United States
         Environmental Protection
         Agency	
        Solid Waste and
        Emergency Response
        (5305W)	
EPA530-R-97-066
  RB98-108210
 November 1997
&EPA
RCRA, Superfund & EPCRA
    Hotline Training Module
            Introduction to:
                 RCRA Enforcement and
                       Compliance
                    Updated July 1997

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                                         DISCLAIMER

This document was developed by Booz-Allen & Hamilton Inc. under contract 68-WO-0039 to EPA. It is
intended to be vised as a training tool for Hotline specialists and does not represent a statement of EPA
policy.

The information in this document is not by any means a complete representation of EPA's regulations or
policies. This document is used only in the capacity of the Hotline training and is not used as a reference
tool on Hotline calls. The Hotline revises and updates this document as regulatory program areas change.

The information in this document may not necessarily reflect the current position of the Agency. This
document is not intended and cannot be relied upon to create any rights, substantive or procedural,
enforceable by any party in litigation with the United States.
                         RCRA, Superfund & EPCRA Hotline Phone Numbers:

           National toll-free (outside of DC area)                         (800) 424-9346
           Local number (within DC area)                               (703)412-9810
           National toll-free for the hearing impaired (TDD)                 (800) 553-7672
                          The Hotline is open from 9 am to 6 pm Eastern Time,
                           Monday through Friday, except for federal holidays.

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              RCRA ENFORCEMENT AND COMPLIANCE
                                CONTENTS


1.  Introduction	  1

2.  Statutory Summary 	:	  3
   2.1  Enforcement Authorities	  3
   2.2  Inspections and Information Gathering	  4
   2.3  Enforcement Mechanisms	  6
   2.4  Monitoring, Analysis, Testing, and Reporting	  8
   2.5  Compliance Orders and Penalties	  8
   2.6  Corrective Action	,	  9
   2.7  Imminent Hazard	9
   2.8  Citizen Suits	10

3.  Special Issues	13

4.  Compliance Incentives and Assistance	15

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                                                    RCRA Enforcement and Compliance -1
                           1.  INTRODUCTION
Congress created the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) program to
ensure that hazardous waste is managed in a way that protects human health and
the environment. In general, EPA Headquarters promulgates the regulations and
further clarifies its regulations through guidance documents and policy.  EPA
Regions implement the program, monitor compliance, take the lead on
enforcement in states not authorized to implement the federal RCRA program, and
oversee the implementation and enforcement of the regulations in states with
approved RCRA programs, or delegate implementation to the states, providing
them with technical and financial assistance.  Compliance monitoring and
enforcement of the RCRA hazardous waste program is accomplished through a
variety of mechanisms, including inspections, the issuance of administrative and
civil enforcement actions and orders, and imposition of criminal actions, if
warranted. All of the enforcement provisions are statutory, not regulatory, and state
requirements may be more  stringent than those  mandated by the federal
government.  Also, state enforcement authorities and procedures may differ from
those of EPA.  Compliance assistance, in the form of guidance and technical
assistance, also encourage compliance with the regulations.

Many of the questions the Hotline receives on enforcement are purely legal and
beyond our purview. We do not interpret the law or legal concepts; we only answer
questions relating to statutory and regulatory programs and how enforcement and
compliance tools are used as part of  the RCRA process.

When you have completed  this module you will be able to explain RCRA
enforcement and describe the enforcement mechanisms. Specifically, you will be
able to:                      -

      Describe enforcement procedures and mechanisms and cite the statutory
      authorities

      Describe the two different types of formal enforcement (administrative and
      judicial)

      Explain when and how EPA can enforce the RCRA regulations in authorized
      states

      State the differences  between enforcement at interim status and permitted
      facilities and describe enforcement at federal facilities

      Describe some of the EPA compliance incentive and assistance policies.

Use this list of objectives to check your understanding of this topic after completing
the training session.

   The information in this document is not by any means a complete representation of EPA's regulations or policies,
                 but is an introduction to the topic used for Hotline training purposes.

