EPA temporarily changes pollution violation rules during coronavirus crisis

News

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it will not punish companies for violating some pollution standards because of the new coronavirus.

“We should not use the crisis as an excuse to not engage in the basic protections for our environment,” Dan Kildee, D-Mich., said.

Kildee says he fears allowing companies and factories to pollute air and water supplies, for any reason, will do more harm than good.

“It doesn’t make sense to deal with one threat and then introduce the possibility of another,” he said.

“We think it’s incredibly foolish,” Collin O’Mara, president of the National Wildlife Federation, said.

O’Mara says if air pollution increases, Americans with lung illnesses will be in even greater danger.

“Because we know that those who are more susceptible to the coronavirus are the ones who have respiratory challenges,” O’Mara said.

He says it also impacts those most likely to have lost their incomes because of the crisis.

“When these laws aren’t enforced, it’s not typically the suburban, well-off communities that are the ones that are hurt, it’s the communities of color, it’s communities of seniors and low-income folks.”

In a memo, the EPA says polluters will get a break if they can show how the coronavirus outbreak made it difficult to meet pollution standards.

But Kildee says he wants answers.

“Obviously, they’ll hear about it from Congress,” Kildee said.

Some states say they will step in if the EPA truly steps away from enforcing the pollution standards.

The EPA says the rule change is temporary.  

LATEST VIDEO

Protestors Make Signs for George Floyd Rally

Thumbnail for the video titled "Protestors Make Signs for George Floyd Rally"

Search resumes at San Jacinto River for missing ATV rider

Thumbnail for the video titled "Search resumes at San Jacinto River for missing ATV rider"

Local hospital increases COVID-18 testing capabilities

Thumbnail for the video titled "Local hospital increases COVID-18 testing capabilities"

Phase 3 of Reopening Texas

Thumbnail for the video titled "Phase 3 of Reopening Texas"

TX Gov. Greg Abbott Announces Phase III Reopening

Thumbnail for the video titled "TX Gov. Greg Abbott Announces Phase III Reopening"
More Video

Days

Hours

Minutes

Seconds

Latest Weather Forecast

More Weather

Don't Miss

Latest

More Morning Dose

Popular