By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory & legal issues, ARTBA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) March 26 announced it is temporarily switching to a discretionary enforcement policy for civil regulatory violations. The effort is aimed at protecting both agency inspectors and industry workers. The policy does not apply to criminal violations. 

For ARTBA member firms subject to EPA compliance investigations, this means some regulatory actions will be delayed due travel and social distancing restrictions. 

The agency said: “The temporary policy makes it clear that EPA expects regulated facilities to comply with regulatory requirements, where reasonably practicable, and to return to compliance as quickly as possible. To be eligible for enforcement discretion, the policy also requires facilities to document decisions made to prevent or mitigate noncompliance and demonstrate how the noncompliance was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.” See more at the EPA website.

EPA said it will give regulated industries one week’s notice prior to terminating the policy.