** Last Updated July 13, 2020 **
ECOS is compiling COVID-19 resources that may be useful to state environmental agencies as they navigate their coronavirus responses.
Please email Sarah Grace Longsworth of ECOS if you have additional resources to share.
State Environmental Agency Resources
- The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s updated regulatory guidance for air, water
- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s memo on compliance and enforcement implementation during COVID-19
- The Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment:
- The California Environmental Protection Agency’s/Waterboard’s Executive Order suspending public water systems’ ability to disconnect water service to residences/critical infrastructure sector small businesses, and the Governor’s Executive Order on virtual public meetings
- The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s memo regarding received requests for pause on environmental regulatory and policy work
- The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection:
- The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s coronavirus response
- The District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment’s UST-LUST requirements during COVID
- The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ response to questions about compliance and enforcement
- The Hawaii Department of Health’s COVID webpage
- The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality’s drinking water, wastewater, and hazardous waste guidelines during COVID
- The state of Illinois’ COVID-19 response, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s compliance expectations statement
- The Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s statement on Enforcement Discretion and Executive Order
- The Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ COVID response, including Enforcement and Compliance Protocol and technical information for regulated businesses
- The Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s resource center, COVID guidance, and recommendation for operator training extension
- The state of Kentucky’s COVID webpage, and the Department of Environmental Protection’s blog post on closures and services
- The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality’s declaration of emergency and administrative order
- The Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s coronavirus webpage
- The Maryland Department of the Environment’s coronavirus update, including a link to the Maryland Department of Health’s COVID-19 dashboard, FAQ, and other resources
- The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s COVID webpage, resources for water suppliers and wastewater operators, and hazardous waste management
- The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s process for handling enforcement discretion
- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s response to COVID-19
- The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality’s COVID website and guidance on compliance and regulatory requirements
- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Regulatory Relief Statement
- The Montana Department of Environmental Quality’s COVID webpage and enforcement discretion guidance
- The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy’s letter to communities
- The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection’s COVID webpage, and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ COVID updates
- The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ COVID-19 webpage and emergency order from the Governor
- The state of New Jersey’s COVID-19 information hub, and the Department of Environmental Protection’s guidance for public water systems, including sampling guidance and information for wastewater dischargers
- The New Mexico Environment Department’s resources for COVID-19, including resources for restaurants, employers and employees, solid waste management facilities, and on COVID and drinking water
- The state of New York’s coronavirus webpage
- The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s enforcement Memo and the health department’s COVID webpage
- The North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality’s COVID information (including announcement of office closure until April 20) and the state’s general COVID webpage
- The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s COVID webpage and enforcement discretion
- The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality’s COVID webpage, enforcement discretion, and water and wastewater reciprocity policy
- The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s COVID response webpage, and fact sheet on solid and medical waste
- The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s COVID response webpage, which includes its Request for Suspension of Regulatory Requirements
- The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s COVID webpage and letter on handling medical waste
- The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s COVID webpage on regulatory assistance and enforcement flexibility
- The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ FAQ on COVID and water quality
- The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation:
- The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ):
- COVID webpage
- Reporting Requirements for Regulated Entities
- Guidance for TCEQ Contractors
- Form to move to approve online training that was formerly classroom
- Information on disposing of COVID medical waste
- Letter to Concerned Citizens, Public Interest Advocates, and Members of the Regulated Community
- The Utah Department of Environmental Quality:
- The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources’ COVID emergency webpage, including information on enforcement
- The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality:
- The Washington Department of Ecology on regulatory flexibility and guidance for Legionella and building water system closures
- The West Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s enforcement notice
- The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ COVID-19 webpage and environmental compliance process
- The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s COVID Page and temporary guidance on enforcement and compliance
State Association Resources
- E-Enterprise for the Environment’s E-Enterprise Community Inventory Platform (EECIP) (open to all government agency personnel) to serve as platform for coronavirus solution sharing, starting with an ECOS discussion thread focusing on remote work strategies and programmatic innovations to deal with the crisis
- The Association of Clean Water Administrators’ (ACWA) COVID-19 resources
- The Association of State Drinking Water Administrators’ (ASDWA) webpage dedicated to resources for COVID-19 and drinking water, including links to state agency pages on COVID-19 response, EPA’s list of disinfectants, and webinars related to the virus for environmental professionals
- The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials’ (ASTHO) coronavirus resources hub, including COVID-19: Simple Answers to Top Questions, a document compiled by risk communication experts and a working group of state health officials to outline a science-based message mapping process for communicating about the virus to the public
- The Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials’ (ASTSWMO) COVID-19 resources, including its webinar on COVID-19 regulated medical waste, based on Stericycle’s guidance in alignment with CDC recommendations, and its document on COVID-19 Impact to State UST Cleanup Funds
- The National Association of Clean Air Agencies’ (NACAA) website with resources including the state COVID-19 pages for every state that has launched one, as well as a new 4yi factsheet on how to build a good continuity plan for your agency and staff.
