California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)


Solid Waste Facility Operation and Closure

Integrated waste management enforcement programs are primarily carried out through local enforcement agencies (LEA) or CalRecycle acting as the enforcement agency (EA). LEAs are designated by the governing body of a county or city and upon certification by CalRecycle are empowered to implement delegated CalRecycle programs and locally designated activities. CalRecycle becomes the EA when an LEA is not designated and certified, or if CalRecycle finds that an LEA is not fulfilling its duties and responsibilities. CalRecycle's regulation of solid waste facilities includes:

  • Certifying LEA programs
  • Reviewing permitting and closure/postclosure documents
  • Providing inspection and oversight of LEAs to ensure that State programs are effectively implemented
  • Acting as the EA (in lieu of the LEA) to enforce State standards and permit conditions
  • Taking enforcement action if the LEA fails to take appropriate enforcement action
  • Administering a remediation program for orphaned, illegal, and abandoned sites.

Specific compliance tools are described below.

Inspection and Enforcement: LEAs (or CalRecycle acting as the EA) routinely inspect active and closed facilities and operations to ensure compliance with applicable State minimum standards and permit conditions. For those facilities or operations not in compliance, the LEA /EA has the authority to issue and enforce Compliance Orders, Corrective Action Orders, Cease and Desist Orders, and civil penalties. The LEA/EA also has the authority to issue stipulated agreements and emergency waivers to facilities or operations located in an area with a declared emergency. Facilities found in chronic violation of State minimum standards are published on CalRecycle's Inventory of Solid Waste Facilities That Violate State Minimum Standards. Other compliance tools can include those outlined in the LEA's Enforcement Program Plan (EPP).

Closed, Illegal, and Abandoned Disposal Sites: CalRecycle assists LEAs in investigating and enforcing State minimum standards at closed, illegal and abandoned disposal sites in California.. Enforcement can provide site access, abatement, notifications, stipulated agreements that leads to compliance.

Financial Assurances: CalRecycle ensures that operators of disposal facilities demonstrate financial assurance plans for closure and postclosure maintenance and operating liability. Operators are also required to maintain adequate funds for closure, postclosure maintenance, corrective action and operating liability for third party claims. CalRecycle reviews these plans and has authority to assess penalties.

Evaluating LEA Programs: CalRecycle evaluates the LEAs every three years to ensure that they are fulfulling their duties. Criteria are specified by statute. The evaluation process is a tool to increase the overall performance and success of the LEA.

Last updated: November 24, 2014
Georgianne Turner,
Office of Public Affairs, (916) 341-6300