EPA Issues Temporary Enforcement Discretion Policy During Health Crisis

EPA Issues Temporary Enforcement Discretion Policy During Health Crisis

Announcement Comes After NWRA Wrote Administrator Wheeler Seeking Flexibility

Arlington, VA – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a temporary policy regarding its enforcement of environmental legal obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic. This decision comes after the National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA) wrote to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler seeking regulatory flexibility.

“NWRA and its member companies remain committed to protecting the public’s health and the environment. We thank the EPA for recognizing the enforcement challenges during this global health crisis and providing needed flexibility,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith.

Under this policy, EPA does not expect to seek penalties for noncompliance with routine monitoring and reporting obligations that are the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Facilities are expected to comply with requirements as they are able and to return to compliance as quickly as possible. To be eligible for enforcement discretion, facilities must document decisions made to prevent or mitigate noncompliance and demonstrate how the noncompliance was related to the COVID-19 health crisis.


The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) represents the private sector waste and recycling services industry. Association members conduct business in all 50 states and include companies that manage waste, recycling and medical waste, equipment manufacturers and distributors, and a variety of other service providers. For more information about NWRA, please visit www.wasterecycling.org.

Brandon Wright
National Waste and Recycling Association