At this time when we are all concerned about our health, I want to thank Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller for demanding that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stop letting polluters use the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to violate our environmental laws.
On March 26, EPA issued a policy that would allow polluters to escape penalties for violating key environmental laws — including failures to monitor or report their pollution — if they could somehow claim that the coronavirus pandemic prevented compliance.
As our nation struggles to confront an urgent public health crisis, it’s more important than ever to ensure that the air we breathe is clean and the water we drink is safe. If EPA fails to require monitoring or reporting, we won’t even know when polluters are violating the law or putting our health at risk.
Moreover, under its reckless policy, the EPA could let facilities off the hook for actual instances of excessive pollution. It’s an open invitation to pollute. This is no time to abandon protections for clean air and clean water. Thank you, AG Miller, for your continued commitment to enforcing environmental laws and protecting the health of Iowans.