California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Solid Waste Facilities, Sites and Operations

LEA and EA Enforcement Compliance Tools

Each jurisdiction’s local enforcement agency (LEA) or enforcement agency (EA) routinely inspects active and closed landfills, transfer stations, compost operations and facilities, construction and demolition operations and facilities, and other operations and facilities. The purpose of the inspections is to review and document compliance issues with applicable state minimum standards and permit conditions. Each LEA or EA may note a violation if a facility is found to not meet the requirements of each of the state minimum standards or permit requirements. The LEA or EA also has the ability to write and enforce Notice and Orders to require compliance with state minimum standards and permitting requirements at solid waste facilities and operations.

LEA Enforcement Authority and Responsibilities

(EAs also have the same enforcement authority and responsibility.)

Each LEA is responsible for inspecting all solid waste facilities and operations and for taking enforcement action when appropriate on sites violating state minimum standards within its jurisdiction, pursuant to Division 30, Public Resources Code (PRC), Section 43209, and Title 14, California Code of Regulations (CCR), Section 18081 through 18084. The LEA is required to inspect and enforce:

  • State minimum standards for disposal sites, transfer stations, compost operations and facilities, construction and demolition operations and facilities, and other operations and facilities outlined in 14 CCR, Chapters 3 and 3.1, applicable sections of 27 CCR Chapter 3;
  • Solid waste facility permit terms and conditions; and
  • The administration of solid waste facilities permits and closure/postclosure maintenance plans.

Types of LEA Enforcement Options

Public Resources Code

California Code of Regulations, Title 14

  • California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Chapter 5, Article 4 outlines the standards used by LEAs to enforce state minimum standards, permits, and related state solid waste laws and regulations within their purview. It also applies to the activities of the Board (now CalRecycle) in reviewing such duties of each LEA and acting in the place of the LEA. Specifically, Article 4 prescribes those cases when orders are required, the types of orders and types of notices the LEA can use. Further, the regulations outline the minimum requirements of what the Notice and Order should include.

Notice and Orders

Authority for Issuing a Notice and Order

Title 14, CCR 18304 requires the LEA, as it deems appropriate or when required by statute, to issue a notice and order if the LEA determines that any facility, disposal site, operation or person(s):

(1) is in violation of Division 30 of the PRC;

(2) is in violation of any regulations adopted pursuant to Division 30 of the PRC;

(3) is in violation of any terms or conditions of the solid waste facility permit under which the facility or disposal site is operating;

(4) causes or threatens to cause condition of hazard or pollution; or

(5) poses a potential or actual threat to public health and safety or the environment.

Types of Notices

Title 14, CCR Section 18304.1(b) describes the types of notices.

(1) Corrective Action. Notice informing the owner and operator that failure to comply by a specified date in a final corrective action order may result in the EA contracting for corrective action. If the owner or operator fails to take corrective action as specified, the EA or the board may either take corrective action itself or contract for corrective action to be completed by an outside party at the expense of the owner, operator or both.

(2) Administrative Civil Penalties. Notice informing the owner or operator that the EA may take action to impose administrative civil penalties upon failure to comply with applicable deadlines in a final compliance order. In accordance with PRC section 45011, if the owner or operator fails to achieve compliance by applicable deadlines in the order, the EA may impose penalties through written notification to the owner or operator. The notification shall include the amount of the penalty and the due date for payment, which in no case should be later than 30 days after the date the order becomes final.

(3) Conditional Administrative Civil Penalties. Notice informing the owner or operator that the EA is conditionally imposing administrative civil penalties in a specified amount per day with a specified start date for penalty accrual, upon failure to comply with applicable deadlines in a final compliance order. If the owner or operator fails to achieve compliance by applicable deadlines in the order issued pursuant to PRC section 45011, the EA shall notify the owner or operator in writing of the amount of the penalty and the due date for payment, which in no case should be later than 30 days after the date the order becomes final.

