EPA Letters on COVID-19 Safety Precautions for Inspection Commitments
Compliance assurance activities, including both onsite inspections and off-site compliance monitoring activities are critical to EPA’s shared mission with partner agencies to protect the health of communities and the environment. During the COVID-19 public health emergency, EPA, as well as states, tribes, and local agencies have recognized the need to ensure the safety and health of our inspectors, as well as the regulated community, by adjusting compliance assurance activities to use more off-site compliance monitoring tools and to have fewer staff going into the field to perform onsite field inspections. Accordingly, EPA issued a letter on July 22, 2020, communicating our expectations for continued compliance monitoring, including conducting onsite inspections when it is safe to do so, and giving partner agencies the flexibility to count both off-site and onsite compliance assurance activities in meeting their compliance monitoring commitments. The flexibilities of the July letter have been extended through December 31. 2021. Given the continuing COVID-19 public health emergency, the EPA issue a letter on December 30, 2021 again to extend the flexibilities through March 31, 2022. At that time, EPA will evaluate the need to extend this date.