- U.S. EPA
- EPA Responses to State COVID-19 Questions
- The Agency’s coronavirus site with information on drinking water, wastewater, and disinfectants, as well as new resources (released April 17) for state, local, and tribal agencies and associations
- Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools and Homes
- List N Tool, a new web-based application that allows smart phone users and others to quickly identify disinfectant products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against COVID
- Guidance on flushing building plumbing
- Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance’s (OECA) Assistant Administrator Susan Bodine’s March 26 memo, COVID-19 Implications for EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program, a temporary enforcement discretion policy that applies to civil violations during the COVID-19 outbreak; and the June termination addendum
- Office of Land and Emergency Management’s (OLEM) COVID-19 Implications for Signing Paper Hazardous Waste Manifests
- Office of Grants and Debarment’s (OGD)
- Recipient/Applicant Information Notice (RAIN) with FAQ to assist parties applying for and managing EPA financial assistance agreements
- Frequent Questions on grant issues in response to COVID, now following EPA’s web standards and policies – updated as of July 1 with items added marked as “New” (previously updated April 29)
- (March 27) Initial FAQ on grant issues in response to COVID, supplementing OMB’s March 19 guidance (see below)
- April 16 Virtual Hearing Memo
- Modernizing Public Hearings for Water Quality Standards document
- Fuel waiver concerning summer gasoline
- Advisory for NPDES Reporting
- Superfund interim guidance on site field work decisions due to impacts of COVID-19
- Information on recycling during COVID
- Video on importance of Recycling and Proper Management of Personal Protective Equipment During COVID-19
- CDC’s COVID Resources
- FDA’s updated food safety guidance and FAQs for COVID
- Federal Highway Administration’s emergency homeland security messages for state and local highway agencies and federal land managers to display messages concerning COVID-19 as long as messages do not appear as advertising
- FEMA’s COVID webpage and April 15 letter to emergency managers outlining lessons learned from the first 30 days of FEMA response
- OSHA COVID Website
- Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
- June 18 Memo 20-26 regarding administrative relief for recipients impacted by COVID-19, specifically on allowability of salaries and other project activities to extend to September 30 and the extension of single audit submission to extend to December 31
- March 19 memo extending administrative relief from certain federal grant requirements to any agency undergoing reduced operational capacity or increased costs related to the pandemic (and identifying specific actions that grant-awarding federal agencies can take to provide administrative relief)
- March 22 Harnessing Technology to Support Mission Continuity and March 20 Managing Federal Contract Performance Issues Associated with COVID-19 guidance
- NIEHS’ study on coronavirus stability
- Digital.Gov’s Free online tools and platforms that have negotiated federal-compatible terms of service agreements, for use by states and others
- The White House’s Opening Up America Again guidance
- The Association of Public Health Laboratories’ (APHL) webpage with blog articles, external media coverage, and other resources on COVID-19
- The Council of Infrastructure Financing Authorities’ S.A.F.E. Water Infrastructure Action Plan, an advocacy initiative about the vital role SRFs can play in the economic recovery of the nation in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic
- The National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) COVID-19 webpage, updated at 5 p.m. Eastern Monday-Friday with states’ coronavirus legislation, fiscal information, and public education resources
- The National Governors Association’s (NGA) webpage on state actions on COVID-19, including up-to-date graphics from CDC and Johns Hopkins University on numbers of cases globally and federal government actions
- Stateside Associates’ state-by-state real-time report on legislative and executive/regulatory activity pertaining to coronavirus
- The Water Environment Federation’s coronavirus webcasts
- The Water Research Foundation’s March and April Coronavirus Research Updates, and Upcoming (April 27) COVID Summit
