SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — One week after President Trump visited the Bay Area and Los Angeles and alleged that needles and other waste was flowing into storm drains and out to the ocean, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Andrew Wheeler sent a letter to the governor.
The letter said the state was violating the Clean Water Act and threatening that “if California does not step up to its delegated responsibilities, then EPA will be forced to take action.”
In the letter, Wheeler said, “The EPA is concerned about the potential water quality impacts… from untreated human waste entering nearby waters.” He goes on to say, “San Francisco, Los Angeles and the state do not appear to be acting with urgency to mitigate the risks to human health and the environment that may result from the homelessness crisis.”
“It’s absurd and appalling that the Trump EPA would try to weaponize the Clean Water Act to go after homeless issues in California,” Steve Fleischli, Natural Resources Defense Council said. “There is no factual basis or good policy reason to blame California’s water quality challenges on homelessness, there is not a connection between those two things.”
The Natural Resources Defense Council was quick to slam the EPA’s link between water contamination and the homeless.
“The Trump administration itself is the largest threat to America’s waterways in their policy of rolling back protections under the Clean Water Act,” Fleischli said. “Rolling back enforcement and rolling back safe drinking water issues. That’s where the real focus should be.”
In a tweet, Governor Newsom likened this to nothing more than politics saying, “An overarching theme coming out of the White House: Trump persistently weaponizing our government to attack political opponents. The Director of Natl Intelligence, the DOJ, the EPA…all being used to attack those that stand in his way. This is about retaliation. Nothing more.”
In a letter, the EPA has given California 30 days to respond to their concerns.
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