On March 26th, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new policy that would suspend enforcement of key provisions of our nation’s environmental laws during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Julia Blatt, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance, made the following statement in response:
“The EPA’s decision to stop enforcing key provisions of our environmental laws puts our waterways at great risk and leaves us at the mercy of major polluters. Under this reckless new policy, the EPA could let facilities off the hook for actual instances of excessive pollution in light of ‘circumstances, including the COVID-19 pandemic.’ Such provisions constitute an open invitation to pollute.
As our nation struggles to contain the coronavirus, health is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. We will continue to work with our state and federal partners to respond accordingly to this egregious attack on public health and the environment. If EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler will not rescind this policy immediately, we urge Congress to exercise its oversight authority to ensure the safety of our rivers and streams.”