserted after final payment under this contract.
(i) Where money in the Fund has been used to pay for any response costs under this section, no other claim may be paid out of the Fund for the same costs.