Current Maximum EPA Civil Penalties
|Clean Air Act||$109,024|
|EPCRA & CERCLA||$62,689|
|Clean Water Act||$59,973|
|Safe Drinking Water Act||$62,689|
Failure to understand the scope or the details of your responsibilities under US environmental law can also result in future liability for hazardous substance cleanup under programs like Superfund.
The US Department of Justice recently announced a renewed focus on environmental crimes. DOJ believes that holding individuals criminally responsible for environmental crimes is an effective way to deter noncompliance.
"A genuine threat of criminal prosecution can and will change the conduct of individuals and corporations who would not be deterred by the threat of civil enforcement alone. For many of these reasons, ENRD will prioritize prosecuting individuals who commit and profit from corporate malfeasance.Consequences for criminal environmental violations often include astronomical financial penalties and years of incarceration.
Only individuals can go to jail, and we have found that criminal corporate accountability starts with accountability for individuals responsible for criminal conduct."
Todd Kim, Assistant AG
Head of DOJ's Environmental and Natural Resources Division (ENRD)
Remarks at the ABA National Environmental Enforcement Conference (Dec. 14, 2021)
Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) program, for example, a person who illegally treats, stores, or disposes of a hazardous waste can face 5 years in prison and a fine of $50,000 per day (42 USC § 6928(d)).