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2 - RCRA Enforcement and Compliance
    The information in this document is not by any means a complete representation of EPA's regulations or policies,
                       but is an introduction to the topic used for Hotline training purposes.

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                                                    RCRA Enforcement and Compliance - 3
                       2.  STATUTORY SUMMARY
The success of the RCRA program depends on the regulated community's
compliance with the regulations.  To ensure compliance with the program,
Congress gave EPA certain distinct powers, or authorities, for enforcement.  EPA has
the authority to inspect and collect information from facilities and, if a violation is
discovered, employ any one of several enforcement action, to bring facilities into
compliance.  EPA uses a  combination of monitoring, administrative actions, and
civil actions to reduce the number of waste handlers that are out of compliance and
to deter future violators.  EPA works with the Regional office, the states, and, where
appropriate, the Department of Justice (DOJ) to implement the RCRA enforcement
program.
2.1   ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES

EPA's hazardous waste enforcement program is designed to promote compliance
with statutory and regulatory requirements and to abate imminent hazards.
Enforcement provides EPA and citizens with mechanisms for carrying out the
RCRA program and promotes the protection of human health and the
environment.  Since EPA has not codified regulations covering enforcement, with
the exception of some administrative procedures found in 40 CFR Parts 22 and 24,
RCRA enforcement personnel rely on the following statutory authorities to enforce
the RCRA program:

     Sections 3007 - Inspections and Information Gathering
     Section  3008
      (a) Compliance Orders
      (b) Public Hearings
      (c) Violation of Compliance Orders
      (d) Criminal Penalties
      (e) Knowing Endangerment
      (g) Civil Penalties
      (h) Interim Status Corrective. Action Orders
     Section  3013 - Monitoring, Analysis, and Testing
     Section  7002 - Citizen Suits
     Section  7003 - Imminent Hazards.
  The information in this document is not by any means a complete representation of EPA's regulations or policies,
                but is an introduction to the topic used for Hotline
ne training purposes.

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4 - RCRA Enforcement and Compliance
2.2   INSPECTIONS AND INFORMATION GATHERING

An important component of the enforcement process is the authority to monitor
facilities for verification of compliance with the regulations. The Agency collects
compliance monitoring information primarily through facility inspections and
information requests. An inspection is a formal visit by an EPA or state
representative to a facility to review records, take samples, and observe facility
operations.  Congress granted EPA  the authority to conduct such inspections and
collect necessary information to determine compliance under RCRA 3007.

Section 3007 gives EPA the authority to  inspect facilities that handle or have
handled hazardous wastes.  In addition, the inspection authority is applicable to
facilities that handle mixtures of hazardous wastes and domestic sewage (3018(d)).
Furthermore, 4005(c)(2)(B) extends EPA's 3007 authority to facilities that handle
wastes from households and conditionally exempt small quantity generators.

A number of different types of inspections are conducted under RCRA authority.
Inspections are conducted by EPA, authorized states, or both, or authorized
representatives of either EPA or authorized states.  Typically, either the state or EPA
has overall responsibility, or the lead, for conducting the inspection.  The inspector's
role is to gather information that will then be used by the Region and/or state to
determine compliance status.  Some of the different kinds of inspections are
described below.

COMPLIANCE EVALUATION INSPECTION (CEI)

The CEI is an on-site evaluation of a hazardous waste handler's compliance with
RCRA regulations and permit standards.  The CEI gathers information necessary to
determine compliance and support enforcement actions.  The inspection  may
include a characterization of the handler's activities, identification of the types of
hazardous wastes managed on-site, a record review of reports, documents, and on-
site plans, and the identification of any units that generate, treat, store, or  dispose of
hazardous waste. TSDFs must be inspected every two years, except facilities owned
or operated by a federal or state agency, which must be inspected every year
(3007
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                                                    RCRA Enforcement and Compliance - 5
COMPREHENSIVE GROUNDWATER MONITORING EVALUATION (CME)

During the CME, enforcement officials evaluate the adequacy of the design and
operation of a facility's groundwater monitoring system.  This evaluation should be
completed by a hydrogeologist and includes a review of the owner/operator's
characterization of the hydrogeology underlying the hazardous waste management
units; monitoring well placement, depth, and spacing; and well design and
construction. The CME is used to determine whether a facility implementing
detection monitoring should instead be using compliance or assessment
monitoring. CMEs at compliance or assessment monitoring facilities include a
detailed examination of the assessment monitoring plan  and implementation of the
plan.

