40 CFR 13.25 - Standards for compromise.
(a) EPA may compromise a claim pursuant to this section if EPA cannot collect the full amount because the debtor does not have the financial ability to pay the full amount of the debt within a reasonable time, or the debtor refuses to pay the claim in full and the Government does not have the ability to enforce collection in full within a reasonable time by enforced collection proceedings. In evaluating the acceptability of the offer, the Administrator may consider, among other factors, the following:
(1) Individual debtors. (i) Age and health of the debtor;
(ii) Present and potential income;
(iii) Inheritance prospects;
(iv) The possibility that assets have been concealed or improperly transferred by the debtor;
(v) The availability of assets or income which may be realized by enforced collection proceedings; or
(vi) The applicable exemptions available to the debtor under State and Federal law in determining the Government's ability to enforce collection.
(2) Municipal and quasi-municipal debtors. (i) The size of the municipality or quasi-municipal entity;
(ii) The availability of current and future resources sufficient to pay the debt (e.g., bonding authority, rate adjustment authority, or taxing authority); or
(iii) The ratio of liabilities (both short and long term) to assets.
(3) Commercial debtors. (i) Ratio of assets to liabilities;
(ii) Prospects of future income or losses; or
(iii) The availability of assets or income which may be realized by enforced collection proceedings.
(b) EPA may compromise a claim, or recommend acceptance of a compromise to DOJ, where there is substantial doubt concerning the Government's ability to prove its case in court for the full amount of the claim, either because of the legal issues involved or a bona fide dispute as to the facts. The amount accepted in compromise in such cases will fairly reflect the probability of prevailing on the legal issues involved, considering fully the availability of witnesses and other evidentiary data required to support the Government's claim. In determining the litigative risks involved, EPA will give proportionate weight to the likely amount of court costs and attorney fees the Government may incur if it is unsuccessful in litigation.
(c) EPA may compromise a claim, or recommend acceptance of a compromise to DOJ, if the cost of collection does not justify the enforced collection of the full amount of the debt. The amount accepted in compromise in such cases may reflect an appropriate discount for the administrative and litigative costs of collection, taking into consideration the time it will take to effect collection. Costs of collection may be a substantial factor in the settlement of small claims, but normally will not carry great weight in the settlement of large claims. In determining whether the cost of collection justifies enforced collection of the full amount, EPA may consider the positive effect that enforced collection of the claim may have on the collection of other similar claims.
(d) Statutory penalties, forfeitures or debts established as an aid to enforcement and to compel compliance may be compromised where the Administrator determines that the Agency's enforcement policy, in terms of deterrence and securing compliance (both present and future), will be adequately served by accepting the offer.