EPA Will Back Off On Enforcement During Pandemic
April 1, 2020
In a carefully worded memorandum, the EPA announced that it would suspend or curtail some types of enforcement. The agency said, for example, that it “does not expect to seek penalties for violations of routine compliance monitoring, integrity testing, sampling, laboratory analysis, training, and reporting or certification obligations in situations where the EPA agrees that COVID-19 was the cause of the noncompliance and the entity provides supporting documentation to the EPA upon request.” The policy is described as temporary, and not applicable to criminal violations or conditions of probation in criminal case, to activities carried out under Superfund and RCRA Corrective Action enforcement, or to imports, all of which the statement says will be addressed in another memorandum. An article in the publication EHS Today includes, along with a summary of the memorandum, some scathing criticism of its contents from a U.S. Congressman and an official with the American Sustainable Business Council.
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