THE OHIO FINANCIAL ASSURANCE FUND

Fund Facts

Controlling Costs And Preparing For Your Cleanup

The following information is provided to assist tank owners in receiving the most protection from the Financial Assurance Fund, thereby reducing costs for which the owner may be responsible.

As the owner or operator of an underground storage tank (UST), you have certain responsibilities regarding the protection of human health and the environment. If your UST has released petroleum product into the soil and/or groundwater you, as the responsible person, must take corrective actions to ensure that the soil and/or groundwater is cleaned to applicable levels. If you experience a leak, report the release to the Bureau of Underground Storage Tank Regulations (BUSTR) immediately and begin your investigation. You should also contact the Board and request an eligibility application. To file a claim against the Financial Assurance Fund, you must first apply for eligibility. Your eligibility application must be received by the Board within one year from when the release was required to be reported to BUSTR or a delegated authority.

Before selecting an environmental consultant or contractor to perform your work, you should refer to the BUSTR Fact Sheets Selecting an Environmental Consultant. Also, it is important to know the requirements of the corrective action rules. They are located in § 1301:7-9-13 of the Ohio Administrative Code and can be obtained from BUSTR or the Ohio Administrative Code website.

For other than the emergency remediation phase, it is recommended you obtain bids for the work to be done. However, the reimbursement standard of the Fund is the actual and typical cost of the work performed based upon the Board’s experience.

Once you have selected a consultant/contractor and your scope of work has been agreed upon, you may submit the costs to the Board for voluntary pre-approval. By doing this, you will know before the work starts the maximum amount that will be determined to be reimbursable. But remember, payment of pre-approved costs is contingent upon the submission of adequate documentation, so always require itemized invoices from your consultant/contractor. 

A responsible person is required to submit the following program tasks to the Board for cost pre-approval at the same time they are required to be submitted to the Bureau of Underground Storage Tank Regulations (BUSTR): Interim Response Actions which require prior approval from BUSTR, Remedial Action Plans, Tier 3 Evaluation Plans and Tier Monitoring Plans. Please refer to the Fund Fact titled Mandatory Cost Pre-Approval for further details.

Have the general contractor or consultant arrange to have all subcontractors (e.g., excavators, laboratories, drillers, haulers, landfills, etc.) bill you directly. In this way, you will eliminate the opportunity for markups by the general contractor. This is important to you because markups on soil/liquid removal and disposal are not reimbursable expenses by the Fund. (Please refer to the Fund Facts Commonly Submitted Costs Not Eligible for Reimbursement for a listing of other commonly submitted non-reimbursable costs.)

Discuss the percentage of markup with the general contractor before authorizing work at the site. The Board reimburses certain eligible markups to a maximum of 10%. Know the limit of markup costs you will be responsible for paying.

Obtain invoices which list time and materials from your contractors. The Board will be requiring from you a breakdown of all the charges and copies of all the subcontractor invoices. 

Each invoice submitted as evidence of a claim cost, whether from a general contractor or subcontractor, needs to clearly indicate the following information:

1. The dates the work was done;
2. The work that was done (the activity or task);
3. The number of people doing the work;
4. The number of hours and hourly rate charged for each person;
5. The equipment used, the unit rate (hourly/daily), and the total time used;
    and
6. A breakdown of the materials used in doing the work, with
    accompanying invoices/receipts showing actual costs.

Inform the contractors who are going to be working with you that you will need to meet the above requirements if you are going to be successful with your claim. Do not accept invoices that are not properly prepared. If a contractor refuses to agree to prepare invoices in this manner, you should work with a contractor who will. You should also retain all canceled checks, as proof of payment must be submitted with the invoices.

Effective September 18, 1999, an application for reimbursement for the costs associated with any one program task must be submitted within one year of the program task’s completion date. In addition, an application for reimbursement of the costs for all program tasks completed on or before July 1, 1999 must be filed with the Board no later than July 1, 2000. These costs must be submitted even if the deductible has not been met. Please refer to the “Fund Fact” Claim Application Filing Deadlines for program task completion dates.

Throughout your project it is important to maintain communication with both BUSTR and the Board. If you are in doubt about any technical questions, you should call BUSTR for a clarification. If you are unsure of costs associated with any aspect of the clean up, call the Board for a clarification. Always maintain an active role in your clean up project. As a member of the Fund, it is your responsibility to help control costs.

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