August 15, 2016

EPA Adjusts RCRA Civil Penalties for Past Inflation

In 2015, Congress amended the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, requiring federal agencies including EPA to adjust maximum statutory civil penalties for inflation. The law specifically requires agencies to increase current 2015 penalties by up to 150% as a “catch-up” adjustment. EPA made these adjustments to the RCRA civil penalties in a July 1, 2016 interim final rule [81 FR 43091], as noted in the table below. Annual adjustments for inflation will be made hereafter.

Comparison of Current and Newly Adjusted RCRA Civil Penalties

RCRA statute
 section number 

Civil penalty description

 maximum penalty 

 maximum penalty1 


Violation of a RCRA Subtitle C compliance order

$37,500 per day

$93,750 per day


Continued violation of a RCRA Subtitle C compliance order

$37,500 per day

$56,467 per day


Violation of the RCRA Subtitle C hazardous waste program

$37,500 per day

$70,117 per day


Violation of a corrective action compliance order

$37,500 per day

$56,467 per day


Failure to comply with an order to monitor for the presence or release of a hazardous waste

$7,500 per day

$14,023 per day


Failure to comply with an imminent and substantial endangerment order

$7,500 per day

$14,023 per day


Violation of an UST compliance order

$37,500 per day

$56,467 per day


Failure to notify state/local agency of the existence of an UST subject to RCRA Subtitle I

$16,000 per tank

$22,587 per tank


Violation of the RCRA Subtitle I UST requirements

$16,000 per tank per day

$22,587 per tank per day

UST = underground storage tank.

1For violations that occurred after November 2, 2015 and assessed on or after August 1, 2016.

Source: Adapted from 81 FR 43095.

Beginning January 15, 2017, EPA will make annual adjustments for inflation to the above penalties.


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