Published Sep 26, 2019 at 2:17 PM
Escalating its fight with California, the Trump administration accused the state Thursday of failing to stop water pollution from such sources as human waste left on the pavement by the homeless in big cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco.
San Francisco's mayor disputed any connection between homeless people and water quality, and she and others accused President Donald Trump of using the Environmental Protection Agency to punish the heavily Democratic state.
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler outlined a series of alleged deficiencies in California's compliance with federal clean water laws in a letter to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and demanded a detailed plan for fixing the problems within 30 days.
"If California does not step up to its delegated responsibilities, then EPA will be forced to take action," Wheeler said in statement.
The letter was the latest salvo in a feud between the administration and California, which has filed more than 50 lawsuits opposing Trump initiatives on the environment, immigration and health care.
Last week, Trump warned that San Francisco would receive a violation notice for allegedly letting needles and other waste go through storm drains into the Pacific Ocean, an allegation Mayor London Breed denied.
"I'm sick of this president taking swipes at our city for no reason other than politics," Breed said Thursday. "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. It's just not a real issue."