As you may have heard by now, a memo was recently released that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) enforcement of environmental laws was suspended due to COVID-19. The Department of the Interior (DOI) is also moving forward with actions that expose public lands and interests. According to Maria Caffrey, Climate Scientist, “What has garnered less attention is that the DOI is using the crisis as an excuse to sideline science, shut down advisory committees (even though in many cases they could meet virtually), and sell off oil and gas leases at discount prices without sufficient environmental review.”
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EPA suspends enforcement of environmental laws amid coronavirus
The Hill 26 Mar 2020
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 date, would allow any number of industries to skirt environmental laws, with the agency saying it will not “seek penalties for noncompliance with routine monitoring and reporting obligations.”
Cynthia Giles, who headed the EPA’s Office of Enforcement during the Obama administration, called it a moratorium on enforcing the nation’s environmental laws and an abdication of the agency’s duty.
The EPA has been under pressure from a number of industries, including the oil industry, to suspend enforcement of a number of environmental regulations due to the pandemic.
To read more visit The Hill