Texas has suspended certain environmental rules for oil and chemical companies during the coronavirus pandemic as the companies largely claim they do not have the staff on site to conduct tests or file reports.
Since March, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has provided more than 100 exemptions to environmental monitoring and inspection rules, including requirements to check facilities for harmful chemical leaks, according to state records.
The agency announced in early March it would allow companies to request temporary environmental rule suspensions if affected by COVID-19. Most companies receiving exemptions cited staffing limitations as they kept workers at home and prevented contractors from coming on site to reduce exposure to the coronavirus.
The bulk of requests sought extensions on deadlines to file environmental reports until