CASE DEVELOPMENT INSPECTION (GDI)

This intensive investigation is conducted to gather sufficient information to
support an enforcement action.  The CDI can be used to collect supplemental data to
support a forthcoming enforcement action identified through a CEI, CME or a record
review.       

OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE INSPECTION (O&M)

The O&M inspection occurs periodically, evaluating whether a groundwater
monitoring system is continuing to function as designed. The inspection focuses on
the condition of the wells and their associated sampling devices.  The findings from
an O&M inspection will indicate whether case development is warranted or will
serve to focus future CMEs.

INFORMATION GATHERING

In addition to authorizing EPA to conduct inspections, 3007 allows the Agency to
request specific information from "...any  person who generates, stores, treats or
disposes of or has handled hazardous waste." This means EPA may request
information from past generators as well as those parties  who may not  have been
subject to the RCRA regulations, but who have actually handled hazardous  waste.

Normally the public has access to the information obtained under 3007 authority.
A facility owner/operator may, however, claim records or other information
gathered by EPA as confidential business information by submitting the information
with a cover sheet stamped "confidential," "trade secret,"  or "proprietary
information (3007(b))." EPA will then determine whether or not the material is
confidential.

In addition to obtaining information for  enforcement proceedings, EPA may use
3007 authority to gather  data to assist in the development of regulations and to
track program progress and accomplishments.

   The information in this document is not by any means a complete representation of EPA's regulations or policies,
                but is an introduction to the topic used for Hotline training purposes.

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6 - RCRA Enforcement and Compliance
2.3   ENFORCEMENT MECHANISMS

When the Agency determines that a facility has violated the regulations,
enforcement action is taken.  Under RCRA, EPA uses two types of enforcement
mechanisms:  administrative and civil actions.  The Agency has substantial latitude
in deciding which action or combination of actions to pursue, depending on the
nature and severity of the problem.

ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS

An administrative action is a nonjudicial enforcement action taken by EPA or a
state under its own authority.  These actions can be broken down into two general
categories:  informal and formal. Both of these  actions provide for enforcement
response outside the court system.  This means the Agency takes  direct enforcement
action against the violator based on its authority granted by the statute, and does not
rely on a court of law for enforcement authority.

Informal Actions

Any type of communication from EPA to a facility that simply notifies the facility
owner/operator of a violation  and how to  correct the potential problem is
considered an informal administrative action. Examples of informal actions are
letters or phone calls.  For informal actions, EPA or the state notifies a facility
owner/operator that the facility is out of compliance with hazardous waste
regulations.  Informal actions are most appropriate where the violation is a minor
threat to human health and the environment.  A warning letter, sometimes
referred to as a Notice of Violation  (NOV), may be sent, which lays out the specific
actions  that need to be taken by the facility owner/operator. This warning letter may
also set out the additional formal enforcement actions that will be taken if the
owner/operator does not correct the violation(s).

Formal Actions (Administrative Orders)

In cases where there is a more serious violation, or the facility owner/operator fails
to respond to an informal action, EPA can issue an administrative order.
Administrative orders impose  enforceable legal duties. For example, orders can be
used  to compel a facility owner/operator to comply with specific regulations, to take
corrective action, to perform testing, monitoring, or analysis, or to pay fines.
   The information in this document is not by any means a complete representation of EPA's regulations or policies,
                 but is an introduction to the topic used for Hotline training purposes.

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                                                      RCRA Enforcement and Compliance.- 7
There are four authorities for issuing administrative orders under RCRA:

     Section 3013 Orders to conduct monitoring, analysis, and testing
     Corrective Action Orders under 3008(h)
     Compliance Orders under 3008(a), including revocation of permits
     Section 7003 Orders for imminent hazards.

