Attorney General Ellison demands that EPA rescind pandemic polluter policy

Media Contacts
Timothy Schaefer

Failing to enforce our key environmental laws is ‘egregious’

Environment Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN — Yesterday, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, demanding that the agency rescind its new policy suspending enforcement of key environmental laws during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  

Tim Schaefer, State Director of Environment Minnesota, issued the following statement:

“The EPA’s decision to stop enforcing key provisions of our environmental laws puts our air and water at the mercy of polluters. I commend Attorney General Ellison and his colleagues for standing up against this egregious attack on our environment and our health.

As our nation struggles to confront an urgent public health crisis, it’s more important than ever to ensure that the air we breathe is clean and the water we drink is safe. If EPA fails to require monitoring or reporting, we won’t even know when polluters are violating the law or putting our health at risk. Moreover, under its reckless policy, the EPA could let facilities off the hook for actual instances of excessive pollution. It’s an open invitation to pollute.

This is no time to abandon protections for clean air and clean water. Thank you, AG Ellison, for your continued commitment to enforcing environmental laws and protecting the health of Minnesota residents.”