On Thursday, March 26, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency partially repealed the environmental legislation. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), environmental standards no longer have to be met during the corona crisis.
Companies such as power plants or chemical companies only have to report violations if there is an “acute health risk”. Previously, associations such as the American Petroleum Institute (API) had asked the Environmental Protection Agency to relax regulations and postpone legislation. Environmental groups and some politicians reacted in horror, reported, among others, the New York Times and the Washington newspaper “The Hill”.
Regulation gives polluters free rein
“This EPA declaration is essentially an indefinite nationwide waiver of environmental regulations,” said Cynthia Giles, for example, who led the EPA under Obama. It was a Signal to companies across the country that they would go unpunished if they could trace pollution in any way back to the virus pandemic.
Monitoring data that companies normally have to collect is only required to be produced at the request of the EPO. As a result, it will not even be possible for authorities and the public to understand in retrospect how bad water or air pollution has been.
The move by the US Environmental Protection Agency follows a general Trend. During Donald Trump’s presidency, more than 50 environmental laws from the Obama era have been repealed, and many more are planned to be removed.
According to the EPA, the temporary lifting of Standards is a relief for companies that cannot fully discharge their monitoring obligations during the pandemic. They will no longer be punished for offenses. The regulation shall apply retroactively from 13. March 2020. It is remarkable: For imports, this loosening of the laws does not apply.