Each of these authorities is discussed in detail elsewhere in this module.

CIVIL ACTIONS

A civil action is a formal lawsuit filed in a federal district court by DOJ against a
person who has either failed to comply with a statutory or regulatory requirement
or administrative order, or who has contributed to a release of hazardous wastes or
hazardous constituents. The statutory authorities for judicial actions under RCRA
are:

     Section 3013 - injunctions to conduct monitoring, testing, and  analysis
     Section 3008 - injunctions, civil penalties, and criminal penalties
     Section 7003 - injunctions to address imminent hazards.


Criminal Actions

A criminal action is an action by EPA or the state pursuant to 3008(d) that can result
in the imposition of fines and/or imprisonment,  The key to criminal liability is
that a person knowingly violated RCRA requirements.  Seven actions identified in
3008 carry criminal penalties. Six of these 7 actions carry a penalty of up to $50,000
per day of violation and up to 5 years in jail. /These acts are:

     Knowingly transporting waste to a nonpermitted facility

     Knowingly treating, storing, or disposing of waste without a permit or in
      violation of a permit or interim status standards

     Knowingly omitting information from or making a  false statement on a label,
      manifest, report, permit,  or compliance document

     Knowingly generating,  storing, treating, or disposing of waste  without
      complying with  recordkeeping and reporting requirements

     Knowingly transporting waste without a manifest

     Knowingly exporting waste without the consent  of the receiving country.
  The information in this document is not by any means a complete' representation of EPA's regulations or policies,
                 but is an introduction.to the topic used for Hotline training purposes.

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8 - RCRA Enforcement and Compliance
The seventh criminal act is knowingly transporting, treating, storing, disposing, or
exporting waste in a way that places another person in imminent danger of death or
serious bodily injury. This act carries a possible penalty of up to $250,000 and 15
years in prison for an individual, and a $1 million dollar fine for a corporation
(3008(e)).
2.4   MONITORING, ANALYSIS, TESTING, AND REPORTING

When EPA receives information showing that hazardous waste is present or has
been released at a facility or site, or that the release of any such waste may present a
hazard, it may issue an administrative order or obtain a judicial injunction
requiring the owner/operator to conduct monitoring, analysis,  or testing to ascertain
the extent and nature of the hazard (RCRA 3013).  Information means some
reliable data upon which a reasonable person would base a decision to take action,
and may include citizen complaints and inspection reports.  With respect to 3013
orders,  the statutory definition of hazardous waste  is used, rather than the
regulatory definition (RCRA 1004(5)).

EPA has the authority to issue administrative orders to any past or present
owner/operator who would reasonably have knowledge of the presence of
hazardous waste and potential releases ( 3013(b) and (c)). The orders may compel
him or her to perform monitoring, testing, analysis, and  reporting.  The Agency also
retains the option of performing the work and recovering costs from the
owner/operator. EPA may sue anyone who fails to comply with a 3013
administrative order for up to  $5,500 per day of noncompliance.

The mere presence of hazardous waste at a site or facility is sufficient cause to issue a
3013 order, provided that the information indicates that the presence of the waste
may present a substantial hazard.  Only the potential for  harm,  as opposed  to actual
harm, to human health  and the environment must be ascertained to determine
whether a  substantial hazard exists.
2.5   COMPLIANCE ORDERS AND PENALTIES

When it is determined that any person has violated or is in violation of any Subtitle
C requirement, EPA may issue a compliance order that may assess a civil penalty,
require compliance with a standard, or both (3008).  A "person" is defined in
1004(15) as an "...individual, trust, firm, joint stock company, corporation,
partnership, association, state, municipality, commission, political subdivision of a
state, or any interstate body...."

Specifically, 3008(a) gives EPA the right.to take administrative or judicial action for
violations of RCRA that have transpired since November 19, 1980.  If a facility
   The information in this document is not by any means a complete representation of EPA's regulations or policies,
                  but is an introduction to the topic used for Hotline training purposes.

