To respond to the problem of improper management of hazardous waste, Congress amended the Solid Waste Disposal Act with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1976. Although the Act has several objectives, Congress' overriding purpose in enacting RCRA was to establish the basic statutory framework for a national system that would ensure the proper management of hazardous waste. The penalty calculation system established through U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's RCRA Civil Penalty Policy ("Penalty Policy" or "Policy") is based upon Section 3008 of RCRA, 42 U.S.C. § 6928. Under this section, the seriousness of the violation and any good faith efforts to comply with applicable requirements are to be considered in assessing a penalty. Consistent with this statutory direction, this Penalty Policy consists of: (1) determining a gravity-based penalty for a particular violation, from a penalty assessment matrix, (2) adding a "multi-day" component, as appropriate, to account for a violation's duration, (3) adjusting the sum of the gravity-based and multi-day components, up or down, for case specific circumstances, and (4) adding to this amount the appropriate economic benefit gained through non-compliance. In administrative civil penalty cases, EPA will perform two separate calculations under this Policy: (1) to determine an appropriate amount to seek in the administrative complaint and subsequent litigation, and (2) to explain and document the process by which the Agency arrived at the penalty figure it has agreed to accept in settlement. The methodology for these calculations will differ only in that no downward adjustments (other than those reflecting a violator's good faith efforts to comply with applicable requirements) will usually be included in the calculation of the proposed penalty for the administrative complaint. In those instances where the respondent or reliable information demonstrates prior to the issuance of the complaint that applying further downward adjustment factors (over and above those reflecting a violator's good faith efforts to comply) is appropriate, enforcement personnel may in their discretion (but are not required to) make such further downward adjustments in the amount of the penalty proposed in the complaint. In determining the amount of the penalty to be included in the complaint, enforcement personnel should consider all possible ramifications posed by the violation and resolve any doubts (e.g., as to the application of adjustment factors or the assumptions underlying the amount of the economic benefit enjoyed by the violator) against the violator in a manner consistent with the facts and findings so as to preserve EPA's ability to litigate for the strongest penalty possible. It should be noted that assumptions underlying any upward adjustments or refusal to apply downward adjustments in the penalty amount are subject to revision later as new information becomes available. In civil judicial cases, EPA will use the narrative penalty assessment criteria set forth in the Policy to explain the penalty amount agreed to in settlement.