“An Open License to Pollute”: The EPA Has Halted Enforcement Due to COVID-19

RNG

Forum Staff
Apr 2013
42,164
30,673
La La Land North
There are some pretty thin excuses floating around out there but this one is really egregious. This administration just causes so many faceplants they should be arrested for forcing people to violate recommended hygiene practices.

In a wildly cynical turn of events, the Environmental Protection Agency has decided to broadly waive environmental law because of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday, the EPA’s head of enforcement Susan Bodine sent a letter to “All Governmental and Private Sector Parties.” It amounts to a free pass for all the entities that the EPA normally regulates under the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. That’s a huge swath of industry, including facilities like refineries and chemical plants—the same types of sites that can trigger asthma attacks—even as these plants continue to operate during the pandemic. The guidance retroactively applies beginning March 13. The memo says:

The EPA regional office will evaluate whether an applicable permit, statutory, or regulatory provision addresses the situation. The EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) will work with program offices on nationwide issues that may arise. If there is no permit/regulatory provision that addresses the situation, the EPA will work with the facility to minimize or prevent the acute or imminent threat to health or the environment from the COVID-19-caused noncompliance and obtain a return to compliance as soon as possible.
 
Feb 2020
1,640
595
Houston
RNG, this is the interesting thing to me as a libertarian.

This whole deal is basically an open license for everything.

Government has an open license to ignore all existing laws and especially to ignore all existing rights.

But . . .

The people have an open license to ignore all existing laws and ignore all COVID related shutdown orders and ignore the government if they try to enforce them.

Someone told me at the dollar store today that police are about to start pulling people over and asking them where they are going and ticketing them if it isn't for an essential trip. They were really concerned so they made a quick trip to get their last minute supplies.

I scoffed. Pull me over? I'll start coughing and they will let me go quick even if all I tell them about my business is that it is my business thank you very much.

They're not going to arrest me if I refuse to sign their ticket.

You know how people used to say that unenforceable laws like banning marijuana led people to lose respect for the law? Now that applies to everything.

I am helpless to stop government from giving orders that restrict my freedom but government is helpless to enforce those orders so it is an American standoff.

It is literally might makes right and "rights" are only for those brave enough to exercise them.

Interesting times, indeed!
 

imaginethat

Forum Staff
Oct 2010
71,516
32,069
Colorado
RNG, this is the interesting thing to me as a libertarian.

This whole deal is basically an open license for everything.

Government has an open license to ignore all existing laws and especially to ignore all existing rights.

But . . .

The people have an open license to ignore all existing laws and ignore all COVID related shutdown orders and ignore the government if they try to enforce them.

Someone told me at the dollar store today that police are about to start pulling people over and asking them where they are going and ticketing them if it isn't for an essential trip. They were really concerned so they made a quick trip to get their last minute supplies.

I scoffed. Pull me over? I'll start coughing and they will let me go quick even if all I tell them about my business is that it is my business thank you very much.

They're not going to arrest me if I refuse to sign their ticket.

You know how people used to say that unenforceable laws like banning marijuana led people to lose respect for the law? Now that applies to everything.

I am helpless to stop government from giving orders that restrict my freedom but government is helpless to enforce those orders so it is an American standoff.

It is literally might makes right and "rights" are only for those brave enough to exercise them.

Interesting times, indeed!
Your post is a pretty good example of your high-order talent of using any ol' reason to preach the libertarian gospel.

Almost certainly, you will be arrested if you refuse to sign a ticket. Please take it from a former bail bondsman who has more than a cursory knowledge of what lands people in jail.

Police are enforcing stay at home orders by stopping traffic in Denver and Auckland.
 
Dec 2006
26,603
12,747
New Haven, CT
Police are enforcing stay at home orders by stopping traffic in Denver and Auckland.
Not here.
We went to the grocery yesterday (first time in week and a half). Nobody stopped us.
The supermarket had shoppers, but wasn't busy. The shelves were stocked - the only things we weren't able to obtain were frozen berries and zip lock bags. Not bad!
We scrubbed ourselves raw when we got home!
 
Aug 2019
1,449
1,689
Albuquerque, NM
Not here.
We went to the grocery yesterday (first time in week and a half). Nobody stopped us.
The supermarket had shoppers, but wasn't busy. The shelves were stocked - the only things we weren't able to obtain were frozen berries and zip lock bags. Not bad!
We scrubbed ourselves raw when we got home!
I'm going out today. First week of shelter in place. Store haven't been bad, most things are there. Last week there was still no paper products, no rice, little pasta, and at times out of chicken breast and non lean ground meat, but nothing too bad.

I am less than 2 rolls of TP left, there better be some soon.
 
Dec 2014
28,691
16,329
Memphis, Tn.
There are some pretty thin excuses floating around out there but this one is really egregious. This administration just causes so many faceplants they should be arrested for forcing people to violate recommended hygiene practices.

In a wildly cynical turn of events, the Environmental Protection Agency has decided to broadly waive environmental law because of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday, the EPA’s head of enforcement Susan Bodine sent a letter to “All Governmental and Private Sector Parties.” It amounts to a free pass for all the entities that the EPA normally regulates under the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. That’s a huge swath of industry, including facilities like refineries and chemical plants—the same types of sites that can trigger asthma attacks—even as these plants continue to operate during the pandemic. The guidance retroactively applies beginning March 13. The memo says:



What in the fuck does one have to do with the other???
This is fucking insanity!!!
 
Feb 2020
1,640
595
Houston
Your post is a pretty good example of your high-order talent of using any ol' reason to preach the libertarian gospel.
I know you meant that as a jibe but the fact that you said "libertarian gospel" instead of "RW gospel" makes my heart soar like an eagle!

Almost certainly, you will be arrested if you refuse to sign a ticket. Please take it from a former bail bondsman who has more than a cursory knowledge of what lands people in jail.
I'm guessing that if I start coughing and hacking and spitting they will decide to moveon.org.

Police are enforcing stay at home orders by stopping traffic in Denver and Auckland.
Well, at least your examples are not very far apart geographically . . .
 
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