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Enforcement

Criminal Provisions of the Clean Air Act

Seal of the Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics and Training On this page are general descriptions of the criminal provisions of the Clean Air Act.


Violation of National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP)

Elements:

  • Owner or operator of a stationary source
    • Knowingly
      • Constructs a new source/modifies an existing source/emits a hazardous pollutant/or fails to comply with a design, equipment, work practice, or operational standard in violation of an applicable NESHAP

Statute: 42 U.S.C. 7413(1)

Penalty:

  • 5 years and/or fines pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3571.
    • Penalties doubled if second or subsequent conviction.

Relevant Regulations: 40 C.F.R. 61

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photograph of asbestos
Discarded Asbestos waste

Violation of Asbestos NESHAP during demolition/renovation

Elements:

  • Person who is a owner or operator of a demolition/renovation operation involving the disturbance of regulated asbestos material of at least 260 linear feet on pipes, 160 square feet on another facility components, or 35 cubic feet off facility components
    • Knowingly
      • Fails or causes another person or employee to fail to comply with any of the work practice standards in 40 C.F.R. 61.145, or waste disposal standards in 40 C.F.R. 61.150

Statute: 42 U.S.C. 7413(1)

Penalty:

  • 5 years and/or fines pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3571.
    • Penalties doubled if second or subsequent conviction.

Relevant Regulations:40 C.F.R. 61.140, 61.141, 61.145, 61.150

          
Examples of illegal removal of asbestos

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Violation of Stratospheric Ozone Protection Provisions

Elements:

  • A person
    • Knowingly
      • Violates any violation or prohibition of subchapter VI of the CAA [ including, but not limited to: non-essential products ban; production, importation, and consumption controls; any requirement of the national emissions control, disposal, and recycling program for motor vehicle air conditioners (MVACs); any requirement of the national emissions control, disposal, and recycling program for appliances or industrial process refrigeration equipment; venting any Class I or Class II substance used as a refrigerant. ]

Statute: 42 U.S.C. 7413(1)

Penalty:

  • 5 years and/or fines pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3571.
    • Penalties doubled if second or subsequent conviction.

Relevant Regulations:

40 C.F.R. 82

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False Statements in CAA Documents

Elements:

  • A person
    • Knowingly
      • Makes false material statement, representation, or certification in/omits material information from/alters, conceals or fails to file or maintain a document filed or required to be maintained under the CAA

Statute: 42 U.S.C. 7413(1)

Penalty:

  • 2 years and/or fines pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3571.;
    • Penalties doubled if second or subsequent conviction.

Relevant Regulations: 40 C.F.R. 50 - 97

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Tampering with Monitor Device or Method

Elements:

  • A person
    • Knowingly
      • Falsifies/tampers with/renders inaccurate/fails to install a monitoring device or method required by CAA

Statute: 42 U.S.C. 7413(1)

Penalty:

  • 2 years and/or fines pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3571.
    • Penalties doubled if second or subsequent conviction.

Relevant Regulations: 40 C.F.R. 50 - 97

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Knowing Failure to Notify or Report

Elements:

  • A Person
    • Knowingly
      • Fails to notify or report as required by the CAA

Statute: 42 U.S.C. 7413(1)

Penalty:

  • 2 years and/or fines pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3571.
    • Penalties doubled if second or subsequent conviction.

Relevant Regulations: 40 C.F.R. 50 - 97

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Knowing/Negligent Endangerment

Elements:

  • A Person
    • Negligently/Knowingly
      • Releases into the ambient air any hazardous air pollutant listed under Section 7412 of the Clean Air Act or any extremely hazardous substances listed pursuant to 42 U.S.C.11002(a)(2) at the time of the release, negligently/knowingly put another person in imminent danger or death or serious bodily injury

Statute: 42 U.S.C. 7413(c)(4)&(5) [42 U.S.C. 7412(b)(1)]

Penalty:

  • Knowing: 15 year and/or fines pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3571.
  • Negligent: 1 year and/or fines pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3571.

Relevant Regulations: 40 C.F.R. 61 - 63

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Violation of State Implementation Plan (SIP)

Elements:

  • A Person
    • Knowingly
      • Violates a requirements of an applicable SIP during a period of federally assumed enforcement, or more than 30 days after having been notified by the Administrator under Section 113(a), 42 U.S.C. 74139(a)(1) that the defendant was in violation of such SIP requirement

Statute: 42 U.S.C. 7413(c)(1)

Penalty:

  • 5 years and/or fines pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3571.
    • Penalties doubled if second or subsequent conviction.

Relevant Regulations: 40 C.F.R. 52

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Violation of a New Source Performance Standard

Elements:

  • Owner or operator of a "new" stationary source
    • Knowingly
      • Operates the new source in violation of an applicable category source performance standard

Statute: 42 U.S.C. 7413(c)(1)

Penalty:

  • 5 years and/or fines pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3571.
    • Penalties doubled if second or subsequent conviction.

Relevant Regulations: 40 C.F.R. 60

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Violation of Operating Permits Provisions

Elements:

  • Owner or operator of a source subject to the operating permits program
    • Knowingly
      • Operates the source without an operating permit or in violation of a permit requirement

Statute: 42 U.S.C. 7413(c)(1) [42 U.S.C. 7661(1)-(2), 42 U.S.C. 7661a(a)]

Penalty:

  • 5 years and/or fines pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3571.
    • Penalties doubled if second or subsequent conviction.

Relevant Regulations: 40 C.F.R. 70 - 71

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Violation of an Emergency Order

Elements:

  • A Person
    • Knowingly
      • Violates a prohibition or requirement of an emergency issued by the EPA pursuant to Section 303, 42 U.S.C. 7603

Statute: 42 U.S.C. 7413(c)(1)

Penalty:

  • 5 years and/or fines pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3571.
    • Penalties doubled if second or subsequent conviction.

Relevant Regulations: 40 C.F.R. 50 - 95

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