Trump takes aim at trickle-down toilets, faucets
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[December 07, 2019]
By Timothy Gardner and Makini Brice
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald
Trump said on Friday he has directed his environmental regulators to
find answers to what he said is a big problem - water-conserving
showers, faucets and toilets.
"We have a situation where we're looking very strongly at sinks and
showers and other elements of bathrooms," Trump told a meeting of small
business leaders at the White House. "You turn the faucet on in areas
where there's tremendous amounts of water ... and you don't get any
water," he added.
He said the Environmental Protection Agency was looking "very strongly
at my suggestion."
The fixtures "end up using more water," Trump told the roundtable where
U.S. officials also reviewed his agenda of slashing regulations such as
those on efficient light bulbs. "People are flushing toilets 10 times,
15 times, as opposed to once," he said.
EPA spokesman Michael Abboud said his agency is working with other
departments so consumers have more choices in water products.
Due to concerns about shrinking U.S. water supplies, the federal
government has regulated faucet and showerhead water flow since at least
1994, when Democrat Bill Clinton was president.
The EPA has long helped consumers go beyond federal water conservation
standards. It sponsors WaterSense, a voluntary program on
water-efficient showerheads and other products.
The EPA's website says that saving every drop counts because "water
managers in at least 40 states expect local, statewide, or regional
water shortages to occur over the next several years."
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President Donald Trump speaks to reporters while participating in a
"roundtable on small business and red tape reduction
accomplishments" in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in
Washington, U.S. December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
It was not the first time that Trump has emphasized water issues. In
September, his EPA accused California's cities of violating clean
water laws by allowing human waste from homeless residents to enter
San Francisco Mayor London Breed accused Trump of "taking swipes" at
her city for "no reason other than politics." It was the latest
clash between the Republican president and Democratic officials in
Also in September, Trump's EPA repealed the 2015 Waters of the
United States rule that had expanded protections for wetlands and
shallow streams, but which farmers, miners and manufacturers decried
Water-conserving fixtures may be a good idea in desert regions,
Trump told the business leaders. "But for the most part, you have
many states where they have so much water that it comes down. It's
called rain. They don't know what to do with it," Trump said.
(Reporting by Timothy Gardner, Makini Brice and Jeff Mason; Editing
by Cynthia Osterman)
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