Stuart L. Spencer
Arkansas Environmental, Energy, and Water Law, Coronavirus (COVID-19)
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:
- General permit conditions
- Routine compliance and monitoring and reporting
- Consent Administrative Order reporting and milestones
- Facility operations
- 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.