United States
Protection Agency
Solid Waste and
Emergency Response
 PB2000-101 900
  February 2000
     RCRA, Superfund & EPCRA
         Hotline Training Module
      Introduction to:
            RCRA Enforcement
              and Compliance
            Updated October 1999


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

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

The information in this document may not necessarily reflect the current position of the Agency. This
                        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.



1.  Introduction	  1

2.  Statutory Summary	  2
   2.1 Enforcement Authorities	  2
   2.2 Inspections and Information Gathering  	  2
   2.3 Monitoring, Analysis, Testing, and Reporting	  5
   2.4 Enforcement Mechanisms	  5
   2.5 Compliance Orders and Penalties 	  8
   2.6 Corrective Action	  8
   2.7 Imminent Hazard	  8
   2.8 Citizen Suits 	  9

3.  Special Issues	 10

4.  Compliance Incentives and Assistance	 12

5.  Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act 	 14

                                                    RCRA Enforcement and Compliance -1
                            1.  INTRODUCTION
The effective implementation of the RCRA program depends on whether the regulated
community complies with the various RCRA requirements. The goals of the RCRA
enforcement program are to ensure that the regulatory and statutory provisions of
RCRA are met, and to compel necessary action to correct violations. To achieve these
goals, EPA and the states closely monitor hazardous waste handlers, taking expeditious
legal action when noncompliance is detected.  EPA also has various programs to
provide compliance incentives and assistance.

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

     Describe the three different types of enforcement actions, administrative, civil,
      and criminal

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

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

     Describe some of EPA's 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.

2 - RCRA Enforcement and Compliance
                       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 actions 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 offices, the states, and, where appropriate, the Department of
Justice (DOJ) to implement the RCRA enforcement program.

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:

     Section 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.

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

 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.

                                                    RCRA Enforcement and Compliance - 3
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


The compliance evaluation inspection (CEI) is an on-site evaluation of a hazardous
waste handler's compliance with RCRA regulations and permit standards. The purpose
of the CEI is to gather 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. Treatment,  storage, and disposal
facilities (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(c), (d), and


EPA sometimes finds it necessary to inspect a facility in order to collect samples for
laboratory analysis. These sampling inspections are very resource-intensive because
they require advanced planning for the sampling scheme and laboratory analysis. A
sampling inspection may be conducted in conjunction with a CEI or any other


During the comprehensive groundwater monitoring evaluation (CME), enforcement
officials evaluate the adequacy of the design and operation of a facility's groundwater

  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.

 4 - RCRA Enforcement and Compliance
 monitoring system. This evaluation should be completed by a hydrogeologist and
 includes a review of the owner and 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.


 The case development inspection (GDI) is an intensive investigation that is conducted to
 gather sufficient information to support an enforcement action. The GDI can be used to
 collect supplemental data to support a forthcoming enforcement action identified
 through a CEI, a CME, or a record review.


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


 In addition to authorizing EPA to conduct inspections, 3007 allows the Agency to
 request specific information from "...any person who generates, stores, treats,
 transports, disposes of, or otherwise handles or has handled hazardous wastes."  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. The
 facility owner and 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.

                                                    RCRA Enforcement and Compliance - 5

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,
the Agency may issue an administrative order or obtain a judicial injunction requiring
the owner and operator to conduct monitoring, analysis, or testing to ascertain the
extent and nature of the hazard (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 (1004(5)).

EPA has the authority to issue administrative orders to any past or present owner and
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 and 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.

When the Agency determines that a facility is in noncompliance with the hazardous
waste regulations, an enforcement action may be taken. Under RCRA, EPA uses three
types of enforcement mechanisms: administrative, civil, and criminal 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.


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.
 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.

 6 - RCRA Enforcement and Compliance
Informal Actions

Once a decision is made to utilize an informal enforcement mechanism, the facility
owner and operator should be given notice of its noncompliance and the steps to take to
correct the violations. Examples of informal actions are letters or phone calls to the
facility. For informal actions, EPA or the state notifies the facility owner and 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 and operator to correct the violation(s). The letter should require
demonstration of a facility's return to compliance within an appropriate timeframe, not
to exceed 90 days, to ensure that enforcement is escalated appropriately should the
facility fail to return to full physical compliance by the established date.

