The Environmental Protection Agency relaxed environmental standards during the coronavirus pandemic. The agency says it is suspending civil penalties temporarily because of potential worker shortages, social distancing mandates and travel restrictions. But the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality says state rules still apply.
According to reporting from WHQR’s Vince Winkel, NCDEQ’s deputy secretary Sharon Martin said: “During the current public health crisis, DEQ continues to protect air quality, water quality and human health under all state environmental rules and regulations. Under our authority DEQ will work with regulated entities to ensure they remain in compliance and in instances of noncompliance, pursue enforcement actions on a case by case basis.” Host Frank Stasio talks to Winkel about his reporting on the story and what DEQ’s decision means for our state’s environment.