Your Mistakes Could Cost You BIG!


If you generate hazardous waste in your industry, it’s very likely you already know you can be subject to fines if you are noncompliant with hazardous waste disposal laws. Not everybody, however, realizes that those fines have recently increased. This means the federal government is cracking down even harder on these kinds of violations, and if you’re caught not following the rules, it’s going to hurt a lot more than it ever used to!

Many EPA Fines for Hazardous Waste Violations Have Nearly Doubled

Starting on August 1, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officially raised the maximum civil penalties for certain violations of EPA regulations or environmental law.

These fine increases didn’t just randomly and arbitrarily appear in mid-2016, however. The process began on November 2, 2015. On that date, President Barack Obama signed into law the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015.

Among other things, this adjusted penalty rates to accommodate for inflation and attempted to make the financial penalties more severe in order to discourage noncompliance.

Failure to comply with the EPA’s code for proper waste collection and remove will cost you even more money. Some companies have even suffered shut down due to improper handling of solvent waste… DO NOT GET CAUGHT!

This past year under the past administration the US Government passed laws almost doubling the fines associated with these code violations, and the EPA is cracking down. One area where fines are becoming even more stringent is with RCRA law. Prior to this increase, the maximum civil penalty for a RCRA violation was $37,500-per violation, per day. That’s already a massive fine, but after this rate increase, it’s now $70,117 per violation, per day.

Violations Prior to August 1, 2016

So, these new financial penalties actually went into effect on August 1, 2016. Does that mean the new fines apply to all violations starting from August 1, 2016, on?

No! These new rates can be applied to any and all violations that occurred from November 2, 2015, on.

Also, neither your industry nor size gets you out of paying these fines. No matter your EPA generator status—whether that be small quantity generator or large quantity generator—you still have to comply or face the financial penalties. This is equally as true for manufacturers as it is for dry cleaners as it is for auto body shops.

Expenses of waste removal means $$:
Waste removal costs for solvents are one of the highest seen by manufacturers. With typical waste disposal companies, they pick up your waste, typically 55gal drums (drums that you purchase) they dispose of waste (at your expense) however often times the company disposing of the waste will recycle the waste themselves. Once they recycle the waste they then turn right around and… you guessed it, seen your recycled clean solvent… making money off of your waste. By having a waste removal company dispose of your waste you literally are giving dollars from your bottom line away.

Replenishing your solvent inventory costs $$:
Once you dispose of solvent, guess what? You must replenish your inventory, needing more solvent, purchasing new solvent directly from your supplier [which quite honestly might have purchased your recycled solvent hence you are paying for your waste again]. These are extremely expensive and the price always seems to increase year over year.

Failure to comply with the EPA’s code for proper waste collection and remove will cost you even more money. Some companies have even suffered shut down due to improper handling of solvent waste… DO NOT GET CAUGHT!

This past year under the past administration the US Government passed laws almost doubling the fines associated with these code violations, and the EPA is cracking down. One area where fines are becoming even more stringent is with RCRA law. Prior to this increase, the maximum civil penalty for a RCRA violation was $37,500-per violation, per day. That’s already a massive fine, but after this rate increase, it’s now $70,117 per violation, per day.

Need Help? Recycle!


BECCA’s Solvent Saver Recyclers are the cleanest, safest, most reliable and cost effective way to recover and recycle waste. Through the distillation process, the solvent is boiled to a vapor and then condensed back into a liquid, leaving the contaminant behind in the tank for recovery. Our equipment has a tank with a specially designed bag liner, which contains the left-behind residues, is easily and cleanly removed. The collected solvents can be up to 99% pure.