President Donald Trump’s latest effort to reshape US environmental regulations appears to involve toilets.
During a small business event at the White House Friday, Trump announced he has ordered a federal review of water efficiency standards pertaining to bathroom fixtures.
“People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times as opposed to once. They end up using more water,” Trump said, complaining that water flow in other fixtures has slowed to a trickle.
Although Trump said during the event that the “EPA is looking at [water flow] very strongly, at my suggestion,” this review is actually mandated under 2018 legislation that directs the Environmental Protection Agency to investigate water regulations adopted before 2012.
These include the agency’s WaterSense program, which was first launched in 2006 in order to reduce the water use of fixtures like toilets. The requirement that toilets use a set amount of water began on the federal level in 1992, according to the Associated Press, when President George H.W. Bush signed the Energy Policy Act, a law mandating any toilets installed in homes after 1994 use 1.6 gallons of water or less per flush.
Trump did not mention any of this Friday; it also is not clear just who — if anyone — is actually complaining about the need to flush toilets multiple times to eliminate waste. But his claims represent yet another example of the president’s advocacy for rolling back federal measures meant to protect the environment.
A potential rollback of water use regulations would fit the administration’s continued efforts at deregulating the EPA. The New York Times has identified 53 separate rules that have completed the rollback process at the agency, and 32 more that are still in the works. The president has been a vocal skeptic of climate change since the earliest days of his candidacy for president, but nonetheless campaigned to “to promote clean air and water,” in 2016.
By the way, if you don’t habla Español, gordo means fat. That is your Spanish lesson of the day.