What is Financial Assurance?
Owners and operators of hazardous waste facilities are required by statute and regulation to maintain financial resources to adequately pay for closure, post closure (maintenance and monitoring), third party liability and corrective action (clean-ups) at hazardous waste facilities. These requirements are known as financial assurance or financial responsibility. The regulations allow for the use of the following forms of financial assurance:
- Trust Fund
- Payment (or Financial Guarantee) Bond
- Performance Bond
- Irrevocable Standby Letter of Credit
- Insurance Policy
- Financial Test / Corporate Guarantee
- Alternative Financial Mechanism
Who is Required to Have Financial Assurance?
Owners and operators of hazardous waste facilities with permits or interim status, standardized permits, permit by rule and conditionally authorized treatment with closure costs greater than $10,000, and certain Universal Waste Electronic Device recyclers are required to maintain financial assurance.
How Long Has Financial Assurance Been Required?
In 1982, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) promulgated final regulations detailing the legal requirements for hazardous waste facilities to acquire and maintain financial assurance for closure, post closure, and third party liability coverage. During the 1980s, U.S. EPA implemented the Financial Responsibility Program in California and provided the financial assurance regulatory oversight for facilities operating in the State. In 1982, the California State Legislature included financial responsibility provisions in the State's Hazardous Waste Control Law. In 1991, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) adopted the first set of regulations for the State's Financial Responsibility Program, establishing financial assurance requirements that closely paralleled the federal requirements.
Financial Assurance Regulation Concepts and Requirements
- Closure and Financial Requirements for Recyclers of electronic devices, Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT), and CRT glass, Fact Sheet, July 2009
- Financial Assurance for Cost of Closure, Certificate of Self-Insurance (to be used by public agencies operating permanent household hazardous waste collection facilities), DTSC form 1220
- Interim Guidance on the Use of an Agreed Upon Procedures with a Financial Test or Corporate Guarantee