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Thousands allowed to circumvent environmental regulations in epidemic

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Washington: Thousands of oil and gas operations, government facilities and other sites have won permission to cease surveillance for hazardous emissions or otherwise circumvent regulations to protect health and the environment as the coronovirus outbreak found, The Associated Press has gone.
The result: clearances for troop deployments at some Texas refineries and a war depot equipped with nerve gas in Kentucky, a pile of manure and mass disposal of livestock carcasses on farms in Iowa and Minnesota, and other increased communities Risk. Governments relaxed implementation of smokestacks, medical waste shipments, sewage plants, oilfields and chemical plants.
The Trump administration paved the way for a March 26 monitor to ease pressure by the oil and gas industry, stating that lockdowns and social disturbances during the epidemic made it difficult to comply with pollution regulations.
States are responsible for more oversight of federal environmental laws, and many complied with their policies.
A two-month review of the AP found that more than 3,000 cases were exempted, citing the outbreak as representing the majority of requests.
Hundreds were approved for oil and gas companies. The AP cited open-record laws in all 50 states; All but one, New York, provides at least partial information, reporting the data in different ways and with levels of detail.
Almost everyone requested that they tell regulators that they wanted to reduce the risk to workers and the public during an epidemic – though a handful reported that they were trying to cut costs.
The Environmental Protection Agency says its clemency does not exceed the pollution limit.
EPA spokesman James Hewitt said in an email that regulators would pursue those who “did not act responsibly under the circumstances.”
But environmentalists and public health experts say the effect may be impossible to determine. Cynthia Giles, former EPA assistant administrator under the Obama administration, said “the damage has already been done by this policy.” The EPA says it will end the pardon this month.
The same day the EPA announced its new policy, Marathon Petroleum asked Indiana for leak detection, groundwater sampling, spill prevention, emissions testing and relief from hazardous waste responsibilities.
“We believe that by adopting these measures, we can do our job to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” said Tim Peterkowski, Marathon’s environmental auditing chief.
The marathon also received permission to leave environmental tests at several refineries and gas stations in California, Michigan, North Dakota and Texas.
Spokesperson Jamal Kheri said the marathon continued emissions monitoring and other activities and usually met deadlines.
In New Mexico, Penny Aucoin, a resident of the oil-rich Permian Basin, said that since the epidemic began and she has asked her husband to investigate regulators, what she feared was that she was one of several oil and gas companies Can cause dangerous leakage. His mobile home.
“Someone’s watching,” Aucoin said.
New Mexico environmental spokesman Maddy Hayden said her agency closed a personal investigation into civilian air-quality complaints from March to May to protect employees and the public, but would react to emergencies.
Almost every state has regular paperwork from industries and local governments, but also in compliance with monitoring, repair and other measures to control hazardous soot, toxic compounds, heavy metals and disease-bearing contaminants. Requests for deductions reported.
Manufacturer Saint-Gobain, whose New Hampshire plant has been linked to water contaminated with PFAS chemicals by the state, asked to delay a smokestack upgrade that would solve the problem.
The company cited problems with the company’s suppliers and contractors due to coronovirus.
State rape. Rosemary Rung said the company is “only dragging its feet.” The AP’s findings ran counter to statements at the end of June by EPA officer Susan Bodine, who told lawmakers that the epidemic was “not significantly impacting routine compliance, monitoring and reporting” and that the industry was not relieved by widespread surveillance Wanted.
According to the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, a network of academics and nonprofit organizations, different EPA enforcement data showed 40 percent fewer tests were conducted in March and April compared to the same period last year.
EPA spokesman, Hewitt, pointed to the economic downturn and said that closed facilities cannot test smokers.
The EPA’s policy was “primarily related to flexibility in record keeping, training, and regular inspection times,” said Frank Macchirola, senior vice president of the American Petroleum Institute, which pushed for the policy. He said that the industry’s pollution equipment continues to operate.


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