JEFFERSON CITY, MO, APRIL 10, 2020 – Pursuant to Executive Orders 20-02 and 20-04, the Department of Natural Resources has suspended through May 15 portions of four rules to eliminate certain provisions that are overly burdensome during the COVID-19 emergency. Copies of the Notices of Suspension are available at sos.mo.gov/suspended.
Two of the four suspensions waive requirements for hard-copy submissions. In most instances the department will accept electronic submissions of wastewater facility plans and hazardous-waste generator documents in lieu of hard copies.
The third suspension waives the continuing-education deadline for asbestos professionals whose certifications are expiring during the suspension period. Certification classes have been cancelled and postponed due to social distancing requirements, and the certifications of many professionals will expire during this time despite their best efforts to obtain recertification. These professionals can continue operating with expired certifications and complete their training when normal recertification processes can resume or the department can develop alternative methods of recertification that comply with social-distancing requirements. The department is preparing similar waivers for operator-certification requirements that will be filed with the Secretary of State when finalized.
The fourth suspension defers the in-person, closed book exam that usually is required for previously unpermitted applicants to obtain a non-restricted well-installation permit. During the suspension period, otherwise qualified applicants who pass an online, open-book exam may receive an interim permit and begin work. Once administration of the closed-book exam resumes, such interim permit-holders must take and pass the closed-book exam.
The department continues to evaluate whether additional regulatory requirements warrant suspension during the COVID-19 emergency.
Entities seeking enforcement discretion for compliance challenges caused by COVID-19 should consult the department’s March 24, 2020 statement on COVID-19 regulatory relief.