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Hazardous Waste Penalty Policy for the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment

Hazardous Waste Penalty Policy for the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment enforces the Colorado state regulations under the authority of the Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).  RCRA provides for authorization of a state hazardous waste program as long as its regulations are at least as strict and as broad as those of the USEPA.  State regulations that are more strict and more broad are allowed as well.  If you do business in Colorado you should be aware of how the CO DPHE determines the monetary penalty for violations of its regulations.  A full description of this policy can be found on the CO DPHE website:  State of Colorado Hazardous Waste Penalty Policy.  See below for a description of the possible penalties and the factors considered by the Department when determining monetary penalties.


Are you in compliance with the hazardous waste regulations of the CO DPHE?

A violator of the Colorado Hazardous Waste Act or of a compliance order issued by the state pursuant to the Act may be subject to an administrative penalty of up to $15,000 per violation per day.


Violators may also be subject to a civil penalty of up to $25,000 per violation per day.

Remember, if criminal charges are filed this amount can go much higher.

So, what are some of the factors CO DPHE considers when determining the extent of the penalties?

  • The seriousness of the violation.
  • Whether the violation was intentional, reckless, or negligent.
  • The impact upon or the threat to the public health or the environment as a result of the violation.
  • The degree, if any, of recalcitrance or recidivism upon the part of the violator.
  • The economic benefit realized by the violator as a result of the violation.
  • The voluntary and complete disclosure by the violator of such violation in a timely fashion after discovery and prior to the department’s knowledge of the violation provided that all reports required pursuant to the state environmental law have been submitted as and when otherwise required.
  • Full and prompt cooperation by the violator following disclosure of a violation, including, when appropriate, entering into, in good faith, and implementing a legally enforceable agreement to undertake compliance and remedial efforts.
  • The existence of a regularized and comprehensive environmental compliance program or an environmental audit program that was adopted in a timely and good faith manner and that includes sufficient measures to identify and prevent future noncompliance.
  • Any other aggravating or mitigating circumstances.

My hazardous waste training, provide at your site and tailored to your operations, is a great way to avoid violations of the Colorado Hazardous Waste Act.  Especially since my Onsite Training includes a site visit and consultation with you the day before the training.  You can use my training services as an opportunity to identify potential violations and to learn what you need to do to return to compliance.

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Contact me to schedule Onsite Training at your Colorado Facility.