On Mar. 26, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) issued a new, temporary enforcement discretion policy for certain noncompliance events that can be documented and tied to the COVID-19 epidemic. U.S. EPA has emphasized that this new policy is not a “license to pollute.” The enforcement discretion is intended to address challenges in staffing that facilities or laboratories will likely face during the COVID-19 epidemic, which may constrain certain activities required by federal permits, including: compliance monitoring, sampling, reporting, “wet” signatures, or training as some of the listed examples. The policy applies to specified federal programs, states may take a different approach related to compliance and enforcement during the pandemic.
According to the U.S. EPA press release, “[t]he temporary policy makes it clear that EPA expects regulated facilities to comply with regulatory requirements, where reasonably practicable, and to return to compliance as quickly as possible. To be eligible for enforcement discretion, the policy also requires facilities to document decisions made to prevent or mitigate… Read Full Article Here.