What is the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF)?

The Oil Liability Trust Fund (OLTF) was created by Congress in 1986.  When the Oil Pollution Act was put into place, it authorized the user of the Fund to pay for certain costs and damages resulting from an oil spill.  The Fund is used to pay for clean-up and removal costs following a qualified oil spill as well as certain claims for damages.

The OSLTF has two major components.

1.  An “Emergency Fund” to ensure rapid, effective response to oil spills, to make natural resource damage assessments, and to fund certain removal activities. The Emergency Fund is an annually recurring $50 million fund available to the President.

2. A "Principal Fund" to pay claims and to fund appropriations by Congress to Federal agencies to administer the provisions of OPA and support research and development.  The Principal Fund has two types of expenses:

  • Damage and Removal Claims: Any person or organization that has incurred removal costs or suffered damages due to an oil spill may submit a claim.
  • Appropriations: Several Federal organizations receive annual appropriations from the OSLTF to cover certain administrative, operational, personnel, enforcement, and research and development costs including the Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency, etc. 

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

Additional Gulf Oil Spill Articles

Search LawInfo's Gulf Oil Spill Resources