1 1 (May 19, 2020)

handle is hein.crs/govdani0001 and id is 1 raw text is: 









               Researh Sevice






COVID-19: U.S. Environmental Protection

Agency Enforcement Discretion Policy



May 19, 2020
On March 26, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a temporary policy,
'COVID-19 Implications for EPA's Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program, on how EPA will
exercise its enforcement discretion if a facility owner or operator cannot comply with certain
requirements of federal environmental laws because of impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The temporary policy for COVID- 19 is tailored to circumstances of the pandemic that may affect staffing,
physical access for monitoring and sampling, laboratory analysis, and other resources needed to fulfill
routine compliance obligations. The policy is retroactive to March 13, 2020, and indicates that EPA will
issue a public notice at least seven days prior to termination.
EPA has also issued other related COVID- 19 policies or guidance that cover pesticide imports, field work
at cleanup sites under Superfund and other federal programs, a nationwide fuel waiver for summer
gasoline, and emergency generator operations in Puerto Rico.


Scope of EPA Policy

The EPA March 26 policy outlines several criteria and procedures for a facility owner or operator to
demonstrate that the impacts of COVID- 19 prevented compliance with routine monitoring or reporting
requirements under federal statute, regulation, or a facility-specific permit. The policy similarly applies to
routine compliance obligations specified in federal consent decrees or settlements.
The policy provides separate instructions for notification if (1) facility operations impacted by COVID- 19
may present an acute risk or an imminent threat to human health or the environment or (2) a facility may
exceed enforceable limitations on air emissions, water discharges, land disposal, or other unauthorized
releases. The policy does not broadly waive federal requirements to control pollution and wastes and
indicates that EPA would determine the appropriate enforcement response for exceedances.
The policy includes additional guidance for the continued operation of public water systems and other
critical infrastructure during the pandemic. On March 31, 2020, EPA issued supplemental guidance for
reporting wastewater discharges under Clean Water Act permits.


                                                               Congressional Research Service
                                                                 https://crsreports.congress.gov
                                                                                     IN11396

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