Coronavirus (COVID-19): Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment Establishes Resources and Information Webpage

April 03, 2020

By: Stuart L. Spencer

Category: Arkansas Environmental, Energy, and Water Law, Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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The Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment (E&E), Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has established a COVID-19 “Resources and Information” webpage on the DEQ website.

According to the DEQ, the webpage was created to provide up-to-date information regarding the coronavirus.

The resources on the page include links to the following documents:

  • Energy and Environment Enforcement Guidance
  • EPA Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program
  • DEQ Emergency Order Craighead County
  • DEQ Emergency Order 20-137
  • Governor Hutchinson’s Executive Order 20-06
  • Governor Hutchinson’s Executive Order 20-03
  • Families First Coronavirus Response Act Information
  • EPA Urges Safe Flushing
  • DEQ Provisional COVID-19 Enforcement Guidance

The webpage also includes the following helpful links:

  • Arkansas Department of Health COVID-19 Information
  • Arkansas Division of Emergency Management COVID-19 Information
  • State of Arkansas COVID-19 Information
  • EPA COVID-19 Information

Of particular interest is the DEQ Provisional COVID-19 Enforcement Guidance, published on April 1, 2020. The guidance addresses the following issues:

Civil violations

  • General permit conditions
  • Routine compliance and monitoring and reporting
  • Consent Administrative Order reporting and milestones
  • Facility operations
  • Licensing
  • Accidental releases
  • Criminal violations
  • Self-Disclosure Incentive Program

The creation of the DEQ COVID-19 webpage and the DEQ Provisional COVID-19 Enforcement Guidance follows the release of E&E Enforcement Guidance on March 30, 2020. The E&E guidance established a procedure for submitting COVID-19 related enforcement discretion requests to E&E via a dedicated e-mail address. According to E&E, staff will “work diligently to expeditiously review and respond to incoming requests from regulated entities.”

The E&E guidance follows the issuance of a March 26 United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Memorandum addressing “COVID-19 Implications for EPA’s Enforcement Assurance Program”.

The DEQ COVID-19 Resource and Information webpage can be accessed here

A copy of the DEQ Provisional COVID-19 Enforcement Guidance can be found here

A copy to the E&E Memorandum can be found here

A copy of the EPA Memorandum can be found here.

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