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                                                     RCRA Enforcement and Compliance - 9
owner/operator violates a compliance order, 3008(c) gives EPA the authority to
issue a civil penalty of up to $27,500 per day per violation or to revoke or suspend
the facility permit. Civil penalties are described in 3008(g).  Specifically, each
violation of a Subtitle C requirement is subject to a fine of iip to $27,500 per day per
violation. This means that each day of noncompliance is considered a separate
violation. For detailed information on penalties, refer  to the 1990 RCRA Civil
Penalty Policy.  This contains information on the classes of violations, and possible
injunctive relief and other fines and penalties that may be assessed.  Section 3008(d)
criminal penalties may be assessed against any person  who knowingly violates  the
regulations.  There are seven instances of "knowing violation" (see Criminal
Actions under Section 2.3 of this module).
2.6   CORRECTIVE ACTION

Just as the Agency can request or obtain information and can require a facility to
conduct testing and analysis, it can also require a facility to perform a cleanup. The
corrective action program is one of the primary mechanisms to facilitate cleanup of
contamination at treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDFs). EPA can issue
an administrative order to compel an owner/operator to undertake corrective
action, or EPA can sue (i.e., bring a civil action) to have the court order the
owner/operator to clean up.  The authority for requiring corrective action at
permitted facilities is found in 3004(u) and (v).  EPA uses 3008(a) to enforce the
corrective action at permitted facilities requirements found in 3004(u) and (v).

Interim status corrective action authority is found in 3008(h).  The opening clause
of 3008(h) authorizes the Agency to make the determination that'there is or has
been a release on the basis of "any information." In practice, EPA will obtain
appropriate information from a variety of sources, including lab analyses, inspection
reports, and photographs.  For the purposes of 3008(h), actual sampling is not
needed to verify a release.  An inspector may find other evidence that a  release has
occurred, such as a broken dike at a surface impoundment or stressed vegetation.
Less obvious indications might also be adequate to make the determination. For
example, EPA might have  sufficient information on the hydrogeology of the site to
conclude that there may have been a release.
2.7   IMMINENT HAZARD

Section 7003 gives EPA a broad and powerful enforcement tool to use in abating
imminent hazards caused by hazardous or solid wastes. RCRA states that upon
receipt of evidence that the past or present handling, storage, treatment,
transportation, or disposal of any solid waste or hazardous waste may present
imminent and substantial endangerment to human health  or the environment,
EPA may bring suit against any person who has contributed or who is contributing
   The information in this document is not by any means a complete representation of EPA's regulations or policies,
                 but is an introduction to the topic used for Hotline training purposes.

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10 - RCRA Enforcement and Compliance
to the handling of the waste to restrain the person, order the person to take any
action that may be necessary, or both.

The action taken by EPA may be administrative or civil. In order to issue a 7003
order, however, EPA must possess evidence that the waste handling may present an
imminent and substantial endangerment to human health or the environment.
Evidence may be documentary, testimonial, or physical and may be obtained from a
variety of sources, including inspections, investigations, or requests for production
of documents or other data pursuant to 3007, 3013, or the Comprehensive
Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) 104.  This
evidence must be reliable enough to enable a reasonable person to conclude that the
action is appropriate. The phrase "may present" indicates that the standard of proof
does not require certainty. That is, an order may be issued if there is sound reason to
believe that an endangerment exists; evidence of actual harm is not required.
2.8   CITIZEN SUITS

Administrative or civil actions are mechanisms that EPA can employ against
violators, but RCRA also offers a course of action for citizens. Section 7002 provides
that any person may sue any past or present generator, transporter, treater, storer, or
'disposer who has contributed or who is contributing to the past or present handling
of waste which may present an imminent and substantial endangerment, or may be
in violation of  a permit, standard, regulation, condition, requirement, or order.
Prior to HSWA, the only actions allowed under 7002 were suits brought by any
person on his or her own behalf against any person who was alleged to be in
violation of any permit, standard, regulation, condition, requirement, prohibition,
or order. HSWA broadened this provision significantly.

