Citing virus, EPA stops enforcing environmental laws

    President Donald Trump during a March 15 press conference at the White House.

    Washington, DC (AP) - The Trump administration says it will forgo a sweeping range of public health and environmental enforcement during the coronavirus outbreak.

    The Environmental Protection Agency announced the move Thursday, saying the pandemic could make it difficult for companies to comply with public health and environment laws.

    The EPA says it won't fine businesses for failing to monitor or report hazardous pollutants if they can show the coronavirus played a role.

    EPA chief Andrew Wheeler calls it a temporary measure for “extraordinary conditions."

    Environmental groups and former EPA officials call it unprecedented and a license to pollute.

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