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United States v. T&S Brass & Bronze Works, Inc.

Citation: 19 ELR 20857
No. No. 88-3531, 865 F.2d 1261/28 ERC 1649/(4th Cir., 12/22/1988) Aff'd

Counsel for Defendant-Appellant
Roger Florio
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart
1000 E. North St., Greenville SC 29601
(803) 242-1410

Counsel for Plaintiff-Appellee
Sarah P. Robinson, Martin W. Matzen
Land and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2000

The court holds that the district court's imposition of a $ 1,000 per day civil penalty for 195 days of violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) was not excessive. The district court had heldthat defendant violated RCRA by failing to certify compliance with RCRA's financial responsibility requirements as mandated by § 3005(e)(2). Defendant's inability to secure insurance does not excuse its noncompliance, since in the absence of insurance coverage defendant should have closed its surface impoundment. In addition, the court holds that defendant cannot avoid a finding of bad faith by arguing that it was not notified by the state of its regulatory requirements until August 1985, since defendant still had until November 8, 1985, the statutory deadline, to comply. There was in any event ample evidence to indicate that defendant knew well before August 1985 that it was subject to RCRA. The court holds, however, that the trial court made a technical error in ordering defendant to comply with federal closure and post-closure regulations; instead, the court should have ordered defendant to comply with the parallel regulations of South Carolina's authorized program.

[The district court opinion in this case is published at 18 ELR 20905.]