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OVERVIEW OF THE RCRA ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM
The goals of the RCRA Enforcement Program are to ensure that RCRA rules and regulations are met, and to take necessary action to correct violations. The EPA and the authorized states achieve these goals by closely monitoring hazardous waste handler activities, taking legal action when handler is in noncompliance, and providing compliance incentives and assistance.
There are three main elements to RCRA’s enforcement program are compliance monitoring, enforcement actions, and compliance assistance and incentives.
Compliance Monitoring is used to verify a handler complying with RCRA regulatory requirements. Monitoring allows EPA and the authorized states to assess the effectiveness of specific legal actions that may have been taken against a handler, and enabling EPA to gather data in support of a future rulemaking. The overall compliance monitoring program allows EPA to evaluate the effectiveness of state programs (Idaho, Oregon, and Washington State Programs) and to monitor nationwide compliance with RCRA. The primary method of gathering compliance monitoring data is through an inspection.
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Either EPA or an authorized state may lead inspections. The inspections must be conducted annually at all federal or state operated facilities and at least once every two years at each TSDF. The six types of inspections conducted under the RCRA program are:
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- Compliance Evaluation Inspection, routine inspections (includes a file review prior to the site visit; onsite examination of generation, treatment, storage, or disposal areas; review of records; and an evaluation of the facility’s compliance with RCRA) to evaluate compliance with RCRA.
- Case Development Inspection, an inspection to gather data to support an enforcement action when significant RCRA violations are known, suspected, or revealed.
- Comprehensive Ground Water Monitoring Evaluation, an inspection to ensure that ground water monitoring systems are designed and functioning properly at RCRA land disposal facilities.
- Compliance Sampling Inspection, inspections to collect samples for laboratory analysis.
- Operations and Maintenance Inspection, inspections to ensure that ground water monitoring and other systems at closed land disposal facilities continue to function properly.
- Laboratory Audit, inspections of laboratories performing ground water monitoring analysis to ensure that these laboratories are using proper sample handling and analysis protocols.