See the latest EHS federal and state regulatory updates due to COVID-19


With updates pouring in every day regarding the novel coronavirus and government responses, we at Trinity Consultants are striving to bring you up-to-date and accurate agency information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and New England state regulatory agencies. We will update this page as new information becomes available so feel free to come back and check for the latest guidance.

Massachusetts

2019 Source Registration (SR) and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reports

Due to the current state of emergency related to COVID-19 the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has extended the deadlines for submitting 2019 Source Registration (SR) and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reports. The new deadlines are listed below and are posted on MassDEP's SR & GHG reporting webpage.

  • Original Deadline: April 1, 2020 :: New Deadline: June 1, 2020
  • Original Deadline: April 15, 2020 :: New Deadline: June 15, 2020
  • Original Deadline: May 1, 2020 :: New Deadline: July 1, 2020
  • Original Deadline: June 1, 2020 :: New Deadline: July 31, 2020
  • If you have any questions, please e-mail baw.edep@mass.gov (be sure to include a phone number)

MassDEP Suspends State Permitting Deadlines and Extending Validity of State Permits

State Order suspending state permitting deadlines and extending the validity of state permits was issued on March 10, 2020. Constructive approvals, hearing deadlines, decision deadlines, appeal rights, and permit tolling are extended 45 days.

Rhode Island

Air Emissions Inventory

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) has extended the filing date deadline for the 2019 Air Emissions Inventory to June 30, 2020.

Summer Fuel RVP Waiver

On March 27, EPA issued a waiver of federal summer gasoline volatility and RFG requirements. The EPA waiver, which applies only to federal fuel standards including those in federally enforceable state implementation plans, will be effective May 1 through May 20, 2020. RIDEM will not enforce any violations during the period of the waiver.

Vermont

Document Submittal Guidance

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VT DEC) has specified that no applications, compliance reports, or other documents should be submitted by mail. Facilities should use the electronic forms on the DEC website to submit applications, reports, or other documents.

Annual Air Registration

The agency has not provided an extension for the Annual Air Registration deadline at this time.

Maine

Reporting and Compliance Obligations

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MaineDEP) has not issued an extension for any reporting or compliance obligations. The agency issued a statement regarding any non-compliance for constraints associated with COVID-19. MaineDEP also provided that each situation will be considered on a case-by-case basis and to email Eric Kennedy or call (207) 287-5412 with questions.

Summer Fuel RVP Waiver

On March 27, 2020, EPA issued a waiver of federal summer gasoline volatility and RFG requirements. The EPA Waiver, which applies only to federal fuel standards including those in federally enforceable state implementation plans, will be effective May 1, 2020 through May 20, 2020. MaineDEP will not enforce any violations during the period of the waiver. Email David Madore or call (207) 287-7674 with any questions.

New Hampshire

Document Submittal Guidance

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) issued a COVID-19 statement indicating that the offices are closed to the public, but that documents can continue to be emailed or mailed to the offices. Items that cannot be mailed or emailed can be placed in the drop box during normal business hours.

Annual Air Emissions Inventory

NHDES has not extended the reporting deadline at this time.

Connecticut

Document Submittal Guidance

  • The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTDEEP) issued a COVID-19 statement indicating that the offices are closed to the public and that whenever possible, submittals should be provided digitally to the agency
  • Select documents including Hazardous Waste Manifests are now electronically accessible on the CTDEEP Document Online Search Portal

Reporting and Compliance Deadlines

  • CTDEEP is temporarily extending the submission deadline for the first quarter CEM Reports from April 30 to June 1, 2020
  • CTDEEP has not extended any other reporting deadlines at this time. Title V and GPLPE compliance reports should continue to be submitted using the DEEP's ezFile reporting tool. All other compliance reports may be emailed to deep.cacu@ct.gov

Summer Fuel RVP Waiver

  • On March 27, 2020, EPA issued a waiver of federal summer gasoline volatility and RFG requirements. The EPA waiver, which applies only to federal fuel standards including those in federally enforceable state implementation plans, will be effective May 1 through May 20, 2020. CTDEEP issued a statement providing a waiver from the RVP requirements referenced in Section 22a-174-20(a)(11) until June 1, 2020
  • More details on air compliance COVID-19 updates available here

EPA Updates

EPA announced their enforcement discretion policy for the COVID-19 pandemic in a news release on March 26.

  • The temporary policy is designed to provide enforcement discretion for facilities facing difficulty maintaining compliance with all federal regulatory requirements due to COVID-19's impact
  • To be eligible for enforcement discretion, facilities must document decisions made to prevent or mitigate noncompliance and demonstrate how noncompliance was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • EPA expects facilities to maintain compliance where practicable and to return to compliance as quickly as possible when transgressions occur

Trinity Consultants has provided a more detailed overview of EPA's guidance in its article on March 27, 2020.

If you have any questions about how the New England regulatory agencies or the EPA are handling compliance during these times, please reach out to your Trinity contact or the Boston office at (508) 273-8600.