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COVID-19: Environmental Enforcement Discretion Policies

Date: May 15, 2020

COVID-19: Environmental Enforcement Discretion Policies | Thompson Hine

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has issued guidance in response to the substantial uncertainty and disruption the COVID-19 pandemic has caused regarding compliance with various federal environmental laws, regulations and permit requirements. In a memorandum issued March 26, 2020, U.S. EPA set forth the agency’s temporary position to exercise enforcement discretion and not seek penalties for specified categories of environmental noncompliance while emphasizing the need to make best efforts to comply and protect human health and the environment.

Many state agencies have followed U.S. EPA’s lead in implementing environmental enforcement discretion policies. For ease of reference, we have compiled a chart summarizing the policies of the U.S. EPA and all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C.: COVID-19 Environmental Enforcement Discretion Policies: U.S. EPA & 50-State Guide.

We will update the chart as necessary to reflect changes in policies. If you would like to receive updated versions of the guide when available, please email Debi Jones.