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Coronavirus urges EPA to waive off enforcement on environmental laws

Coronavirus urges EPA to waive off enforcement on environmental laws

The United States government announces waiving off enforcement on a sweeping range of public health and environmental regulations during the coronavirus outbreak.

In wake of the current situation, where countries across the globe are trying to fight coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration has announced undertaking an unprecedented step by calling off the enforcement of a range of legally amended public health and environmental protection by the EPA. This would provide various industries a relief from abiding to these considering the pandemic outbreak.

The oil and gas industry, citing potential staffing problems, is one of the industries that is expected to leverage benefits of this legal waive off.

As per credible sources, this strategic move is considered to be the latest, and one of the biggest, regulation easing moves by the governing body, that is currently seeking to roll back a large number of regulations as part of Trump’s purge of rules, which are foreseen to be unfriendly for businesses at this juncture of time. In line with this, the civil and criminal enforcement of polluters under the governance has tumbled notably.

Commenting on the decision, the EPA Administrator, Andrew Wheeler quoted that amendment of this temporary policy would offer enforcement discretion under the current, unavoidable conditions while ensuring seamless facility operations to continue to protect the environment and human health. He further added that the organization is committed to protecting human health and environment, but considering the current scenario, EPA has laid its emphasis on protecting its workers and public from COVID-19.

Moreover, the EPA directive has pronounced that industries are expected to comply with the regulation wherever practically possible. If broken, the businesses should be able to furnish evidences to show that they tried to reduce the harm, and how any violations were a result of coronavirus outbreak.

Although this move has brought about a relaxation to various industries operating in specific field, the president of National Wildlife Federation, Colin O’Mara has regarded it to be an assault on the public health and an absolute abandonment of legal responsibilities of the EPA.

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Pankaj Singh

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