"WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday that it’s reviewing a request from the oil and gas industry to ease enforcement of hazardous air and water pollution and other regulatory issues during the coronavirus pandemic.
The proposal is drawing objections from public health and environmental advocates. A former Obama-era EPA enforcement official, Cynthia Giles, says the request amounts to seeking a nationwide pass for the industry on almost all environmental rules.
The American Petroleum Institute made the request in a letter to President Donald Trump last week and to the EPA on Monday. The oil and gas trade group is citing potential staffing issues during the outbreak, saying worker shortages could make compliance with a range of regulations difficult, such as monitoring, reporting and immediately fixing hazardous air emissions."