Public Citizen joined a petition to the Environmental Protection Agency requesting that the agency issue an emergency rule protecting public health in light of a non-enforcement policy announced by EPA on March 26, 2020. EPA’s new policy, which encourages industries to stop monitoring and reporting pollution in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, creates a serious and immediate risk to people and communities, especially those overburdened by air and water pollution. The petition asks EPA to issue a rule requiring companies that take advantage of the policy to inform EPA in writing when they stop monitoring or reporting their air and water pollution emissions. EPA should then notify the public by publishing that information online within one day of notice from the companies.
In addition to Public Citizen, the petition was submitted on behalf of Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Justice Health Alliance, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Catskill Mountainkeeper, Center for Coalfield Justice, Clean Water Action, Climate Justice Alliance, Coming Clean, Flint Rising, Indigenous Environmental Network, Just Transition Alliance, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, Los Jardines Institute, Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, Sane Energy Project, Southeast Environmental Task Force, Southeast Side Coalition to Ban Petcoke, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Service, Water You Fighting For, and West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc. (WE ACT for Environmental Justice).