EPA Relaxes Environmental Rules, Cites Coronavirus

During the outbreak, the agency will allow companies to monitor themselves for pollution violations.

1 minute read

April 6, 2020, 12:00 PM PDT

By Camille Fink


Factory Emissions

Chen Min Chun / Shutterstock

"The Environmental Protection Agency [last week] announced a sweeping relaxation of environmental rules in response to the coronavirus pandemic, allowing power plants, factories and other facilities to determine for themselves if they are able to meet legal requirements on reporting air and water pollution," reports Lisa Friedman.

During the self-monitoring, the EPA will not issue fines for reporting violations related to air, water, and hazardous waste discharges.

Businesses have argued that layoffs and personnel issues as the result of the pandemic make monitoring and reporting of pollution difficult. "Environmental groups and former Obama administration officials described the policy as an unprecedented relaxation of rules for petrochemical plants and other major polluters," says Friedman.

Thursday, March 26, 2020 in The New York Times

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