With the onset of the coronavirus (COVID 19) and the Governor’s declaration of a state of emergency in Ohio, Ohio EPA is aware that regulated entities may be impacted from a reduced workforce necessary to maintain normal operations at some facilities.
All regulated entities remain obligated to take all available actions necessary to ensure compliance with environmental regulations and permit requirements to protect the health and safety of Ohioans and the environment. However, in the instance where regulated entities will have an unavoidable noncompliance situation, directly due to impact from the coronavirus, a form has been created by Ohio EPA to accept requests for the Director of Ohio EPA to consider providing regulatory flexibility, where possible, to assist entities in alternative approaches to maintaining compliance, such as extending reporting deadlines, consideration of waiving late fees and exercising enforcement discretion.
Regulated entities should complete the request form with specific information related to enforcement discretion. Form submittals will be monitored daily and Ohio EPA will work diligently to expeditiously review and respond to incoming requests from regulated entities. The following information is needed to complete the form:
- The specific regulatory or permit requirement which cannot be complied with
- A concise statement describing the circumstances preventing compliance
- The anticipated duration of time that the noncompliance will persist
- The mitigative measures that will be taken to protect public health and the environment during the need for enforcement discretion
- A central point of contact for the regulated entity, including an email address and phone number
- Where alternative compliance options are authorized by Ohio EPA, regulated entities must maintain records adequate to document activities related to the noncompliance and details of the regulated entity’s best efforts to comply.
Where alternative compliance options are authorized by Ohio EPA, regulated entities must maintain records adequate to document activities related to the noncompliance and details of the regulated entity’s best efforts to comply.