The Environmental Protection Agency is reportedly planning to waive compliance mandates and deadlines for oil refineries, water utilities and other industries in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. According to The Wall Street Journal, the agency is considering giving companies and regulators short-term relief from compliance requirements after the EPA received requests from states and businesses asking for help. Amid the outbreak, regulators and businesses have reportedly experienced staffing issues and other economic impacts. One of the biggest changes will reportedly be waiving a deadline to switch to summer-grade gasoline—which burns cleaner—after gasoline demand has plummeted and winter gas storage tanks have yet to be used up. The EPA also might delay deadlines at cleanup sites, and is considering giving more states discretion in Clean Water Act enforcement.
The EPA said it was in the “process of developing guidance regarding enforcement during the COVID-19 outbreak” in a Tuesday statement, adding that more information would be provided after the guidance was finalized.