Enforcement and Inspection

An Increase in EPA Penalties

As is the case each January, the EPA has finalized regulations adjusting its civil penalties to account for inflation. Therefore, effective January 15, 2018, the maximum civil penalties that the EPA may impose for violations of various environmental statutes have increased by 2 percent.

For example, maximum penalties have increased as follows:

  • Clean Air Act (CAA) violations: from $95,284 to $97,229 per day, per violation;
  • Clean Water Act (CWA) violations: from $52,414 to $53,484 per day, per violation;
  • Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) violations: from $71,264 to $72,718 per day, per violation;
  • Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) violations: from $54,789 to $55,907 per day, per violation;
  • Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) violations: from $38,114 to $38,892 per day, per violation;
  • Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) violations: from $54,789 to $55,907 per day, per violation; and
  • Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) violations: from $19,057 to $19,446 per day, per violation.

The new penalty levels apply to all violations occurring after November 2, 2015, with penalties assessed after January 2, 2018.

While the increased maximum penalties may not impact the actual penalties the EPA seeks when dealing with a specific environmental violation, the Agency believes it is important that the maximum penalties reflect inflation in order to maintain the intended deterrent effect and promote compliance.

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