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Michigan agency stepping up while U.S. EPA is stepping out

Lester Graham
Michigan Radio

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is suspending enforcement of some environmental laws duing the COVID-19 outbreak.

The State of Michigan’s environmental agency will still provide regulatory oversight.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy is still trying to figure out all the implications of the USEPA’s decision to end enforcement of some of its regulations.

Hugh McDiarmid is Communications Manager for the state agency.

“EGLE is still actively providing regulatory oversight and is responding to pollution events to protect Michiganders’ health and the environment. We’re still on the job. More than 90 percent of our staff is working remotely, but we are still enforcing pollution laws and continuing to do work,” McDiarmid said.

The state agency already implements most of the US EPA’s programs.

The EPA does not expect to penalize businesses for civil violations such as not complying with routine monitoring or reporting. The EPA says enforcement on Superfund sites or intentional criminal violations will continue.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.