Maxwell Bernstein | August 26, 2020
Oil and gas operations, farms, and thousands of similar operations have been granted permission to bypass environmental rules that are intended to protect health and the environment, according to the Associated Press.
On March 26, the Trump administration waived enforcement of EPA regulations, stating that industries would have difficulty complying with them because of COVID-19. This move came after letters were sent to President Donald Trump and later the EPA from The American Petroleum Institute stating that worker shortages and staff issues would make monitoring, reporting, and fixing hazardous air emissions difficult.
The Associated Press found the EPA granted 3,000 waivers with the majority citing the outbreak of COVID-19.
“Oil and gas companies received a green light to skip dozens of scheduled tests and inspections critical for ensuring safe operations, such as temporarily halting or delaying tests for leaks or checking on tank seals, flare stacks, emissions monitoring systems or engine performance, which could raise the risk of explosions,” the Associated Press said.