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EPA TO USVI Regulated Community: Test for Y2K Now; Agency to Waive Fines to Encourage Testing for Possible Y2K Problems

Release Date: 03/09/1999
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(#99037) SAN JUAN, P.R. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encourages all regulated companies and facilities in the U.S. Virgin Islands to conduct or complete tests of their computer-related equipment to ensure that potential malfunctions due to the Year 2000 (Y2K) computer bug do not happen. To provide a strong incentive to conduct the tests, when facilities meet certain criteria, EPA plans to waive 100% of possible civil fines and recommend against criminal prosecutions for violations of environmental regulations that might occur during testing for Y2K compliance.

EPA's regulated community -- which includes facilities dealing with drinking water supplies and treatment, toxic substances, hazardous waste and pesticides; and those that emit or discharge pollutants -- must continue to operate safely after January 1, 2000, and to make sure that human and environmental health are not compromised due to a lack of foresight and planning.

"We hope that everyone in EPA's regulated community will take advantage of our Y2K enforcement policy and put Y2K contingency plans in place," said Jeanne M. Fox, EPA Region 2 Administrator.

"Businesses and state and local governments have an obligation to ensure that their computer systems function normally in 2000, and that Virgin Islanders are not put at risk. Those that break environmental laws after January 1, 2000 because of the Y2K bug will be subject to penalties ."

The criteria facilities will be required to meet in order to benefit from EPA's Y2K enforcement policy include: designing the Y2K test well in advance of the actual test date, and, should a violation occur as a result of the test, an immediate correction, quick remediation, and expeditious report of the violation to EPA.

For more information on EPA's Y2K enforcement policy and requirements, and other useful Y2K -related information, visit the EPA Y2K web site at www.epa.gov/year2000, or call EPA Region 2's Y2K Hotline at (212) 637-4050.

For more information contact:
Nina Habib Spencer, Press Office
EPA Region 2
290 Broadway
NY, NY 10007-1866
Voice: 212-637-3670 FAX: 212-637-5046 E-Mail: habib.nina@epamail.epa.gov