EPA released a temporary policy on their enforcement discretions during COVID19. Read through the highlights for the grain and feed industry.
EPA released a temporary policy on their enforcement discretions during COVID19. The policy does not apply to imports. We are especially concerned about pesticide products entering the United States, or produced, manufactured, distributed in the United States, that claim to address COVID-19 impacts. The agency expects to focus on ensuring compliance with requirements applicable to these products to ensure protection of public health. View Memorandum
The EPA expects all regulated entities to continue to manage and operate their facilities in a manner that is safe and that protects the public and the environment.
All enforcement discretion set forth in this temporary policy is conditioned on the following.
- Entities should make every effort to comply with their environmental compliance obligations.
- If compliance is not reasonably practicable, facilities with environmental compliance obligations should:
- Act responsibly under the circumstances in order to minimize the effects and duration of any noncompliance caused by COVID-19;
- Identify the specific nature and dates of the noncompliance;
- Identify how COVID-19 was the cause of the noncompliance, and the decisions and actions taken in response, including best efforts to comply and steps taken to come into compliance at the earliest opportunity;
- Return to compliance as soon as possible; and
- Document the information, action, or condition specified in a. through d
If a submission to the EPA requires a “wet” signature of a responsible official, the EPA will accept a digital or other electronic signature.
EPA administrative settlement agreement reporting obligations and milestones, if, as a result of COVID-19, parties to such settlement agreements anticipate missing enforceable milestones set forth in those documents, parties should utilize the notice procedures set forth in the agreement, including notification of a force majeure, as applicable.
If a facility suffers from failure of air emission control or wastewater or waste treatment systems or other facility equipment
that may result in exceedances of enforceable limitations on emissions to air or discharges to water, or land disposal, or other unauthorized releases, the facility should notify the implementing authority (EPA regional office or authorized state or tribe) as quickly as possible.
If a facility is a generator of hazardous waste
and, due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, is unable to transfer the waste off-site within the time periods required under RCRA to maintain its generator status, the facility should continue to properly label and store such waste and take the steps identified under Part I.A, above.
If a facility is an animal feeding operation
, and, due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, is unable to transfer animals off-site and, solely as a result of the pandemic, meets the regulatory definition of concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO), as an exercise of enforcement discretion, the EPA will not treat such animal feeding operations as CAFOs (or will not treat small CAFOs as medium CAFOs, or medium CAFOs as large CAFOs) Full EPA Enforcement & Compliance Assurance Memorandum