Trump’s EPA to Cite San Francisco for Pollution Caused by Homeless
According to the Hill Newspaper, during his successful fundraising swing through California, President Donald Trump told reporters that the EPA would shortly fine the city of San Francisco for pollution caused by that city’s enormous homeless problem. Homeless people using the streets of San Francisco as an open-air toilet constitutes an environmental hazard, in the view of the president.
“There’s tremendous pollution being put into the ocean because they’re going through what’s called the storm sewer that’s for rainwater,” Trump said. “And we have tremendous things that we don’t have to discuss pouring into the ocean. You know there are needles, there are other things.”
It is no secret that several big cities on the West Coast have developed a homeless problem that has blighted their streets and caused a potential health crisis. The political class in California especially seem unable and even unwilling to deal with the situation that has homeless people, most with mental health and substance abuse issues, living in tent cities and wallowing in their own filth.
The Atlantic reported last Spring that the homeless in California have started to suffer from diseases that have not been common since the Middle Ages, including Typhus as well as tuberculosis and hepatitis. Some health experts have warned that will the proliferation of rats and other vermin in the sidewalk homeless camps, an outbreak of the bubonic plague is not out of the realm of possibility. Outbreaks of the plague killed millions during the Middle Ages up through the 17th Century.
President Trump’s suggestion that San Francisco, one of the centers of woke environmentalism, will soon be cited for being a polluter received the expected pushback and outrage from that city’s mayor. According to NBC News, San Francisco Mayor London Breed asserted on Twitter that, “If the President wants to talk about homelessness, we are committed to working on actual solutions.”
San Francisco has been undertaking some measures to clean some of the worst of the problem, gathering up used needles and cleaning feces. Mayor London also claims that the city is setting up public toilets and expanding homeless shelters. In the meantime, the state of California has demanded more aid for public housing,
Ben Carson, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, has rejected such aid, according to the NBC story, suggesting that “California’s policies on law enforcement, an overregulated housing market and sanctuary policies regarding people living in the country illegally have driven up housing costs while increasing demand.”
Carson is suggesting that American taxpayers are not going to be burdened by paying for California’s public policy mistakes. If the state were to deregulate its housing market and end sanctuary city policies, then HUD may be forthcoming. No evidence suggests that state or local governments in California are going to be cooperative in making these reforms.
But the questions remain about used needles and human filth getting into the oceans, a development that would cause the EPA to pay attention to California’s homeless problem. Hot Air thinks the threat is an example of presidential bluster, designed to put political pressure on California politicians. Mayor London insists that San Francisco’s sewage and waste treatment systems are more than up to the task of handling the waste stemming from the urban homeless camps. Hot Air has not been able to find any media reports of pollution from the homeless camps reaching the Pacific Ocean.
On the other hand, the EPA has likely been conducting an investigation of needles and other waste hitting the ocean. No public evidence suggests that the environmental agency has come to any definite conclusion. The EPA may have found some evidence and Trump, master of the media that he is, has decided to telegraph the potential news as a way to annoy his political enemies in California and maybe motivate them to be more responsive to Secretary Carson’s suggestions for reforms.
Hot Air has reached its own conclusions on the matter:
“I’m just going on a hunch here, but I think that threat from the President was just a throwaway line allowing him to take another swing at California before leaving. Either that or someone else has looked into this and is giving the President some (probably) bad advice. I’m guessing that Mayor Breed isn’t losing much sleep over it, at least yet.”
The key phrase is the last one, “at least yet.”