The Trump administration has recently announced that it will ease the enforcement of environmental regulations for companies. This decision came about as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which some facilities report has adversely affected their ability to comply with the rules. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a memo that laid out its temporary enforcement discretion policy.
Please note if you are concerned about the safety of your water during the ease of these policies, Hague Quality Water of Maryland offers effective water filtration systems to ensure you and your family have access to the clean water you deserve.
What Does This Mean?
The EPA will not penalize air or water polluters for non-compliance with the government’s monitoring and reporting rules. EPA representatives say they are still committed to people’s health and wellbeing. They also recognize that challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis may impact facilities’ abilities to meet federal requirements.
The change in policy concerns many lawmakers and advocates. These groups are concerned that the eased regulations will:
- Worsen public health problems during the pandemic
- Harm the Chesapeake Bay water
- Affect the health of people who rely on the Chesapeake Bay to live
Maryland Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Chris Van Hollen sent a letter to the EPA in collaboration with other colleagues. The letter warned that the EPA should ensure that facilities do not pollute freely but take the relaxed measures only with complete transparency. Senators Cardin and Van Hollen serve on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
The Case by Case Approach
In a letter to the EPA signed by former EPA officials, the former officials called the EPA’s actions dangerous. The COVID-19 virus can cause respiratory failure, and toxins and other air pollutants can:
- Worsen asthma symptoms
- Exacerbate breathing troubles
- Negatively influence heart problems
However, because not all states are under the EPA’s jurisdiction, some state governments will be following their lead, while others will not. For example, the director of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality states that they still expect Virginia entities to comply with environmental regulations. Both Virginia and Pennsylvania leaders offered a “case by case basis” for considering requirement waivers.
Additionally, the Governor of Indiana authorized state agencies to suspend any rules that could be detrimental to the public welfare during the pandemic. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has not waived any requirements, saying they do not want to offer approval for noncompliance in advance.
Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles is not easing up on environmental regulations in Maryland. He does not want to issue a broad upfront policy like the EPA but will instead “exercise discretion in enforcement of environmental regulations on a limited, case by case basis.” Maryland is continuing inspections with the hope of protecting the quality of water, land, and air in the Chesapeake Bay region and throughout the state.
Some states have created a middle ground by extending certain deadlines and adjusting some aspects of policy. For example, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has allowed the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to temporarily suspend regulatory permits.
Other states operating on a case-by-case basis include Oregon and California. The California Water Resources Control Board has accommodated time extensions for:
- Contractual obligations
- Funding conditions
- Primacy delegations
City Water Filtration
Drinking treated water is better for your overall health and wellbeing. A Hague WaterMax® BEQ system can filter city water and treat your water problems so you can experience these benefits.
At Hague Quality Water of Maryland, we provide you with high-quality water solutions so you can feel safe drinking straight from the tap. The WaterMax® system allows you to:
- Get rid of hard water
- Reduce sediment and dirt
- Eliminate chlorine taste in your water
Feel confident in your water system when you take control with a Hague WaterMax® BEQ and a Reverse Osmosis system. Call us today at (410) 757-2992 for a free water treatment and test.
NOTE: Free water tests are for new customers to determine water quality and treatment solutions.