Trump EPA Says California Must Protect Water Better From Homeless Waste

Ting Shen/Reuters

The Trump administration’s environmental regulator escalated its feud with California on Thursday, accusing the state of violating clean water laws by allowing human waste from homeless residents to enter waterways, according to a letter it sent to the state’s governor.

The letter from Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency is the latest clash of many between the Republican president and Democratic officials who lead the most populous U.S. state. Earlier this week, Governor Gavin Newsom said at a United Nations Climate Summit that he was “humiliated” by Trump’s environmental record.

In July, the state angered Trump getting major automakers to go along with stricter state standards on vehicle emissions of greenhouse gases at a time the administration has been trying to roll back Obama-era limits.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s letter to said the governor and the mayors of San Francisco and Los Angeles “do not appear to be acting with urgency” to mitigate the public health risks from “untreated human waste entering nearby waters.”

Wheeler said the state was “failing to meet its obligation required under delegated federal programs” and that he wanted to “outline the deficiencies” in how California safeguards its water and to require the state to detail how it will respond.

In addition to clashing with Trump over the environment, California has waged numerous policy battles and legal challenges over immigration, housing and other issues.

“These actions are nothing but retaliation for California’s leadership on clean cars and are obviously in response to Trump’s pique over being outmaneuvered by the state,” said Ann Carlson, a professor at the UCLA School of Law.

Earlier this week, EPA sent a similar letter to California threatening to withdraw federal transportation funding to punish the state for not publishing pollution control plans in time.

Last week, Trump revoked California’s decades-old authority to set its own emissions standards, prompting a lawsuit days later by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

Becerra has sued the Trump administration over 60 times over numerous moves to undo federal environmental regulations and protection for immigrants.

A senior EPA official did not say whether Trump ordered the letter, but said “a confluence of various offices” overseeing water quality made Wheeler aware of California’s exceedences under the federal Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act.

During a fundraising trip last week in California, Trump threatened to have the federal government step in to “clean up” the homeless problem and said floated the idea of the EPA going after San Francisco for allowing drainage from homeless encampments into the Pacific ocean.

On Monday, Newsom represented the state at the United Nations Climate Action Summit and said Trump’s attacks on environmental protections and dismissal of the threat of climate change made the United States look bad on the world stage.

“I’m absolutely humiliated by what’s going on,” he said.

Asked whether the letter was politically motivated, a senior EPA official told reporters: “The letter speaks for itself.”

(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio)

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Michael Bankston
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Michael Bankston

It is time the Republicans gained control of California I am sure the Republicans can get California on the right track.

Patty Dougherty
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Patty Dougherty

We need to clean the swamp in California before it ends up like Detroit. We are not being listened to and California’s government has got to go. Trump is speaking for all of us with no voice!!!!!!

David Gearhart
Member

This is the same state that appointed an illegal immigrant as a state attorney. Laws and the constitution do not apply to the socialist and their agenda.

Cherrie
Guest
Cherrie

and we don’t care you are humiliated as we are humiliated that your Aunt Pelosi of the Pelosi Cartel put you into office you were never voted in. Its your fault as well as the rest of your butt buddies Pelosi, Watters, and other democrat liberal that has taken CA down hill. Notice again pretty much all states, city:s ran by the Democratic Liberals has become a disgusting city of garbage . You my sir are a traitor to CA

Sherri
Member

CA is a poop hole in it’s major cities. It’s really that simple. It’s polluting the beaches and waterways. If anyone thinks the leadership in that state give a rats patootie they aren’t thinking.

James
Member

Commiefornia should divert some of that human waste water into the Capitol Building in Sacramento. Maybe drinking several glasses of that water each day will improve their way of thinking.

Joey
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Joey

I don’t know of any lawsuits against President Trump and administration for immigration, I do know of a lot of lawsuits for illegals at the detriment of both their citizens and the citizens of the rest of the US.

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