(4) Petition for Superior Court Injunction. Notice informing the owner or operator that failure to comply by the deadline in a final order may result in the EA petitioning the superior court to enjoin the violations, and that continued violation after the granting of an injunction may be punishable as contempt of court. The notice may be enforced by filing an appropriate petition in superior court.

(5) Civil Penalties. Notice informing the owner or operator that upon failure to comply with a deadline in a final order, the EA may bring an action in the superior court to impose upon the owner or operator civil penalties. The notice may be enforced by filing an appropriate petition in superior court pursuant to PRC sections 45023 and 45024.

(6) Suspend or Revoke the Permit. Notice informing the owner or operator that the EA, subject to the applicable requirements of PRC sections 44305 and 44306, may take action to suspend or revoke the permit for the facility upon failure to comply with applicable deadlines in a final order.

Types of Orders

Title 14, CCR Section 18304.1(a) describes the types of orders.

(1) Corrective Action Order. An order requiring the owner or operator of a facility, disposal site or operation to take specified action by a specified date to abate a nuisance, or to protect public health and safety or the environment. (An example of the typical circumstances under which this order may be issued: Conditions at the facility, disposal site or operation are creating a nuisance or posing a threat to human health and safety or the environment.)

(2) Cease and Desist Order. An order requiring the owner or operator of a facility, disposal site or operation to cease and desist any improper action, as specified in PRC section 45005, by a specified date. (An example of the typical circumstances under which this order may be issued: Facility, disposal site or operation is in violation of Division 30 of the PRC, any regulations adopted pursuant to Division 30, or cause or threatens to cause a condition of hazard, pollution or nuisance.)

(3) Compliance Order. Upon any of the grounds specified in PRC Section 45011(a)(1), an order establishing a time schedule according to which the owner or operator of the facility, disposal site or operation shall correct any violations and/or abate a potential or actual threat to public health and safety or the environment. (An example of the typical circumstances under which this order may be issued: Facility, disposal site or operation is in violation of Division 30 of the PRC, any regulations adopted pursuant to Division 30, any corrective action or cease or desist order, or poses a potential threat to public health and safety or the environment. A compliance order must be issued pursuant to PRC section 45011 as a prelude to the assessment of administrative civil penalties.)

A Notice and Order must include the following:

Title 14, CCR Section 18304(b) also describes the type of information that must be included in a notice and order.

  • The identity of the EA.
  • The name or names of each person or entity to which it is directed.
  • A description of the facility, operation or site where the violation was documented with a specific description of the location of the violation.
  • A description of the violation.
  • The statutes, regulations, or permit terms and conditions the EA has determined are being violated.
  • A schedule, as described in section 18304.1(a), by which the operator is to take specified action(s).
  • The penalty for not complying within the specified schedule, as described in section 18304.1(b).
  • A notice informing the owner/operator of their right to appeal the notice and order to the hearing panel under PRC section 44307.
  • The date of issuance and signature of an authorized officer or employee of the EA.

The notice and order shall be accompanied by a declaration or affidavit under penalty of perjury of an employee or officer of the EA stating that the allegations contained in the notice and order are based either on personal knowledge or information and belief.

Notifying CalRecycle of the Issuance and Status of a Notice and Order

  • Title 14, CCR Section 18304(e) requires the LEA provide the Board (now CalRecycle) with a copy of the notice and order within five days of issuance.
  • Title 14, CCR Section 18304.2(b) states that a notice and order becomes final 15 days after receipt by the operator or after completion of a review by the local hearing panel if requested by the operator or owner.
  • Title 14, CCR Section 18304.4 requires the LEA must provide the Board (now CalRecycle) notification of the compliance status of a notice and order within 30 days after the compliance deadline or expiration date specified on the notice and order.

Notice and Orders Tool Kit: This site provides internet access to information and resources for writing a notice and order.

