This post updates an earlier post outlining the USEPA’s and Ohio EPA’s COVID-19 enforcement policies.
USEPA’s general policy to not seek penalties for compliance monitoring and reporting violations ended this week on August 31, 2020. Violations that occur on and after September 1 are no longer protected by the “enforcement discretion” of the COVID-19 policy. However, the policy reserves the USEPA’s right to exercise discretion on a case-by-case basis for noncompliance caused by COVID-19 going forward as long as the entity made a “reasonable attempt to comply with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or other agencies” to control the spread of COVID-19.
Ohio EPA’s policy, which required regulated entities to apply for regulatory flexibility and “alternative approaches to maintaining compliance,” also ended on August 31, 2020 when the Agency stopped considering new requests for flexibility. Requests submitted prior to August 31, 2020 will still be considered by the Agency.
Do not hesitate to reach out to a Vorys environmental attorney with any questions regarding the applicability of either policy to noncompliance instances prior to, or after, August 31, 2020.