March 31, 2020 Practice Points

EPA Issues Temporary COVID-19 Policy on Enforcement

The EPA will exercise "enforcement discretion" for noncompliance resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

By Karen Aldridge Crawford

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On March 26, 2020, Susan Bodine, assistant administrator for enforcement and compliance assurance (OECA) for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), issued a memorandum setting forth a temporary policy regarding EPA enforcement of environmental legal obligations as regulated entities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The EPA’s policy is to exercise discretion in accordance with the policy for noncompliance covered by the temporary policy and resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The policy will apply retroactively, beginning on March 13, 2020, and be in effect until terminated. This policy will be applied to noncompliance within its scope in lieu of an otherwise applicable EPA enforcement policy. The self-disclosure program remains available. 

Karen Aldridge Crawford is a partner at Nelson Mullins in Columbia, South Carolina.

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