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September 17, 2020News: The EPA cut back enforcement during COVID. These researchers are assessing the damage

Six months after the agency announced its temporary enforcement policy, a picture of its effects is slowly beginning to emerge. Self-reported data from industrial polluters collected by the EPA shows that these facilities conducted 40 percent fewer emission tests at smokestacks in March and April this year compared to the same period last year. Also, while only 325 facilities notified the EPA that they would be unable to submit water quality reports as required during those two months, more than 16,500 facilities simply did not submit them — that’s the fourth-highest amount of noncompliance in the last 20 years, according to an analysis of the agency’s own data.


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