Politics EPA to end policy suspending pollution monitoring by end of summer

01:17  01 july  2020
01:17  01 july  2020 Source:   thehill.com

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Nine states are suing the Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA ) for a policy that halts penalizing companies that don’t monitor their pollution during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA ) is facing a third lawsuit over its policy to suspend penalties for companies that stop monitoring their pollution outputs during the coronavirus pandemic. The temporary policy , for which the EPA has set no end date, would allow any number of industries

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will rescind its controversial policy allowing companies to skip monitoring their pollution by the end of the summer, the agency wrote in a letter to lawmakers.

clouds in the dark with smoke coming out of it: EPA to end policy suspending pollution monitoring by end of summer © Getty EPA to end policy suspending pollution monitoring by end of summer

The policy, unveiled in a March 26 memo in an effort to help companies reduce regulatory burdens during the coronavirus, alerted companies they would not face penalties for failing to monitor their pollution emissions as required under a host of environmental laws.

EPA said it would terminate the policy August 31, bringing to a close a directive that was previously listed as temporary but with no set end date.

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The Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA ) issued a sweeping suspension of its enforcement of environmental laws Thursday, telling companies they would not need to meet environmental standards during the coronavirus outbreak. The temporary policy , for which the EPA has set no end

In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday announced a sweeping and indefinite suspension of environmental rules, telling companies they will effectively be allowed to regulate themselves during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Recognizing that there will be a period of adjustment as regulated entities plan how to effectively comply both with environmental legal obligations and with public health guidance ... EPA has established a termination date for the Temporary Policy of August 31, 2020," the agency wrote in a letter to lawmakers on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Lawmakers on a number of committees had pressured EPA to quickly end the policy, arguing the agency had no way of knowing how much pollution might be emitted into the air or water without sufficient monitoring.

"This policy had no business being put into effect, but fortunately it will be coming to an end soon. We demanded a firm end date because we had feared that the administration would not commit to one otherwise, and might attempt to keep this policy in place indefinitely," Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.), Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior and Environment Chairwoman Betty McCollum (D-M.N.) said in a statement.

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The Pollution Prevention Act establishes a bold national objective for environmental protection : "[T]hat pollution should be prevented or reduced at the source whenever feasible." This policy statement offers my thoughts on how we can achieve that goal by making pollution prevention the

When asked what policies the EPA has implemented to reduce emissions, Konkus said that "every action He noted that the EPA continues to implement the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Update, a regulation that addresses interstate transport of ozone pollution during summer months in the

The letter defended the policy at length, arguing that a number of other programs help the EPA monitor spills, leaks, and emissions.

"The burden is on the regulated entity to prove to EPA that compliance is not reasonably practicable due to COVID-19," Susan Bodine, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, wrote in the letter, adding later that the policy did not appear to be widely used by industry.

"Moreover, given the continued submission of discharge monitoring reports, it appears that COVID-19 has not had a significant impact on routine compliance monitoring and reporting.

The agency has faced numerous lawsuits over the memo from both environmental groups and nine states.

"During a pandemic that is hitting people with heart and lung disease the hardest, it is senseless to push forward a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy for polluters that will allow them to make our air and water dirtier without warning or repercussion. This policy benefits polluters and polluters alone-and all at our expense," Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) President and former EPA administrator Gina McCarthy said in a statement in April as the group sued alongside 14 other environmental groups.

Environmental headlines you might have missed this week .
"It's Not Too Late" brings you climate change and environmental headlines you might have missed. This is "It's Not Too Late" with ABC Chief Meteorologist Ginger Zee. On ABC News Live and abcnews.com.

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