Jun 10, 2020

Ohio EPA Allows Water Testing to be Suspended Amid Pandemic

The Ohio EPA is giving companies and governments flexibility in water testing and reporting during the coronavirus pandemic

water testing

The Ohio EPA is giving companies and governments flexibility in water testing and reporting during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Dispatch News, there were 133 requests at the time of a Dispatch records request and none was denied. Some were still under review, however. 

This essentially means that a company or government could turn in a completed report past its deadline, according to Dispatch News. This also means that these entities will not monitor air or water for pollution during the pandemic, however.

The Dispatch asked the state for submissions from companies requesting flexibility and for responses from the Ohio EPA.

Some of the requests by companies include: 

  • Huff & Huff asking to suspend quarterly groundwater sampling for the spring, due to travel restrictions. The Ohio EPA approved this request.
  • Marathon Petroleum requested relief from groundwater sampling, gauging, analysis and reporting associated with a project in Canton for the second quarter. The Ohio EPA approved this request as well. The waiver was ultimately not needed due to the lifting of some of the state-mandated social-distancing restrictions, however.

“The agency considers every response on a case-by-case basis. The requests must be COVID-19 related and still must be protective of human health and the environment,” said James Lee, a spokesman for the Ohio EPA.

The flexibility currently has no expiration date, according to the EPA.

The federal EPA announced that it would relax the enforcement of environmental regulations in response to the pandemic in March, since businesses have had layoffs and staff members are prevented from going to work sites.

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