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Financial Assurance for Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facilities (TSDFs)


What is RCRA Financial Assurance? | EPA's October 2006 Plan for the RCRA Financial Assurance Program

What is RCRA financial assurance and who needs it?

All owners and operators of facilities that treat, store, or dispose of hazardous waste are required to provide proof that they will have sufficient funds to pay for the clean up, closure, and post-closure care of their facilities. They also must demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to pay for the clean up of any accidental releases of hazardous constituents during the active life of their facilities, and compensate any third parties for any resulting bodily injury or property damage.

The regulations for these demonstrations, referred to as “financial assurance,” are found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 40 CFR Parts 264/265, Subpart H Financial Requirements (Part 264 applies to permitted facilities and Part 265 applies to interim status facilities). These regulations outline how hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facility (TSDF or TSD) owner/operators should determine cost estimates, the acceptable mechanisms for demonstrating financial assurance, and the minimum amounts of liability coverage required.

EPA is assessing whether the financial assurance regulatory provisions need to be revised, and is in the process of improving the implementation of the current financial assurance program.   These activities are summarized in the October 2006 Plan for the RCRA Financial Assurance Program

Also, as part of the efforts to address the Superfund 120-Day Study recommendations, EPA has completed an Analysis of 40 Potential TSDs, which led to conclusions concerning RCRA facilities. The Analysis consists of the following documents:  

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EPA's October 2006 Plan for the RCRA Financial Assurance Program

In October 2006, EPA finalized a comprehensive plan for the RCRA financial assurance program.  This plan outlines EPA’s planned financial assurance activities, including regulatory decisions, as well as programmatic implementation items, and the associated timeframes for completing those activities.  Moreover, it lays out a course for the future direction of the program.

The plan consists of two documents.  The first document, entitled “EPA's Plan for Addressing Concerns with the Existing Financial Assurance Regulations,” details the steps EPA is taking to address concerns with current regulations, including the financial test, captive insurance, and financial assurance for corrective action.  This document also details how EPA plans to address post-closure coverage beyond 30 years, and the expansion of financial assurance beyond RCRA TSDs.  The second document, “Upgrading Implementation of the Financial Assurance Program,” outlines a range of short-term efforts that already are underway to improve EPA’s implementation of the financial assurance regulations, and outlines plans for continual upgrades in subsequent years.

Among other things, some of the high-priority initiatives include:


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