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FAA Issues Drone Guidance for COVID-19 Response

by Patrick Paul As the case for drone use to help respond to the coronavirus pandemic, whether to enforce social distancing guidelines, announce current developments, or deliver needed medical and food supplies, grows internationally, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on April 14, 2020, announced the enabling of drone use for COVID-19 response efforts within the […]

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EPA Announces COVID-19 Interim Field Work Guidance

By Patrick Paul, Chris Colyer and Michael Ford On April 10, 2020, the U.S. EPA published “Interim Guidance on Site Field Work Decisions Due to Impacts of COVID-19.” Directed specifically to the Agency’s Regional Administrators, the interim guidance was issued for response actions related to cleanup and emergency response sites where EPA is the lead agency […]

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Drone Delivery Systems Can Aid Coronavirus Relief

by Patrick J. Paul As COVID-19 continues its spread across the U.S. and globe and governments react with historic aid measures, social distance and stay at home orders, it seems opportunities for accelerated drone deployment to help with the COVID-19 spread in the U.S. may be missed.  Drones can reduce human involvement in the supply […]

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Sewage Surveillance to Assess Possible COVID-19 Spread in Tempe Wastewater

by Patrick J. Paul Researchers from Arizona State University are evaluating Tempe wastewater for traces of COVID-19, which could serve as an early warning system of the virus’s spread in communities.  Although believed to be among the first cities in America to study the possible connection between community spread of the coronavirus through wastewater systems, the […]

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ADEQ Issues COVID-19 Memo of Compliance & Enforcement

by Patrick J. Paul, Chris Colyer, and Michael C. Ford On March 31, 2020, the Arizona Department of Environmental  Quality (ADEQ) issued a Memorandum of Compliance and Enforcement Implementation During COVID-19. This memo of compliance is consistent with the March 26, 2020 United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Memorandum entitled COVID-19 Implications for EPA’s Enforcement […]

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Trump Eliminates Settlement Tool

by Mitchell J. Klein Somewhat lost amidst all the (well deserved) COVID-19 pandemic news that comes out daily, is a decision by the Justice Department regarding the settlement of environmental enforcement cases that will likely have profound impacts. The current administration has decided to ban the use of Supplemental Environmental Projects (“SEPs”) as a tool […]

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COVID-19 Drones to the Rescue: an Opportunity to Shine

by Kelly A. Daly Around the world, drone enthusiasts are mobilizing to demonstrate the numerous benefits that Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS” or “drones”) technology can offer during this COVID-19 pandemic. Equipped with beacons, spotlights, visual and thermal cameras, specialized sensors and computer vision systems, so-called “pandemic drones” can remotely detect sneezing and coughing and can […]

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The NRC Responds to Nuclear Plant Work-Hour Concerns Prompted by COVID-19

by Kelly Daly The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced that it is prepared to grant temporary exemptions from work-hour controls when the COVID-19 virus adversely impacts staffing levels at nuclear plants such that the applicant can no longer meet the work-hour control requirements provided that the applicant can demonstrate that fatigue-management controls are in place. Specifically, […]

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EPA Announces Enforcement Discretion Policy for Noncompliance Caused by COVID-19 Pandemic

By Michael C. Ford EPA announced on March 26, 2020 a temporary enforcement policy regarding EPA enforcement of environmental legal obligations. In general, EPA does not expect to seek penalties for violations of routine compliance monitoring, integrity testing, sampling, laboratory analysis, training, and reporting or certification obligations in situations where EPA agrees that COVID-19 was […]

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OSHA Provides Guidance and Resources in Wake of COVID-19 Pandemic

by Michael C. Ford OSHA has responded to the COVID-19 outbreak with a dedicated webpage that includes guidance for employers.  While emphasizing that the current risk for most types of workers remains low, the guidance covers preparing workplaces for COVID-19, preventing worker exposure, as well the OSHA standards that may apply.  While no standard specifically […]

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