The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) announced a policy regarding enforcement discretion and softening of environmental legal requirements and enforcement during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under this policy, EPA does not expect to seek penalties for noncompliance with routine monitoring and reporting obligations that are the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Facilities are expected to comply with requirements as they are able and to return to compliance as quickly as possible. To be eligible for enforcement discretion, facilities must document decisions made to prevent or mitigate noncompliance and demonstrate how the noncompliance was related to the COVID-19 health crisis.
This could be very beneficial to the Federally regulated business community with ongoing obligations that can require the use of significant resources for compliance. It is unclear from the terms of the policy how long this will last, but for now it can result in cost savings, some significant, for Federal environmental compliance expenses.
For more information or questions on this policy, please reach out to Dan Schleck of Messerli Kramer’s Commercial Real Estate Group.