• After President Trump’s threat to punish California for the pollution he says is caused by the state’s homeless, the Trump administration is following through with EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler sending a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom.
  • The letter stated that the administration doesn’t feel the governor is doing enough to enforce the Clean Air Act.
  • After visiting California last week, Trump said “that San Francisco is violating pollution laws by allowing needles and other waste from homeless encampments to drain into the ocean.”
  • San Francisco Mayor London Breed denied the claims and responded to the letter: “I’m sick of this president taking swipes at our city for no reason other than politics.”
  • Breed added: “As I’ve said before, there are no needles washing out to the Bay or ocean from our sewer system, and there is no relationship between homelessness and water quality in San Francisco.”
  • The letter from the EPA also said “that the state is not acting with enough urgency to address environmental problems related to homelessness.”
  • Wheeler wrote: “California is responsible for implementing appropriate municipal storm water management and waste treatment requirements as part of its assumed federal program. The state is failing to properly implement these programs.”
  • Wheeler wrote that “the alleged violations put nearly 800,000 residents at risk” and he asked Newsom to respond in 30 days about what the state plans to do about it.”
  • A spokesman for Newsom, Nathan Click, said: “The president is abusing the powers of the presidency and weaponizing government to attack his political opponents. This is not about clean air, clean water or helping our state with homelessness. This is political retribution against California, plain and simple.”
  • The Trump administration and California have been engaged in “an escalating fight over a range of issues, including homelessness, the environment and immigration.”

Reference Links

  • NPR: Trump Administration Blames Homeless For California’s Water Pollution READ
  • AP: Trump administration accuses California of water pollution READ
  • ABC: ‘OK’ hand gesture, ‘bowlcut’ added to hate symbols database READ
  • Fox Business: EPA orders California to fix water pollution blamed on homeless READ

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