California Government Code

Sec. § 8670.62


Any person who discharges oil into waters of the state, upon order of the administrator, shall do all of the following:


Clean up the oil.


Abate the effects of the discharge.


In the case of a threatened discharge, take other necessary remedial action.


Upon failure of any person to comply with a cleanup or abatement order, the Attorney General or a district attorney, at the request of the administrator, shall petition the superior court for that county for the issuance of an injunction requiring the person to comply with the order. In any such suit, the court shall have jurisdiction to grant a prohibitory or mandatory injunction, either preliminary or permanent, as the facts may warrant.


Consistent with the state contingency plan, the administrator may expend available money to perform any response; containment; cleanup; wildlife rehabilitation, which includes assessment of resource injuries and damages, or remedial work required pursuant to subdivision (a) that, in the administrator’s judgment, is required by the circumstances or the urgency of prompt action required to prevent pollution, nuisance, or injury to the environment of the state. The action may be taken in default of, or in addition to, remedial work by the responsible party or other persons, and regardless of whether injunctive relief is sought. The administrator may perform the work in cooperation with any other governmental agency, and may use rented tools or equipment, either with or without operators furnished. Notwithstanding any other law, the administrator may enter into oral contracts for the work, and the contracts, whether written or oral, may include provisions for equipment rental and the furnishing of labor and materials necessary to accomplish the work. The contracts shall be exempt from Part 2 (commencing with Section 10100) of Division 2 of the Public Contract Code and Article 6 (commencing with Section 999) of Chapter 6 of Division 4 of the Military and Veterans Code.


If the discharge is cleaned up, or attempted to be cleaned up, the effects thereof abated, or, in the case of threatened pollution or nuisance, other necessary remedial action is taken by any governmental agency, the person or persons who discharged the waste, discharged the oil, or threatened to cause or permit the discharge of the oil within the meaning of subdivision (a) shall be liable to that governmental agency for the reasonable costs actually incurred in cleaning up that waste, abating the effects thereof, or taking other remedial action. The amount of the costs shall be recoverable in a civil action by, and paid to, the applicable governmental agency and the administrator, to the extent the administrator contributed to the cleanup costs from the Oil Spill Response Trust Fund or other available funds.


If, despite reasonable effort by the administrator to identify the party responsible for the discharge of oil or the condition of pollution or nuisance, the person is not identified at the time cleanup, abatement, or remedial work must be performed, the administrator shall not be required to issue an order under this section. The absence of a responsible party shall not in any way limit the powers of the administrator under this section.


For purposes of this section, “threaten” means a condition creating a substantial probability of harm, when the probability and potential extent of harm makes it reasonably necessary to take immediate action to prevent, reduce, or mitigate damages to persons, property, or natural resources.

Last accessed
Jun. 6, 2016