This afternoon, CalEPA issued the statement below on compliance with regulatory requirements during the COVID-19 emergency:
SACRAMENTO – The California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) is committed to continuing to safeguard public health, safety, and the environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each of CalEPA’s boards, departments, and offices is focused on ensuring continuity of operations during this difficult time.
Controlling pollution in communities with high rates of respiratory disease and multiple environmental burdens remains a priority for CalEPA – especially given recent studies that suggest a correlation between these factors and COVID-19 susceptibility.
Accordingly, CalEPA will continue to respond, investigate, and – when necessary – take action on complaints related to environmental non-compliance. CalEPA will also fill any enforcement gaps left by the U.S. EPA’s decision to reduce environmental oversight. We will also maintain our capacity to respond to emergencies. The ongoing clean-up of contaminated sites will be prioritized to abate or prevent an imminent threat to public health or the environment, while ensuring worker safety.
As we continue our mission to protect public health and the environment, CalEPA also recognizes that some regulated entities may need additional compliance assistance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Specific time-delimited remedies, such as the extension of deadlines, may be warranted under clearly articulated circumstances, but regulated entities that cannot meet a specific regulatory requirement due to emergency government directives or a specific hardship must contact the appropriate CalEPA board, department or office before falling out of compliance. CalEPA boards, departments, and offices will consider such requests in an expedited fashion. These time-limited and specific requests that define the hardship must be directed to the specific CalEPA board, department or office as early as possible. Due to the high number of staff who are teleworking, email is the most expeditious way to contact the boards, departments and offices.
Members of the public may also face increased barriers or challenges to participating in CalEPA public processes and decision-making, including timely submission of public comments. CalEPA is committed to continuing to conduct all public participation activities and decision-making in an equitable, inclusive, and transparent way.
As this situation evolves, CalEPA will continue to advise our community stakeholders and businesses on how we can achieve our collective commitment to public health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic."
For any questions or EPA compliance issues, please contact Louie Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.