As Trump faces a partisan senate impeachment trial on allegations of threatening our national security for his own political interests, the New York Times reports the administration has unleashed a devastating wave of rollbacks on environmental regulations.
Twitter users reacted to an apocalyptic series of tweets from the Times, revealing sweeping changes that would make it easier for individuals and corporations to pollute our environment, dumping chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, and who knows what else.
Not only has Trump compromised our national security, he's made our air and water more dangerous. Apparently, Make America Great Again can't even keep us in clean air and water. This man is trying to send us 50 years into the past in all the quality-of-life measures that matter. https://t.co/z3OU5lRE7B
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) January 24, 2020
Although modern federal rules outlaw releasing raw sewage, climate change has caused heavier rains in some areas that regularly overflow outdated sewer systems.
However, it’s not just sewers that are impacted but wetlands and other waterways.
“The actions are the latest example of the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back nearly 95 environmental rules that it has said are too costly for industry or taxpayers. That list grew on Thursday when the administration stripped clean-water protections from wetlands, streams and other waterways,” reports the Times.
The multiple reports expose how the Trump administration is making it easier for cities to dump raw sewage into America’s waterways. Already, numerous major cities are renegotiating their sewage agreements with the government to upgrade sewer systems. Those cities include Cleveland; Seattle; Kansas City, Mo.; South Bend, Ind.; and Chattanooga, Tenn.
In the Twitter thread, the Times states:
“Cities have long complained about the cost of meeting federal requirements to upgrade sewer systems, many of which release untreated waste into waterways during heavy rains — a problem that climate change worsens. These complaints gained traction with the Trump administration.”
In one of the most jaw-dropping rollbacks on January 23, the EPA reversed a 2015 rule protecting “more than half of the nation’s wetlands and hundreds of small waterways.”
“Farmers and property developers will now be able to release pesticides, fertilizers, and other pollutants directly into many of those waterways, as well as destroy or fill in wetlands for construction projects,” states the report.
That list of environmental rules being rolled back by President Trump grew on Thursday, when the administration stripped clean-water protections from wetlands, streams and other waterways.https://t.co/J7unUSzChq
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 24, 2020
Ironically, one of the cities impacted is Washington D.C., where federal rules have required upgrades to an ancient sewer system first built in the 1870s. Three five-mile-long tubes are being constructed ten stories below the city to hold some 190 million gallons of raw sewage that could otherwise contaminate the Anacostia River. Already, the river is contaminated up to 20 times a year when the outdated system overflows, according to the report.
Now D.C. is considering renegotiating the deal with the EPA.
Trump, who has always campaigned on “draining the swamp,” could instead contribute to contaminating Washington’s environment with sewage.
Perhaps as the nation watches Trump’s impeachment trial, they should consider the big picture and how Trump’s presidency appears to have severely compromised our shared environment as well as our national security.
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Featured image via Pxhere, public domain