PADEP Responds to COVID-19: How to Ask PADEP for a Temporary Suspension of Environmental Compliance Obligations
April 2, 2020
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (“PADEP”) recently announced the availability of a process for requesting temporary suspensions of environmental permitting and regulatory compliance obligations. Regulated entities experiencing difficulties in meeting the terms and conditions of their environmental permits or complying with environmental regulatory provisions due to COVID-19 should consider submitting a form request to PADEP for relief. Completed forms must be submitted to RA-EPCOVID19SuspReq@pa.gov. While PADEP’s offices remain closed, program staff continue to work remotely to process submitted requests.
Unless a temporary suspension is granted by PADEP, PADEP has confirmed that regulated entities must continue to comply with all environmental permitting and regulatory compliance obligations. As the risk of enforcement and civil penalties for noncompliance remain, regulated entities should take this time to plan accordingly. Due to the potential high volume of temporary suspension requests in the near future, stakeholders should review their environmental permits and compliance programs to identify potential impacts due to workforce availability, resource constraints, and other limitations related to COVID-19 in the coming weeks.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has also issued a Memorandum detailing EPA’s intention to exercise enforcement discretion with regard to various environmental permitting and regulatory compliance obligations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the EPA Memorandum does not directly apply to the environmental regulatory programs administered by PADEP, the guidance should be reviewed with respect to EPA-only permits and regulatory requirements that you may have.
For assistance in drafting and submitting a temporary suspension request or for guidance on environmental compliance in the time of COVID-19, the McNees Environmental attorneys remain available to assist you through these trying times, 24/7 as the need arises:
Scott Gould, email@example.com (mobile: 717-579-4572);
Steve Matzura, firstname.lastname@example.org; and
Errin McCaulley, email@example.com.
© 2020 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC
McNees Client Alert is presented with the understanding that the publisher does not render specific legal, accounting or other professional service to the reader. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the law, information contained in this publication may become outdated. Anyone using this material must always research original sources of authority and update this information to ensure accuracy and applicability to specific legal matters. In no event will the authors, the reviewers or the publisher be liable for any damage, whether direct, indirect or consequential, claimed to result from the use of this material.