- The Bipartisan Policy Center’s article on how state and local governments can more effectively use COVID-19 federal aid
- MultiState’s COVID Policy Tracker
- The National Notary Association on remote notarization
- Route Fifty
U.S. Digital Response’s website that aims to help government agencies meet new demands on their services and workforces during the COVID-19 crisis
- Purdue’s Center for Plumbing Safety resources
Tips & Resources for Reopening Buildings After COVID-19
As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, it is important to take steps to ensure safety in buildings that were closed during quarantine. The temporary shutdown or reduced operations of buildings could have negative impacts on the water quality. Stagnant water can create conditions that favor the growth and spread of mold, Legionella, and other harmful bacteria, as well as increase the presence of lead and other metals or pathogens from corroding plumbing. This water can therefore be unsafe to drink or otherwise use, and needs to be treated properly. Below are some tips and resources to consider before reopening buildings.
Actions to Take
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the following 8-step plan.
- Develop a water management plan on what needs to be cleaned and disinfected. Implement and maintain or revise the plan with safe practices to continue to reduce potential exposure.
- Ensure the building’s water heater is properly maintained and temperature correctly set. The temperature should register at least 120°F; higher temperatures can further reduce the risk of Legionella growth.
- Flush the water system with both cold and hot water at all points of use (e.g. showers, sink faucets, drinking fountains, etc.) starting with those closest to the connection with the water utility (i.e., at the meter). Cold water taps should be flushed until disinfectant levels match those measured at the point of connection. Hot water taps should be flushed until the water reaches its maximum temperature.
- Clean decorative water features (e.g., fountains)
- Ensure hot tubs and spas are safe
- Ensure cooling towers are clean and well-maintained
- Ensure safety equipment including fire sprinkler systems, eye wash stations, and safety shower stations are cleaned and well-maintained
- Maintain your building’s water system. Normal maintenance activities include flushing, cleaning, and disinfecting each device according to manufacturers’ specifications. Consider contacting your drinking water provider to learn about any recent disruptions in the water supply. The water utility may also be able to check that disinfectant levels entering your building meet expected standards. After your building’s water system has returned to normal, ensure that the risk of Legionella and other bacteria growth is minimized by regularly checking water quality parameters such as temperature, pH, and disinfectant levels.
Remember to use protective equipment when performing building maintenance, and carry out all maintenance activities according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This may include draining water heaters after prolonged disuse. Share best practices among partners and regulators.
- Guidance on Maintaining or Restoring Water Quality in Building with Low or No Use
- Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting: Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes
- Guidance for Reopening Buildings After Shutdown
- Guidance for Businesses and Employers: Role of Businesses and Employers in Responding to COVID-19
EPA and CDC
- Guidance and Decision Tree for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- Website and Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, including steps to reduce worker risk to exposure, worker travel, and more.
- Exercise Starter Kit for Reconstituting Operations.
National Science Foundation
- Proposed Study on Extreme Plumbing Stagnation and Recommissioning.
Alabama Department of Environmental Management
- Press Release Warning Reopening Businesses to Thoroughly Flush Water Systems to Guard Against Legionnaires and Other Diseases.
Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality
- Water Quality Recommendations for Opening Closed or Less Frequently Used Buildings.
Tennessee Department of the Environment
- Press Release Encouraging Steps to Address Stagnant Water in Buildings.