On April 22, 2020, members of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform (Committee) issued a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) requesting a briefing by May 1 on the agency’s March 26 compliance memorandum. EPA’s memorandum, which was issued in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, outlines how the agency will exercise its enforcement discretion if a company is unable to comply with certain obligations in five areas: monitoring and reporting; settlement and consent decree obligations; facility operations; public water systems; and critical infrastructure.
The letter asks EPA to brief the Committee on (1) the decision-making process undergirding the March 26, 2020, memorandum, including the input of external organizations or individuals, (2) the predicted effect of EPA’s enforcement discretion on public health and the environment and (3) the anticipated date for the termination of the enforcement discretion and the agency’s process of determining the termination date. The Committee also asks EPA to provide all documents and communications regarding potential changes to EPA enforcement actions in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, which were received by EPA from the regulated community between the dates of February 26 and March 26, 2020. The Committee also seeks copies of all reported incidences of noncompliance on a rolling basis.
To learn more about the EPA’s March 26, 2020, memorandum, read about it here.