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April 29, 2020

Affected Communities Urge The Environmental Protection Agency To End The Free Pass It Is Giving Polluters

More than 150 affected communities, environmental justice organizations and other groups are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to rescind or replace its policy allowing companies to stop reporting how much they pollute under the guise of COVID-19. The policy, which took effect in mid March, allows companies to use COVID-19 as an excuse to stop critical health and safety monitoring—without notifying the public or the EPA. The policy applies to every industry in the country, including chemical manufacturing, coal-fired power plants, oil refineries, and virtually all other sources of pollution. In addition to increasing the potential for catastrophic chemical releases and explosions, the policy allows the EPA to waive enforcement even if the suspension of monitoring causes an “imminent threat” to health or the environment. On top of all that, the policy comes at a time when EPA inspections are at a decade-long low.
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