The Trump administration says it will not dump toilet, faucet and sink regulations down the drain.
Tuesday’s announcement from the Environmental Protection Agency follows criticism from President Donald Trump and an official review about his concerns with sub-par fixtures designed to save water.
Toilets, the President said last year, require flushing “10 times, 15 times.” The mere “drip, drip, drip” from showers means “you’re in there five times longer than you’re supposed to be.” And dishwashers, he reminisced, used to sanitize with an “explosion,” but “now you press it 12 times.” Trump explained he had heard that from “women.”
The EPA, he said in December, was looking into it.
The agency has, indeed, done that, and announced Tuesday that the standards for its voluntary WaterSense program are sufficient.
The review actually began in 2018 at the direction of Congress. The agency also coordinated with the Energy Department, which for nearly two decades has regulated showerhead pressure.
WaterSense is a voluntary program singling out fixtures that use at least 20 percent less water than regular appliances – similar to the EnergyStar program for appliances. Since its 2006 inception, WaterSense has helped conserve 3.4 trillion gallons and more than $84 trillion, according to EPA statistics through 2018.
In contrast to water usage, the administration has acted on other environmentally-related standards that the President has criticized. It recently finalized a rollback of vehicle emission standards, which the President said led to more expensive vehicles. The administration also moved to cancel light bulb rules as the President said energy efficient bulbs made him look “orange.”
After the President’s criticism, EPA spokesman Michael Abboud said the probe would “ensure American consumers have more choice when purchasing water products.”
Then on Tuesday, EPA said keeping the standards in place would do just that.
“Today’s action is yet another example of the Trump Administration following through on its promise to uphold consumer choice for the American people,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement.