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Air Indoor Resources - Hazardous Waste Management

RCRA Inspections and Enforcement

If familiar with the rules, you will protect the environment and avoid costly penalties from mismanagement of hazardous waste. Although off-site disposal of hazardous waste can be expensive, it will be less expensive overall than a finding of noncompliance during an inspection. RCRA enforcement applies to the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, disposal, and improper handling of solid and hazardous wastes.

To ensure compliance with all state and federal rules and regulations, officials inspect, monitor, and take enforcement action when necessary. Usually, Large Quantity Generators are inspected once per year, if possible. The Small Quantity Generators are inspected usually once every three years or if there has been a complaint. The Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators are not normally inspected unless they have received a complaint or are suspected of noncompliance.

Inspectors can enter any workplace unannounced to review documents and conduct a walk-through. In Florida, DEP conducts a Compliance Assistance Visit to verify generator size and waste processes that generate waste quantity, assess the condition of storage areas, and review all documentation. Many, if not most monitoring visits, are unannounced, and are precipitated by complaints from individuals or disgruntled workers. A citation or notice of violation (NOV) is prepared at the end of the inspection describing each violation identified during the inspection.

Monetary penalties can range from $100 to $50,000 per violation per day.

Corrective actions are required within a specified period of time and proof of compliance is required, such as photographs or a formal written statement that all violations have been corrected per the regulations.

Enforcement can be either civil or criminal penalties, orders to correct violations, fines, and imprisonment. Conversely, the EPA permits policy flexibility in the enforcement process to mitigate penalties by offering supplemental projects in lieu of some or all of the monetary penalties. For more information refer to Supplemental Environmental Projects Policy and Guidance.

Florida DEP will allow alternative activities, such as technical outreach programs, pollution prevention, emergency planning, and green schools through the “In-Kind” program. In-Kind activities are negotiated during the mitigation period of enforcement, but must pay one and a half times the monetary penalty.

Contact Information

Wendy Murphy
325 West Gaines Street
Suite, 1054
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Phone: (850) 245-9295