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
 

Current
 maximum penalty 

Adjusted
 maximum penalty1 

3008(a)(3)

Violation of a RCRA Subtitle C compliance order

$37,500 per day

$93,750 per day

3008(c)

Continued violation of a RCRA Subtitle C compliance order

$37,500 per day

$56,467 per day

3008(g)

Violation of the RCRA Subtitle C hazardous waste program

$37,500 per day

$70,117 per day

3008(h)(2)

Violation of a corrective action compliance order

$37,500 per day

$56,467 per day

3013(e)

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

7003(b)

Failure to comply with an imminent and substantial endangerment order

$7,500 per day

$14,023 per day

9006(a)(3)

Violation of an UST compliance order

$37,500 per day

$56,467 per day

9006(d)(1)

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

9006(d)(2)

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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Considerable care has been exercised in preparing this document; however, McCoy and Associates, Inc. makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee in connection with the publication of this information. McCoy and Associates, Inc. expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility for loss or damage resulting from its use or for the violation of any federal, state, or municipal law or regulation with which this information may conflict. McCoy and Associates, Inc. does not undertake any duty to ensure the continued accuracy of this information.

This document addresses issues of a general nature related to the federal RCRA regulations. Persons evaluating specific circumstances dealing with the RCRA regulations should review state and local laws and regulations, which may be more stringent than federal requirements. In addition, the assistance of a qualified professional should be enlisted to address any site-specific circumstances.