Coast Guard:

Federal Costs Resulting From the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

RCED-90-91FS: Published: Jan 26, 1990. Publicly Released: Feb 28, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Exxon Valdez oil spill, focusing on: (1) estimated costs incurred by federal agencies; (2) the approaches agencies used to pursue reimbursement from the responsible oil company; and (3) the amount agencies have been reimbursed.

GAO noted that: (1) nine agencies incurred cleanup, damage assessment, and other costs totalling $125.2 million through September 30, 1989; (2) four of those agencies accounted for 94 percent of total costs incurred, and the Department of Defense accounted for the largest portion, $62.8 million; (3) eight of nine agencies sought reimbursement either from the Coast Guard-administered 311(k) fund or through direct reimbursement agreements with the company; (4) since November 15, 1989, agencies have recovered $80.8 million of total oil spill costs; (5) the agencies have not yet recovered $21.6 million of the unreimbursed $44.4 million, because charges were inadequately documented, exceeded formal cleanup agreements, or were not approved in advance by the Coast Guard; (6) the Departments of Health and Human Services and the Interior will not recover $1 million in costs, since the Coast Guard did not approve the expenses in advance; and (7) agencies estimated that cleanup would require another $9.2 million between October 1989 and February 1990.

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