February 15, 2017

EPA’s 2017 Adjustment to RCRA Civil Penalties

In 2015, Congress amended the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, requiring all federal agencies to adjust maximum statutory civil penalties for inflation. Adjustments were made by EPA in July of 2016 to accountfor years of inflation. The 2015 Act also required an annual penalty inflation adjustment rule by January 15 each year thereafter.

The agency promulgated the rule on January 12, 2017. [82 FR 3633] Not to worry, the adjustments are only a fraction of the 2016 changes. The table below summarizes the new penalties.

Comparison of Current and Newly Adjusted RCRA Civil Penalties

RCRA statute
section number

Civil penalty

maximum penalty

maximum penalty1


Violation of a RCRA Subtitle C compliance order

$93,750 per day

$95,284 per day


Continued violation of a RCRA Subtitle C compliance order

$56,467 per day

$57,391 per day


Violation of the RCRA Subtitle C hazardous waste program

$70,117 per day

$71,264 per day


Violation of a corrective action compliance order

$56,467 per day

$57,391 per day


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

$14,023 per day

$14,252 per day


Failure to comply with an imminent and substantial endangerment order

$14,023 per day

$14,252 per day


Violation of an UST compliance order

$56,467 per day

$57,391 per day


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

$22,587 per day

$22,957 per day


Violation of the RCRA Subtitle I UST requirements

$22,587 per tank per day

$22,957 per tank per day

UST = underground storage tank.

1For violations that occurred after November 2, 2015 and are assessed on or after January 15, 2017.

Source: Adapted from 82 FR 3633.


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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.