February 17, 2022

Civil Inspection Procedures Rescinded

For decades, EPA civil inspections have been conducted under long-standing guidance and policies. Citing a perceived lack of transparency, EPA promulgated a rule on March 2, 2020, codifying a subset of the previous rules and making that subset applicable to all civil inspections. [85 FR 12224] The rule prescribed procedures for timing of inspections, obtaining consent, opening/closing conferences, and sampling.

A January 20, 2021 executive order from the White House targeted this rule for recission because it reduces flexibility for implementing agencies. Accordingly, the rule was rescinded by EPA on December 30, 2021 [86 FR 74371]. EPA now claims the 2020 rule is unnecessary because the requirements already exist in inspection guidance and manuals.


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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.