Listing of Solid Waste Facilities and Disposal Sites Under Enforcement Orders

LEA Options for Temporary Emergencies and a State of Emergency

Waiver of Permit Terms and Conditions During Temporary Emergencies

A "Temporary Emergency" is a temporary, unforeseeable circumstance, which does not include a collection or disposal labor strike or competitive market changes.

The Waiver of Permit Terms and Conditions During Temporary Emergencies establish a process for facility operators to request approval to operate outside of the limits and terms and conditions of the solid waste facilities permit in the event of an unforeseeable situation. Regulations governing this process can be found Title 14, California Code of Regulations, Division 7, Chapter 3, Article 3.5, Sections 17211 through 17211.9.

The LEA may issue a stipulated agreement to waive the operator from specific terms and conditions of a solid waste facility permit for a limited period during a temporary emergency.

What is a Stipulated Agreement?

  • It is an enforceable document written by the LEA, pursuant to Division 30, PRC, Section 45011(a).
  • It provides a temporary waiver of specified terms and conditions of a solid waste facilities permit issued to an operator.
  • Allows the operator to operate in a manner inconsistent with specific terms and conditions of their solid waste facilities permit.
  • Does not exceed 90 days, but can be extended as allowed in Title 14, CCR Section 17211.6.
  • All permit terms and conditions, which are not the subject of the stipulated agreement, shall remain in effect.

When is a Stipulated Agreement Used?

  • It is used in the event of an unforeseeable circumstance, which has caused a temporary emergency.
  • When the agreement does not cause or contributes to, or threatens to cause or contribute to, harm to the public health and safety or the environment.
  • When acceptable evidence is provided to the EA that the operation of the facility under a stipulated agreement is compliant with all applicable land use entitlements, all other permits affecting the facility, all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations, and the California Environmental Quality Act.

Sample Stipulated Agreements

Emergency Waiver of Standards during a State of Emergency

What is a State of Emergency?

A "State of Emergency" means the duly proclaimed existence of conditions of disaster or of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property within the state, as described in Government Code section 8558(b), which conditions, by reason of their magnitude, are or are likely to be beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment, and facilities of any single county, city and county, or city, and require the combined forces of a mutual aid region or regions to combat, as stated in a proclamation by the Governor.

In situations where a state of emergency or local emergency is declared, Title 14, CCR Section 17210 through 17210.9 allows LEAs to grant emergency waivers to operators, who hold a valid solid waste facilities permit. The waiver grants an operator temporary relief from specific standards imposed by Division 30 or specific terms or conditions of a solid waste facilities permit issued pursuant to Division 30. The waiver applies to the origin of waste; the rate of inflow for storage, transfer, or disposal of waste; the type and moisture content of solid waste; the hours of facility operation; and the storage time before transfer or disposal of wastes, at a solid waste facility. This includes the establishment of a locally approved temporary transfer or processing site, if authorized by the enforcement agency.

Reports to CalRecycle on Enforcement Actions

Staff routinely report to CalRecycle on enforcement orders issued by LEAs. A list of the reports presented to CalRecycle to date follows:

  • April 23, 2003 Board Agenda Item 21. Report To The Board On Enforcement Orders Issued By Local Enforcement Agencies From August 2002 Through February 2003 And Discussion Of Cease And Desist Orders.
  • April 16-17, 2002 Board Agenda Item 3. Report To The Board On Enforcement Orders Issued By Local Enforcement Agencies Since November 2001.
  • September 17-18, 2002 Board Agenda Item 1. Report To The Board On Enforcement Orders Issued By Local Enforcement Agencies Since November 2001.
  • November 13-14, 2001 Board Agenda Item 33. Report To Board On Enforcement Orders Issued By Local Enforcement Agencies During The Past Four Months.

Facility Enforcement Home

Last updated: January 12, 2010
Solid Waste Facilities, Sites, and Operations, http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/SWFacilities/
Paulina Lawrence: Paulina.Lawrence@calrecycle.ca.gov (916) 341-6521