"Nine states sued the Trump administration for allegedly abdicating its responsibility to enforce U.S. environmental laws during the pandemic, challenging a recent plan to relax enforcement due to worker shortages and travel restrictions stemming from the outbreak.
The suit, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, was filed Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan about six weeks after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it would temporarily relax civil enforcement of various regulations during the public health crisis.
“The Trump Administration cannot give industries the green light to ignore critical environmental and public health laws, especially during a public health crisis,” James, a Democrat, said in a statement.
Oil companies, chemical manufacturers and refiners have argued they need flexibility while struggling to get contractors and suppliers to sites, especially in areas under shelter-in-place orders. Although oil refineries and some other facilities are exempt from lockdown requirements, those waivers are not consistently being applied to third-party suppliers and contractors."