EPA staff spoke extensively about the 2019 TRI deadline at a recent webinar focused on other TRI topics. Baron attended this webinar and is providing the information below as a service to our customers.
The annual TRI reporting deadline for 2020 is still July 1, 2020, because it is a statutorily established deadline. EPA cannot extend this deadline without following the statutory process including public comment periods. On the other hand, on March 26, 2020, the EPA’s Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance issued a memorandum setting out a temporary policy for how enforcement discretion may be exercised in response to noncompliance that occurs due to COVID-19 issues. This memorandum provides guidance to the regulated entities on how to handle compliance deviations. In summary, the entity needs to make the best effort in meeting TRI reporting and any other compliance obligations. If for any reason, the entity believes that any noncompliance related to late reporting was caused by COVID-19, this event needs to be comprehensively investigated and documented for use in future regulatory inquiries.
If these allegedly COVID-19 noncompliance events are not documented properly or if the noncompliance is not related to COVID-19, the entity will still be exposed to enforcement actions from EPA.
The 3/26/20 memorandum can be accessed at: