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    Energy: COVID-19 Resources

    Businesses, employers and others monitoring the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak should be aware of the ever-increasing number of unique legal issues associated with this global pandemic, including in the energy space. The attorneys in Bricker & Eckler's energy group can work with you and your business to discuss and address COVID-19-related issues in order to mitigate risk and remain responsive to your business’ needs. 

    Resources

    Bricker publications

    State guidance and resources

    PUCO updates

    Ohio EPA updates

    • COVID-19 and drinking water and wastewater
    • USEPA information on disinfectants for use against coronavirus 
    • Communications, submission of files and navigating compliance-related issues with Ohio during COVID-19 situation - Ohio EPA is currently operating during the COVID-19 crisis with many staff members working remotely. Ohio EPA’s district offices and Central Office are temporarily closed, with increasingly limited ability to receive deliveries, plans, etc. Consequently, Ohio EPA has stated that it will have significant delays in receiving and processing any hard copy mail or USPS/FedEx/UPS deliveries to its offices. Ohio EPA is encouraging the submittal of all fee reports, payments, registrations, licenses, etc. electronically if possible using any of its online services (such as ebiz). If you know which Ohio EPA employee you would like to communicate with, Ohio EPA advises to contact them via email at  firstname.lastname@epa.ohio.gov. Ohio EPA’s main phone line is also staffed, (614) 644-3020, as well as the main line for each individual division or office. 

      Regarding the submission of files, Ohio EPA advises that plans and attachments under 25 MB can be emailed directly to staff. For large documents over 25 MB, entities can submit the file via a secure file upload web site (instructions available here).  Each office also has its own upload site for large files at the following links:

    Additionally, Ohio EPA has acknowledged its awareness that regulated entities may be impacted from a reduced workforce necessary to maintain normal operations at some facilities. To address instances where regulated entities will have an unavoidable noncompliance situation directly due to impact from the coronavirus, Ohio EPA has created a specific email address to accept requests for the Director of Ohio EPA to provide regulatory flexibility where possible to assist entities in alternative approaches to maintaining compliance, including extending reporting deadlines, consideration of waiving late fees and exercising enforcement discretion. 

    Ohio EPA instructs regulated entities to email EPA.COVID-19REGFLEX@epa.ohio.gov with specific information related to enforcement discretion requests, and to at a minimum include the following information:

    • The specific regulatory or permit requirement which cannot be complied with
    • A concise statement describing the circumstances preventing compliance
    • The anticipated duration of time that the noncompliance will persist
    • The mitigative measures that will be taken to protect public health and the environment during the need for enforcement discretion
    • A central point of contact for the regulated entity, including an email address and phone number

    Lastly, Ohio EPA specifies that, where alternative compliance options are authorized by Ohio EPA, regulated entities must maintain records adequate to document activities related to the noncompliance and details of the regulated entity’s best efforts to comply.

    Key Contacts: Matt WarnockChris Slagle