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Programs and Projects of the Office of General Counsel (OGC)

Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA)

The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) is federal legislation enacted in 1946 that provides a legal means for compensating individuals who have suffered personal injury, death, or property loss or damage caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of an employee of the federal government.  While there are exceptions to what claims may be payable under the FTCA, it generally allows individuals to recover monetary damages from the United States under circumstances where the United States, if a private person, would be liable in accordance with the law of the place where the negligent or wrongful act or omission occurred.

Frequent Questions about the FTCA

Where can I find the FTCA and EPA’s regulations implementing the FTCA?

The provisions of the FTCA are found at 28 U.S.C. §1346(b), §1402(b), §2401(b), and §§2671-2680.  EPA’s regulations are found at 40 C.F.R. Part 10.

Who is eligible to file a claim with EPA under the FTCA?

Individuals, businesses, or governmental entities that have a claim for money damages resulting from personal injury or property loss or damage caused by EPA or EPA employees acting within the scope of their employment may file a claim with EPA.  A claim may be submitted by the injured party or a duly authorized agent or legal representative.

How can I file a claim for personal injury or property damage/loss caused by EPA or EPA employees?

A claim predicated on a negligent or wrongful act or omission of EPA or its employees may be filed using Standard Form 95.   Use of the form is not mandatory, but in order for a claim to be valid, it must include your or your authorized agent or legal representative's signature, sufficient information to investigate the allegations, and a specific monetary demand amount.   A claim must be filed within two years of the date the claim accrued. Instructions for completing the form can be found at FTCA Instructions for SF 95(4 pp, 30 K, 10-06-17) .

The completed and signed claim may be filed with the EPA office where the employee involved in the accident or incident works or submitted directly to the EPA Claims Officer at the following address:

EPA Claims Officer
Office of General Counsel
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW (Mail Code 2399A)
Washington, D.C. 20460

If a claim is being submitted via courier service (UPS, FedEx, etc.), then the following address should be used:

EPA Claims Officer
Office of General Counsel
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
WJC North Building, Room 7454A
Washington, D.C.  20460

A signed claim form and supplemental information (as described below) may also be sent via electronic mail to FTCA_Claims@epa.gov.

You will either receive a letter acknowledging receipt of your claim when it is received by the Agency or you will be notified if you have failed to file a complete and valid claim. In either case, a point of contact and claim number will be provided.

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What information should I submit with my claim?

In support of a claim, you should submit all documentation and evidence relating to your allegations and monetary damages. This includes, but is not limited to, medical records, doctors’ statements, itemized bills for medical expenses incurred, proof of property ownership, at least two itemized estimates for necessary property repairs, photographs of property, and police reports. Personal information will be safeguarded in a manner consistent with EPA’s privacy policy.

How long will it take for EPA to adjudicate my claim?

EPA attempts to adjudicate claims in a timely manner, but exact timing depends upon the complexity of the claim.  If EPA has not adjudicated your claim within 6 months, you may elect to treat the claim as having been denied and file suit in an appropriate U.S. District Court.

What are my options if EPA denies my claim?

If you receive a written denial from EPA, you may either file a request for reconsideration with the EPA Claims Officer or file suit in an appropriate U.S. District Court.  Either option must be exercised no later than six months after the date of mailing of the written denial.  A request for reconsideration does not require any special format, but should include a written explanation as to why the matter should be reconsidered, such as new or additional evidence that exists.  If a request for reconsideration is subsequently denied, you may file suit in an appropriate U.S. District Court no later than six months after the date of mailing of the subsequent denial.  If EPA has not adjudicated your request for reconsideration within six months, you may elect to treat the request as having been denied and file suit in an appropriate U.S. District Court.

Whom may I contact if I have additional questions?

You may direct inquires to 202-564-2738 or via electronic mail at FTCA_Claims @epa.gov. If you are contacting EPA about a pending claim, please reference the EPA claim number located on the acknowledgment letter you received.

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