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Financial Assistance Environmental Claims Administration


The NJ Spill Compensation Fund Claims Program (Spill Fund)

ECA-Spill Fund Background

In July 1987, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) created the Environmental Claims Administration (ECA). The ECA is responsible for administering the New Jersey Spill Compensation Fund Damage Claims Program ("Spill Fund"), created by the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act, N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11 et seq. ("Spill Act"), effective April 1, 1977.

A courtesy copy of the rules and regulations governing the filing and processing of Spill Fund claims can be viewed and downloaded at Damage claims are paid by the DEP through the Spill Fund to compensate innocent victims of hazardous substance discharges.

The Spill Fund provides critical environmental relief to citizens, businesses, and other entities within the State and is unique to New Jersey. Funding for this program is obtained from a tax levied on the petroleum and chemical industries by the State of New Jersey.

The ECA's primary Spill Fund responsibilities are to investigate, analyze, and process environmental damage claims, which are predominantly related to potable well contamination. The ECA also provides technical support for claimants and vendors regarding installation, monitoring, and maintenance of Point-of-Entry Treatment (POET) systems, treat contaminated potable well water.

Spill Fund Damage Claim Process

The Environmental Claims Administration (ECA) evaluates claims for damages filed against the Spill Fund. If eligible, the ECA authorizes compensation from the Spill Fund to individuals, businesses, and government entities that have suffered direct or indirect damages from the discharge of petroleum products or other hazardous substances. These damages include, but are not limited to, the cost of treating, restoring or replacing water supplies and damages to real estate and/or personal property.

Potential claimants may contact the ECA to request a copy of the Spill Fund Application or they may download it from this website. They must then complete the application, attach all required additional documentation, such as laboratory reports and work estimates, and submit all materials to the ECA by mail. The "Guidelines for Completing a Spill Fund Claim Application", which aids homeowners in completing claims for damages related to contaminated potable wells, is also available for download. Once received by the ECA, the claim application and supporting materials are reviewed for completeness and the claim is assigned a claim number.

Claimants must meet all requirements stated in the rules and regulations in order to qualify for compensation. In all cases, a potential claimant has one year from the date of discovery of the damage to submit a claim application to the ECA. The Spill Act does not authorize compensation for damages related to naturally occurring hazardous substances or discharges which occurred prior to the Act's effective date (April 1, 1977), except for damages related to private well contamination.

Potable well contamination often requires the treatment of the existing well using a POET system or connection to the public water supply, if available. The extension of existing and/or installation of new water supply sources may also be an option. For eligible POET claims, the ECA authorizes compensation for the installation of a POET system, and for ongoing POET maintenance and monitoring services, providing the claimant remains the owner of the property. Private and public water purveyors (Water Supply System Claims) are not eligible for maintenance and monitoring costs.

All claimants receive a written decision once their claim has been evaluated, stating claim eligibility or denial and providing an explanation for the decision, as well as any applicable guidance.

Please be advised that as of March 2, 2009, due to an amendment modifying the Spill Fund claim rule, the purchaser of a property on which a POET system was installed and maintained at the expense of the Spill Fund is not eligible for compensation for ongoing POET maintenance and monitoring costs. The seller of a property on which a POET has been installed and maintained at the expense of the Spill Fund shall notify the Department in writing within 30 days of executing a binding contract of sale for that property.

ECA Contact Information

General Questions: (609) 984-2076
Fax: (609) 633-2360
Mailing Address: ECA/Spill Fund
Mail Code: 401-06J PO Box 420
Trenton, NJ 08625-0420

Spill Fund Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Spill Fund FAQs Posted 3 March 2010
    This document may answer many of the questions potential or current claimants may have concerning the Spill Fund.

Related Links

For Water Treatment Professionals and Certified Water Testing Laboratories