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Thu Apr 16, 2020, 01:20 AM

States go their own ways on environmental enforcement during crisis

Some state environmental regulators have decided not to follow the Trump administration's lead in easing enforcement of environmental rules for companies adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like the Environmental Protection Agency, most states appear to be providing some level of enforcement discretion, but the degree of such forbearance varies.

"Even though industry is pushing to slow down environmental rule-making in California, our governor and state legislative leaders are committed to maintaining and building on our state safety net of public health air and water quality regulations," said Annie Notthoff, Western states advocacy director at Natural Resources Defense Council.

Departures from EPA policy might be expected in states where Democrats control such oversight. But Republican administrations, too, have charted their own course. And some states run by Democrats have also played against type by following the administration's lead.

In Maryland, a traditionally blue state with a Republican governor, Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles is continuing to enforce state environmental regulations.

"We understand we may need to exercise discretion in enforcement of environmental regulations on a limited, case-by-case basis during a disaster, but Maryland is not issuing a broad upfront policy as EPA is doing," Grumbles said. "Maryland remains fully committed to requiring compliance, and we will continue to use enforcement as needed to protect the quality of our air, water and land throughout the state and the Chesapeake Bay region."


Read more: https://phys.org/news/2020-04-states-ways-environmental-crisis.html



Credit: CC0 Public Domain

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