TEXAS (CBSDFW/AP) – Thousands of oil and gas operations and other sites have won permission to stop monitoring for hazardous emissions or otherwise break government rules due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The findings come in an investigation by The Associated Press.

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The Trump administration announced the first nationwide, extended easing of environmental enforcement in March.

Oil and gas companies had complained that the pandemic was complicating compliance with pollution rules.

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Facilities won permission more than 3,000 times to skimp on compliance during the sweeping government clemency. The Environmental Protection Agency says its clemency was not a license for increased pollution.

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