Formal Actions (Administrative Orders)

In cases where a facility has been classified as a significant non-complier or the facility
owner and operator have failed 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 the facility owner and operator to comply with
specific regulations, to take corrective action, to perform testing, monitoring, or
analysis, or to pay fines.

The four authorities for issuing administrative orders under RCRA are:

      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.


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 - compliance orders and criminal penalties
      Section 7003 - injunctions to address violations which pose an imminent and
      substantial endangerment to health or the environment.

 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.

                                                     RCRA Enforcement and Compliance - 7
For example, 3008(a) gives EPA the right to take administrative or judicial action for
violations of RCRA that have transpired since November 19,1980. If the facility owner
and operator violate 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 up 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 RCRA Civil Penalty Policy (OSWER Directive
9900.1A). This contains information on the classes of violations, and possible injunctive
relief and other fines and penalties that may be assessed.


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 seven 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 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)).
 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.

 8 - RCRA Enforcement and Compliance

 EPA may issue a compliance order assessing a civil penalty for any past or current
 violation, requiring compliance immediately or within a specified time period, 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...."

 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 TSDFs. EPA can issue an administrative order to compel the owner
 and operator to undertake corrective action, or EPA can sue (i.e., bring a civil action) to
 have the court order the owner and 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 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.

Section 7003 gives EPA a broad and powerful enforcement tool to use in abating
imminent hazards caused by hazardous or solid wastes. RCRA 7003 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 to the handling of the
waste to restrain the person, order the person to take any action that may be necessary,
or both.
 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.

                                                    RCRA Enforcement and Compliance - 9
The action taken by EPA may be administrative or civil. To issue a 7003 order, 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.

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 that 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
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.

 10 - RCRA Enforcement and Compliance
                             3.   SPECIAL 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.


 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. In authorized states, EPA
 maintains the authority to take independent enforcement actions. It is EPA's policy to
 take enforcement actions in authorized states when (1) the state requests EPA to do so
 and provides information on the case-specific circumstances; (2) the state fails to take
 timely and/or appropriate action; (3) a case could establish a legal precedent or federal
 involvement is needed  to ensure national consistency; or (4) it is a federal lead action.

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


 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
 and 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
 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.

                                                    RCRA Enforcement and Compliance -11

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 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 training purposes.

 12 - RCRA Enforcement and Compliance
 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 Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (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.


 EPA has established four Small Business Compliance Centers (SBCCs) (62 FR18115;
 April 14,1997). These are information centers where businesses with less than 10
 employees can get regulatory compliance assistance. In cooperation with states,
 universities, and trade groups, EPA 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


 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.


 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.

                                                      RCRA Enforcement and Compliance -13

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
 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.

14 - RCRA Enforcement and Compliance
                              FAIRNESS ACT

The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA, P.L. 104-121)
addresses the enforcement of environmental regulations against small businesses and
small entities, and amends the rulemaking process to ensure that environmental
regulations do not unreasonably impact small businesses.

For purposes of SBREFA, "small entity" includes small businesses, small governmental
jurisdictions, and not-for-profit organizations that are not dominant in their field. U.S.
Small Business Administration (SBA) defines "small business" in terms of the number
of persons employed and in some case by annual revenues as well. In general,
businesses employing 500 persons of less are considered small, however, businesses
with as many as 1500 employees or up to $25 million in annual receipts may be defined
as small (see 13 CFR 121). Small governmental jurisdictions include towns, cities, and
counties of 50,000 persons or less.

SBREFA was signed into law on March 29,1996, and consists of five subtitles. These
subtitles are:

      Subtitle A - Regulatory Compliance Simplification - EPA requirements for
      providing assistance to small entities

      Subtitle B - Regulatory Enforcement Reforms - process for small businesses to
      comment on agency enforcement and compliance activities;

      Subtitle C - Equal Access to Justice Act - the award of attorney fees and costs to
      prevailing and non-prevailing parties in administrative or civil judicial
      enforcement actions

      Subtitle D - Regulatory Flexibility Act Amendments - requirement that any final
      rule promulgated after June 26,1996 that will have a significant economic impact
      on a substantial number of small entities be supported by a final "regulatory
      flexibility analysis."

      Subtitle E - Congressional Review of Agency Rulemaking - Congress has the
      opportunity to review and potentially disapprove rules promulgated on or after
      March 1996.
 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.