§22-11-29. Reimbursement of response costs.
(a) The secretary may recover through civil action or cooperative agreements with responsible persons, the actual, reasonable and necessary amounts expended by the department for the purpose of responding to, evaluating or overseeing a response to a spill or accidental discharge of any pollutant that enters the waters of the state, or taking measures required to prevent a spill or accidental discharge of any pollutant from entering the waters of the state. The department shall provide the responsible party an itemized invoice of the expenditures that the department seeks to recover.

(b) All moneys recovered by the secretary shall be deposited into the water quality management fund created in section ten of this article and shall be used for future responses to, evaluation or oversight of a response to a spill or accidental discharge of any pollutant that enters the waters of the state, or measures required to be taken to prevent a spill or accidental discharge of any pollutant from entering the waters of the state.

(c) The amounts that may be collected by the secretary pursuant to subsection (a) of this section may include any reasonable and necessary costs incurred by a third party who is not a responsible party and who, with the prior authorization of the secretary or the chief inspector, responds to a spill or accidental discharge that enters or threatens to enter the waters of the state. The department is not responsible for or may not be held liable for costs incurred by the third party responder.

(d) Any civil action instituted pursuant to this section may be brought in the county in which the spill or accidental discharge occurred or the county in which the response occurred.