February 1, 2018

EPA’s 2018 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 on an annual basis. Adjustments were subsequently made by EPA in July of 2016 and January of 2017, and now it’s time for the 2018 increases.

The agency promulgated the inflation adjustment rule on January 10, 2018. [83 FR 1190] Even though the annual penalty increase is modest, it is a strong deterrent to non-compliance. The table below gives the details.

Comparison of Newly Adjusted and Previous Year’s RCRA Civil Penalties

RCRA statue section number

Civil penalty description

Previous year’s maximum penalty1

Newly adjusted maximum penalty2

3008(a)(3)

Violation of a RCRA Subtitle C compliance order

$95,284 per day

$97,229 per day

3008(c)

Continued violation of a RCRA Subtitle C compliance order

$57,391 per day

$58,562 per day

3008(g)

Violation of the RCRA Subtitle C hazardous waste program

$71,264 per day

$72,718 per day

3008(h)(2)

Violation of a corrective action compliance order

$57,391 per day

$58,562 per day

3013(e)

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

$14,252 per day

$14,543 per day

7003(b)

Failure to comply with an imminent and substantial endangerment order

$14,252 per day

$14,543 per day

9006(a)(3)

Violation of an UST compliance order

$57,391 per day

$58,562 per day

9006(d)(1)

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

$22,957 per day

$23,426 per day

9006(d)(2)

Violation of the RCRA Subtitle I UST requirements

$22,957 per tank per day

$23,426 per tank per day

UST = underground storage tank.

1 For violations that occurred after November 2, 2015, where penalties are assessed on or after January 15, 2017 but before January 15, 2018.

2 For violations that occurred after November 2, 2015, where penalties are assessed on or after January 15, 2018.

Source: Adapted from 83 FR 1190.

 


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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.