Coronavirus Government Response Update—EPA Expands Research on COVID-19 in the Environment

April 21, 2020 Coronavirus Government Response Update—EPA Expands Research on COVID-19 in the Environment

Welcome to the Coronavirus Government Response Update. This information is intended to keep ISSA members up to date on fast-moving government affairs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other public policy issues important to the cleaning industry. Today’s update touches on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expanding research on COVID-19 and the environment, the U.S. government delaying some tariff payments, and more.

EPA Expands Research on COVID-19 in the Environment
The EPA continues to make COVID-19 issues a top priority. The agency has been actively supporting response efforts across the country to protect public health. As part of these efforts, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is asking for a rapid review with the Science Advisory Board to provide feedback on environmental cleanup and disinfection. Specifically, the release says, “The researchers are currently evaluating the use of ultraviolet (UV), ozone, and steam as solutions for large-scale disinfecting needs, for example in a school or an office. The researchers are also evaluating whether electrostatic sprayers and foggers used with EPA-approved disinfectants can be effective at killing the virus.”

With Economy in Crisis, US Lets Importers Delay Some Tariff Payments
The Trump administration said it would allow importers hit by the national health crisis to defer for three months any tariff payments they owe the government. The measure aims to help businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, which has put millions of Americans out of work and is widely seen pushing the economy into a deep recession. President Trump signed an executive order allowing deferred payments to “protect American jobs and help these businesses get through this time,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

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