Pursuant to 7002(a)(l)(B), suits may be undertaken by any person against any
person, including the United States or any governmental instrumentality, when
that person has in the past or present handled any solid or hazardous waste in a way
so as to  present an imminent or substantial endangerment to health or the
environment.

Citizens may sue EPA where the Agency fails to perform any action or duty which is
not discretionary (7002(a)(2)). Section 7002(a) also gives the courts the power to
restrain  any  person who is out of compliance or whose actions in handling solid or
hazardous waste present an imminent or substantial endangerment to human
health or the environment. Section 7002(e) allows the court to award, when
appropriate, court costs to the prevailing or substantially prevailing party in the
citizen suit.

Some legal actions by citizens are prohibited. According to 7002(b), if the
Administrator  of EPA or a state has begun an action to bring the violator into
compliance,  no citizen suit will be allowed. Section 7002(d) gives EPA the right to
   The information in this document is not by any means a complete representation or EPA's regulations or policies,
                 but is an introduction to the topic used for Hotline training purposes.

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                                                              RCRA Enforcement and Compliance -11
participate, or intervene, in any action brought under this section as long as EPA is
not a party to the original suit.
   The information in this document is not by any means a complete representation of EPA's regulations or policies,
                    but is an introduction to the topic used for Hotline training purposes.

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12 - RCRA Enforcement and Compliance
    The information in this document is not by any means a complete representation of EPA's regulations or policies,
                       but is an introduction to the topic used for Hotline training purposes.

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                                                     RCRA Enforcement and Compliance -13
                                  3.   ISSUES
Because the majority of enforcement issues are determined on a case-by-case basis
depending on the factual details of a given situation, enforcement is full of
anomalies.  Three situations require particular attention.

ENFORCEMENT IN AUTHORIZED STATES

Determining which agency, either EPA or the state, will take the enforcement lead
in an authorized state generally depends on whether the state is fully authorized to
enforce the applicable provisions (state authorization is discussed in detail in the
module entitled State Programs).  If the provision being enforced was promulgated
as a pre-HSWA provision, the authorized state has the primary responsibility for
ensuring compliance. As states become authorized for all aspects of HSWA/ they
Will assume enforcement authority for HSWA enforcement actions.  EPA does,
however, have the authority to take independent enforcement actions in
authorized states. It is EPA's policy to take enforcement actions in authorized states
("overfile") when (1) the state requests EPA to do so and provides justification based
on unique, case-specific circumstances; (2) the state fails to take timely and/or
appropriate action; or (3) a case could establish a legal precedent or in which federal
involvement is needed to  ensure  national consistency.

According to 3008(a)(2), in order  to enforce a provision for which a particular state
has authorization, EPA must notify the state 30 days prior to issuing a compliance
order or  starting a civil action within the state. For provisions promulgated
pursuant to HSWA, EPA maintains full authority for enforcement until the state
either becomes fully authorized for that provision (3006(g)), or receives interim
authority for that provision.                 /      .      .

ENFORCEMENT AT INTERIM STATUS VS. PERMITTED FACILITIES

The applicable regulations for interim  status facilities are directly enforceable
pursuant to 3008(a). This means  that if a facility is not in compliance with a specific
regulation, enforcement actions of any kind may be taken against that facility. For
permitted facilities, however, the site-specific conditions of the written permit are
enforceable.  Even if the permit is poorly written or does not conform to the
regulations, the owner/operator need  only comply with the requirements  detailed
in the permit.  This is an example of the "permit as a shield" provision, codified at
270.4(a).  This section states that  compliance with a RCRA permit constitutes
compliance for purpose of enforcement.  The exceptions to this provision are those
requirements that are not included in the permit; those provisions that become
effective by statute subsequent to  the issuance of the permit; and those provisions
that are promulgated under the land disposal restrictions, land disposal unit leak
detection requirements, or the  air emission standards.
  The information in this document is not by any means a complete representation of EPA's regulations or policies,
                 but is an introduction to the topic used for Hotline
ic training purposes.

