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e-CFR data is current as of January 15, 2021

Title 40Chapter ISubchapter IPart 271Subpart A → §271.16

Title 40: Protection of Environment
Subpart A—Requirements for Final Authorization

§271.16   Requirements for enforcement authority.

(a) Any State agency administering a program shall have available the following remedies for violations of State program requirements:

(1) To restrain immediately and effectively any person by order or by suit in State court from engaging in any unauthorized activity which is endangering or causing damage to public health or the environment.

Note: This paragraph requires that States have a mechanism (e.g., an administrative cease and desist order or the ability to seek a temporary restraining order) to stop any unauthorized activity endangering public health or the environment.

(2) To sue in courts of competent jurisdiction to enjoin any threatened or continuing violation of any program requirement, including permit conditions, without the necessity of a prior revocation of the permit;

(3) To access or sue to recover in court civil penalties and to seek criminal remedies, including fines, as follows:

(i) Civil penalties shall be recoverable for any program violation in at least the amount of $10,000 per day.

(ii) Criminal remedies shall be obtainable against any person who knowingly transports any hazardous waste to an unpermitted facility; who treats, stores, or disposes of hazardous waste without a permit; who knowingly transports, treats, stores, disposes, recycles, causes to be transported, or otherwise handles any used oil regulated by EPA under section 3014 of RCRA that is not listed or identified as a hazardous waste under the state's hazardous waste program in violation of standards or regulations for management of such used oil; or who makes any false statement, or representation in any application, label, manifest, record, report, permit or other document filed, maintained, or used for purposes of program compliance (including compliance with any standards or regulations for used oil regulated by EPA under section 3014 of RCRA that is not listed or identified as hazardous waste). Criminal fines shall be recoverable in at least the amount of $10,000 per day for each violation, and imprisonment for at least six months shall be available.

(b)(1) The maximum civil penalty or criminal fines (as provided in paragraph (a)(3) of this section) shall be assessable for each instance of violation and, if the violation is continuous, shall be assessable up to the maximum amount for each day of violation.

(2) The burden of proof and degree of knowledge or intent required under State law for establishing violations under paragraph (a)(3) of this section, shall be no greater than the burden of proof or degree of knowledge or intent EPA must provide when it brings an action under the Act.

Note: For example, this requirement is not met if State law includes mental state as an element of proof for civil violations.

(c) A civil penalty assessed, sought, or agreed upon by the State Director under paragraph (a)(3) of this section shall be appropriate to the violation.

Note: To the extent the State judgments or settlements provide penalties in amounts which EPA believes to be substantially inadequate in comparison to the amounts which EPA would require under similar facts, EPA, when authorized by the applicable statute, may commence separate actions for penalties.

In addition to the requirements of this paragraph, the State may have other enforcement remedies. The following enforcement options, while not mandatory, are highly recommended:

Procedures for assessment by the State of the costs of investigations, inspections, or monitoring surveys which lead to the establishment of violations;

Procedures which enable the State to assess or to sue any persons responsible for unauthorized activities for any expenses incurred by the State in removing, correcting, or terminating any adverse effects upon human health and the environment resulting from the unauthorized activity, whether or not accidental;

Procedures which enable the State to sue for compensation for any loss or destruction of wildlife, fish or aquatic life, or their habitat, and for any other damages caused by unauthorized activity, either to the State or to any residents of the State who are directly aggrieved by the unauthorized activity, or both; and

Procedures for the administrative assessment of penalties by the Director.

(d) Any State administering a program under this subpart shall provide for public participation in the State enforcement process by providing either:

(1) Authority which allows intervention as of right in any civil action to obtain the remedies specified in paragraph (a) (2) or (3) of this section by any citizen having an interest which is or may be adversely affected; or

(2)(i) Assurance by the appropriate State agency that it will investigate and provide written responses to all citizen complaints submitted pursuant to the procedures specified in §271.15(b)(4);

(ii) Assurance by the appropriate State enforcement authority that it will not oppose intervention by any citizen when permissive intervention is authorized by statute, rule, or regulation; and

(iii) Assurance by the appropriate State enforcement authority that it will publish notice of and provide at least 30 days for public comment on all proposed settlements of civil enforcement actions, except in cases where a settlement requires some immediate action (e.g., cleanup) which if otherwise delayed could result in substantial damage to either public health or the environment.

(e) Any State authority used to issue an enforceable document either in lieu of a post-closure permit as provided in 40 CFR 270.1(c)(7), or as a source of alternative requirements for regulated units, as provided under 40 CFR 264.90(f), 264.110(c), 264.140(d), 265.90(d), 265.110(d), and 265.140(d), shall have available the following remedies:

(1) Authority to sue in courts of competent jurisdiction to enjoin any threatened or continuing violation of the requirements of such documents, as well as authority to compel compliance with requirements for corrective action or other emergency response measures deemed necessary to protect human health and the environment; and

(2) Authority to access or sue to recover in court civil penalties, including fines, for violations of requirements in such documents.

(Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.), Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300f et seq.), Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.); secs. 1006, 2002(a), 3006 and 7004 of the Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA), as amended, (42 U.S.C. 6905, 6912(a), 6926 and 6974))

[48 FR 14248, Apr. 1, 1983, as amended at 48 FR 39622, Sept. 1, 1983; 49 FR 7372, Feb. 29, 1984; 58 FR 26424, May 3, 1993; 59 FR 10559, Mar. 4, 1994; 63 FR 56735, Oct. 22, 1998]

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