Tak­ing dereg­u­la­tion zeal to toi­lets, Trump talks of 10 flushes

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - NATION & WORLD - By Justin Sink and Mario Parker

WASH­ING­TON — Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s lat­est tar­get for dereg­u­la­tion is Amer­i­cans’ toi­lets.

The pres­i­dent said he or­dered a fed­eral re­view of wa­ter ef­fi­ciency stan­dards in bath­room fix­tures and com­plained that “peo­ple are flush­ing toi­lets 10 times, 15 times as op­posed to once” in homes with lowflow ap­pli­ances.

He said other bath­room fix­tures have slowed wa­ter to a trickle.

“You can’t wash your hands prac­ti­cally, there’s so lit­tle wa­ter comes out of the faucet, and the end re­sult is you leave the faucet on and it takes you much longer to wash your hands, you end up us­ing the same amount of wa­ter,” Trump said Fri­day at an event with small­busi­ness own­ers at the White House.

The pres­i­dent said it was “com­mon sense” to re­view stan­dards he said re­sulted in show­ers with wa­ter “qui­etly

drip­ping out” and toi­lets that “end up us­ing more wa­ter” be­cause of re­peat flush­ing.

Trump has cham­pi­oned rolling back reg­u­la­tions since tak­ing of­fice in 2017, with a fo­cus on en­vi­ron­men­tal rules im­posed or pro­posed dur­ing the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion. The pres­i­dent rou­tinely por­trays him­self as a cham­pion of the en­vi­ron­ment, while his crit­ics say he’s weak­ened reg­u­la­tions in­tended to fight cli­mate change, con­serve re­sources and pro­mote clean air and wa­ter.

While the pres­i­dent said the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency was look­ing at the stan­dards “at my sug­ges­tion,” a re­view of the WaterSense pro­gram was man­dated un­der 2018 leg­is­la­tion passed by Congress that said the agency should look at any reg­u­la­tions adopted be­fore 2012. That means the gov­ern­ment is forced to re­visit spec­i­fi­ca­tions for tank-type toi­lets, lava­tory faucets and faucet ac­ces­sories, show­er­heads, flush­ing uri­nals and weather-based ir­ri­ga­tion con­trollers.

Those reg­u­la­tions in­clude a 20% re­duc­tion in wa­ter use on tank-type toi­lets com­pared to stan­dards adopted in 1992, and a 32% re­duc­tion in max­i­mum wa­ter flow on lava­tory faucets, ac­cord­ing to the EPA.

But the gov­ern­ment has also said that the wa­ter sav­ings make a dif­fer­ence — par­tic­u­larly in bath­rooms, which rep­re­sent more than half of all in­door wa­ter use. The EPA says an av­er­age family can save $380 in wa­ter costs per year and save more than 17 gal­lons per day by us­ing ap­pli­ances cer­ti­fied to WaterSense stan­dards.

The pres­i­dent said he’s con­sid­er­ing dif­fer­ent stan­dards for states with dif­fer­ent lev­els of rain­fall.

“There may be some ar­eas where we’ll go the other route, desert ar­eas, but for the most part, you have many states where they have so much wa­ter that comes down, it’s called rain, they don’t know what to do with it,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.