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14 - RCRA Enforcement and Compliance
ENFORCEMENT AT FEDERAL FACILITIES

Many federal agencies (e.g., Department of Energy, Department of Defense) are
hazardous waste handlers subject to RCRA. Initially in the RCRA program, there
was some question whether sovereign immunity protected federal agencies  from
some EPA and state enforcement actions.  In the Federal Facility Compliance Act of
1992 (FFCA), Congress amended RCRA to explicitly waive sovereign immunity for
purposes of RCRA enforcement.  RCRA now specifically states that all RCRA
penalties or fines "...punitive or coercive in nature or ... imposed for isolated,
intermittent, or continuing  violations" apply to the federal government.  Therefore,
EPA and authorized states can issue orders and penalties, or bring suit against
federal facilities in the same manner as against private parties.
   The information in this document is not by any means a complete representation of EPA's regulations or policies,
                 but is an introduction to the topic used for Hotline
ne training purposes.

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                                                    RCRA Enforcement and Co'mpliance -15
          4.  COMPLIANCE INCENTIVES AND ASSISTANCE
Given the complexity of the various federal environmental regulatory programs
and the size of the regulated community, EPA's task of enforcing RCRA and other
federal environmental laws is enormous. In reality, EPA can only accomplish the
ultimate goal of ensuring protection of public health and the environment by
supplementing a strong enforcement program with programs designed to encourage
and assist compliance.

The EPA Headquarters office charged with enforcing environmental laws is the
Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA). OECA has produced
several policies and programs designed to  encourage and assist compliance.  While
EPA is aggressively pursuing compliance assistance and incentive programs, a
strong, formal enforcement program is still the best tool to ensure compliance.
Therefore, EPA's compliance incentive and assistance programs are only a
complement to, and not a replacement of,  the enforcement tools described
elsewhere in this module. Some of the incentive and assistance programs are
described below.

Small Business Compliance Centers

EPA has established four Small Business Compliance Centers (SBCCs) (62 FR 18115;
April 14, 1997).  These are information centers where businesses with less than 10
employees can get regulatory compliance assistance. Currently, EPA, in cooperation
with states, universities, and trade groups, has established centers for the metal
finishing, printing, auto services, and agriculture industries. EPA plans to establish
centers for transportation, local governments, chemical manufacturers, and printed
wiring board manufacturers.

Compliance Incentives for Small Businesses

EPA has also established a policy to encourage businesses to use the SBCCs. Under
the Interim Policy on Compliance Incentives for Small Businesses (61  FR 27894;
June 3, 1996), when businesses make a good faith effort to comply with
environmental regulatory programs by utilizing  SBCCs or other nonconfidential
governmental or government-supported compliance assistance programs, the
businesses can qualify for reduced civil penalties for violations.

Compliance Incentives for Small Communities

The EPA Policy on Flexible State Enforcement Responses to Small Community
Violations describes the circumstances in which the EPA will generally defer to a
state's efforts to return small communities to environmental compliance. This
deference will be based on an assessment of the adequacy of the process a state uses
to address small community noncompliance.

  The information in this document is not by any means a  complete representation of EPA's regulations or policies,
                 but is an introduction to the topic used for Hotline training purposes.

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16 - RCRA Enforcement and Compliance
Audit Policy

On December 22, 1995, EPA issued the Incentives for Self-Policing: Discovery,
Disclosure, Correction, and Prevention of Violations Policy (60 FR 66706).  This EPA-
wide policy (commonly  knows as the "Audit Policy") contains incentives for the
regulated community to voluntarily identify, evaluate, disclose, and correct
violations.  Incentives include substantially reduced or eliminated penalties and
deferral of criminal enforcement in settlements for violations disclosed and
corrected pursuant to the policy.
   The information in this document is not by any means a complete representation of EPA s regulations or policies,
                  but is an introduction to the topic used for Hotline training purposes.

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