The impacts of COVID-19 on Americans’ health, the economy and our social fabric have been truly stunning. In a short period of time, people’s lives have been upended, millions sent to the unemployment line, and freedom of movement restricted. Those businesses allowed to operate to provide the medical supplies, food, fuel and other essentials for the response and daily sustenance are faced with challenges of supply disruptions, hindrance of movement, worker shortages and increased risk of infection.
Recognizing those challenges, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a memorandum that gives flexibility to companies trying to maintain operations under difficult circumstances. The policy extended deadlines for companies to meet environmental reporting requirements, and flexibility with routine testing and monitoring, if they can demonstrate a coronavirus-related hardship. The memo was a practical response that relaxes some of the red tape of environmental compliance, but not the substance.