42 U.S.C. § 6973

Current through P.L. 117-214 (published on www.congress.gov on 10/19/2022)
Section 6973 - Imminent hazard
(a) Authority of Administrator

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, upon receipt of evidence that the past or present handling, storage, treatment, transportation or disposal of any solid waste or hazardous waste may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to health or the environment, the Administrator may bring suit on behalf of the United States in the appropriate district court against any person (including any past or present generator, past or present transporter, or past or present owner or operator of a treatment, storage, or disposal facility) who has contributed or who is contributing to such handling, storage, treatment, transportation or disposal to restrain such person from such handling, storage, treatment, transportation, or disposal, to order such person to take such other action as may be necessary, or both. A transporter shall not be deemed to have contributed or to be contributing to such handling, storage, treatment, or disposal taking place after such solid waste or hazardous waste has left the possession or control of such transporter if the transportation of such waste was under a sole contractural 1 arrangement arising from a published tariff and acceptance for carriage by common carrier by rail and such transporter has exercised due care in the past or present handling, storage, treatment, transportation and disposal of such waste. The Administrator shall provide notice to the affected State of any such suit. The Administrator may also, after notice to the affected State, take other action under this section including, but not limited to, issuing such orders as may be necessary to protect public health and the environment.

(b) Violations

Any person who willfully violates, or fails or refuses to comply with, any order of the Administrator under subsection (a) may, in an action brought in the appropriate United States district court to enforce such order, be fined not more than $5,000 for each day in which such violation occurs or such failure to comply continues.

(c) Immediate notice

Upon receipt of information that there is hazardous waste at any site which has presented an imminent and substantial endangerment to human health or the environment, the Administrator shall provide immediate notice to the appropriate local government agencies. In addition, the Administrator shall require notice of such endangerment to be promptly posted at the site where the waste is located.

(d) Public participation in settlements

Whenever the United States or the Administrator proposes to covenant not to sue or to forbear from suit or to settle any claim arising under this section, notice, and opportunity for a public meeting in the affected area, and a reasonable opportunity to comment on the proposed settlement prior to its final entry shall be afforded to the public. The decision of the United States or the Administrator to enter into or not to enter into such Consent Decree, covenant or agreement shall not constitute a final agency action subject to judicial review under this chapter or chapter 7 of title 5.

1 So in original. Probably should be "contractual".

42 U.S.C. § 6973

Pub. L. 89-272, title II, §7003, as added Pub. L. 94-580, §2, Oct. 21, 1976, 90 Stat. 2826; amended Pub. L. 95-609, §7(q), Nov. 8, 1978, 92 Stat. 3083; Pub. L. 96-482, §25, Oct. 21, 1980, 94 Stat. 2348; Pub. L. 98-616, title IV, §§402, 403(a), 404, Nov. 8, 1984, 98 Stat. 3271, 3273.

EDITORIAL NOTES

CODIFICATIONIn subsec. (d), "chapter 7 of title 5" substituted for "the Administrative Procedure Act" on authority of Pub. L. 89-554, §7(b), Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 631, the first section of which enacted Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

AMENDMENTS1984-Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98-616, §402, inserted "past or present" after "evidence that the", substituted "against any person (including any past or present generator, past or present transporter, or past or present owner or operator of a treatment, storage, or disposal facility) who has contributed or, who is" for "to immediately restrain any person", substituted "to restrain such person from" for "to stop", substituted ", to order such person to take such other action as may be necessary, or both" for "or to take such other action as may be necessary", and inserted "A transporter shall not be deemed to have contributed or to be contributing to such handling, storage, treatment, or disposal, taking place after such solid waste or hazardous waste has left the possession or control of such transporter, if the transportation of such waste was under a sole contractural [sic] arrangement arising from a published tariff and acceptance for carriage by common carrier by rail and such transporter has exercised due care in the past or present handling, storage, treatment, transportation and disposal of such waste."Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 98-616, §403(a), added subsec. (c).Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 98-616, §404, added subsec. (d). 1980- Pub. L. 96-482, §25, designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), substituted "may present" for "is presenting" and "such handling, storage, treatment, transportation or disposal" for "the alleged disposal" and authorized other action to be taken by the Administrator after notice including issuance of protective orders relating to public health and the environment, and added subsec. (b). 1978- Pub. L. 95-609 struck out "for" after "restrain any person".

EXECUTIVE DOCUMENTS

TRANSFER OF FUNCTIONSFor transfer of certain enforcement functions of Administrator or other official of Environmental Protection Agency under this chapter to Federal Inspector, Office of Federal Inspector for the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System, and subsequent transfer to Secretary of Energy, then to Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects, see note set out under section 6903 of this title.

Administrator
The term "Administrator" means the Administrator of General Services.
State
The term "State" means any of the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
disposal
The term "disposal" means the discharge, deposit, injection, dumping, spilling, leaking, or placing of any solid waste or hazardous waste into or on any land or water so that such solid waste or hazardous waste or any constituent thereof may enter the environment or be emitted into the air or discharged into any waters, including ground waters.
hazardous waste
The term "hazardous waste" means a solid waste, or combination of solid wastes, which because of its quantity, concentration, or physical, chemical, or infectious characteristics may- (A) cause, or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious irreversible, or incapacitating reversible, illness; or(B) pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, or disposed of, or otherwise managed.
owner
The term "owner" means, with respect to federally assisted housing, the entity or private person, including a cooperative or public housing agency, that has the legal right to lease or sublease dwelling units in such housing.
person
The term "person" means an individual, trust, firm, joint stock company, corporation (including a government corporation), partnership, association, State, municipality, commission, political subdivision of a State, or any interstate body and shall include each department, agency, and instrumentality of the United States.
solid waste
The term "solid waste" means any garbage, refuse, sludge from a waste treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility and other discarded material, including solid, liquid, semisolid, or contained gaseous material resulting from industrial, commercial, mining, and agricultural operations, and from community activities, but does not include solid or dissolved material in domestic sewage, or solid or dissolved materials in irrigation return flows or industrial discharges which are point sources subject to permits under section 1342 of title 33, or source, special nuclear, or byproduct material as defined by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (68 Stat. 923) [ 42 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.].
Secretary
the term "Secretary" means-(A) the Secretary of Education for purposes of subtitle A (other than section 3201),(B) the Secretary of Agriculture for purposes of the amendments made by section 3201, and(C) the Secretary of Health and Human Services for purposes of subtitle B,