Enforcing RCRA Corrective Action Permits
The EPA may take action under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act's (RCRA) corrective action enforcement authority when it discovers that
- A facility is in violation of the corrective action requirements in its RCRA permit or order;
- There has been a release at an interim status facility;
- The nature and extent of a problem or potential problem at a permitted or interim status facility needs to be evaluated; or
- An imminent and substantial endangerment to health or the environment may exist.
RCRA Subtitle C provides three statutory provisions that give the EPA or an authorized state the authority to address facility-wide corrective action in permits:
- RCRA § 3004(u) - Requires corrective action for releases of hazardous waste or hazardous constituents from Solid Waste Management Units (SWMUs) identified in a facility permit.
- RCRA § 3004(v) - Requires facility owners or operators to perform corrective action to address releases that have moved beyond a facility’s boundary.
- RCRA § 3005(c)(3) - Allows the EPA or an authorized state to include corrective action and other requirements in a permit as necessary to protect human health and the environment.
If a facility violates the conditions in its RCRA permit, the EPA or an authorized state may take an enforcement action to bring the facility back into compliance with its permit and to collect penalties for noncompliance. The EPA uses the authority in RCRA § 3008(a) to take such an enforcement action.
EPA's 1996 advance notice of proposed rulemaking for Corrective Action for Solid Waste Management Units at Hazardous Waste Management Facilities, which was later substantially withdrawn, is considered to be the primary guidance for corrective action.
Learn More: Enforcement Strategy for RCRA Corrective Action