"The Height of Idiocy": Americans Tell Trump's EPA What They Think About Easing Drinking Water Safeguards
WASHINGTON – Almost 40,000 Americans have let the Environmental Protection Agency know what they think about the Trump administration’s agenda to eliminate "burdensome" environmental regulations, including those protecting drinking water from big polluters. As the president might ask, who knew so many of them think it's a bad idea?
EPA solicited public comments ahead of a so-called listening session scheduled for today by the agency’s Office of Water to seek “input on existing regulations that could be repealed, replaced or modified to make them less burdensome.” Although EPA didn't ask for comments supporting clean water rules, thousands of citizens spoke out against the gutting of existing protections. Here's a sample of anonymous comments:
- Repealing regulations that encourage more sustainable practices is the height of idiocy.
- Regulations are in place to ensure the health and safety of citizens and our environment. Period. My child deserves to grow up in the cleanest environment possible.
- Please don't undo years of protections. Please be members of our planet and not her enemies. Please don't do this! Water is life.
The administration shouldn't be surprised by the flood of protests. In March, a nationwide Gallup survey found that 63 percent of Americans “worried a great deal about pollution of drinking water” – the most in 17 years.
“If President Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt continue their plans to roll back the fundamental safeguards that protect our drinking water, they'd better brace for a 'March for Water' that surrounds the White House and fills the streets of cities and towns across the nation," said EWG President Ken Cook. “Red state or blue state, nobody wants to drink water laced with potent carcinogens or neurotoxins, but if the administration sticks to this agenda, that's what's in store for millions of Americans."
Cook said he hopes the response will show Trump and Pruitt how out of step they are with Americans' desire for the president to fulfill his pre-inauguration pledge of providing "crystal clear" drinking water.
“The more people learn about how the Trump EPA plans to walk away from its duty to protect our water, the more people are outraged," said Cook. “If the president doesn’t get that message, I’m sure members of Congress will – at least the ones who aren’t afraid to face their constituents at town hall meetings.”