California is failing to meet water standards amid homeless crisis

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The Obama-era rule had also clarified that the definition of "waters of the United States" applied to agriculture, a major source of water pollution.

A spokesperson for the governor, Nathan Click, said: 'This is not about clean air, clean water or helping our state with homelessness.

During a fundraising trip last week in California, Trump had threatened to have the federal government step in to "clean up" the homeless problem there and said floated the idea of the EPA going after San Francisco for allowing drainage from homeless encampments into the Pacific ocean.

"Indeed, press reports indicate that "piles of human feces" on sidewalks and streets in these cities are becoming all too common", he added.

Wheeler says that the EPA is prepared to step in unless California can assuage its concerns within 30 days.

The Trump administration and California are in an escalating fight over a range of issues, including homelessness, the environment and immigration. California has been responsible for implementing the water discharge permitting program under the Clean Water Act since 1973; however, the state's recent lack of urgency addressing serious issues in San Francisco resulting from lack of proper oversight and enforcement is concerning.

"I'm exhausted of this president taking swipes at our city for reasons unknown other than governmental issues", Breed said.

Not long ago, Wheeler sent a letter to the California Air Resources Board, blaming the state for having the most exceedingly bad air quality in the United States.

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A spokesman for Newsom called the action "political retribution against California, plain and simple". State officials blamed the logjam on federal delays in approving the plans.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler demanded that California protect the state's water from pollution caused by homelessness in its biggest cities. "There are 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".

Earlier this month, the EPA announced that it was blocking California from setting auto emissions standards that were more restrictive than those put in place by the federal government.

Despite Wheeler's claims, San Francisco city officials say their sewage system has 'never, ever drop [ed] untreated sewage into the Bay or ocean'.

The investigation also found that in the most recent reporting period, the state had 202 community water systems that exceeded federal standards under the Safe Water Drinking Act for the presence of contaminants such as arsenic and lead, which put almost 800,000 residents at risk, Wheeler said. "The state is failing to properly implement these programs". "We're not going to allow that to happen to our cities".

Eric Schaeffer, director of the Environmental Integrity Project and a former head of civil enforcement at EPA, accused the president and Wheeler of using the agency to retaliate against enemies.

AP reporter Janie Har contributed to this story from San Francisco.

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