by Anshul Dash
The Trump Administration has been accused of doing a poor job maintaining water policy in San Francisco. According to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democratic lawmakers have discovered the carelessness of the Trump Administration in enforcing water policy in California, and this has caught the attention of the Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA received a request from Democratic representative Jackie Spier to investigate the agency’s decision to issue a notice of violation to San Francisco for disposing waste into the bay and ocean. California senators Kamala Harris and Diane Feinstein have also requested an investigation. The EPA’s notice of violation came after President Trump’s alleged claims that waste connected to the problem of homelessness in San Francisco was being washed down storm drains and eventually emptied into the bay. The notice was issued two weeks later with a warning that if the issue wasn’t resolved, then the city would face civil, administrative, or criminal penalties.
However, San Francisco Mayor London Breed claims that President Trump’s claims are “ridiculous assertions.” He stated that the city has a combined sewer system that prevents waste from being dumped out into the ocean and redirects all of it to wastewater treatment plants. EPA Inspector General Sean O’Donnell has considered starting a project to review the reasons of the notice the EPA has issued, as well as reviewing water enforcements in other states besides California. O’Donnell plans to put the project into effect in 2021. Since the Government Accountability Office has also expressed interest to investigate this issue, the two offices are coordinating to prevent duplicate investigations.
President Trump’s claims about water enforcement in California have resulted in a new feud between the EPA and the state of California. Local government officials have said that they were “surprised by the EPA’s actions,” because they have always maintained contact with the EPA and have never encountered this problem before.