On Monday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that would make it harder for the federal government to pay water bills.
The order requires the EPA and the states to “establish an independent, cost-free, nationwide network of cost-effective and reliable water filters.”
In other words, states will no longer be allowed to charge water companies for the service.
The order does not specifically prohibit water companies from charging for water filters, but the president has made it clear that he’s looking to force water companies to pay.
The new order, however, could make it more difficult for water companies, which have spent billions of dollars on equipment, to recoup the costs of the technology.
The EPA already requires that water companies pay a fixed fee, but Trump’s order will increase the fee by 50 percent and require water companies and others to “make annual cost-based financial projections” about the cost of replacing water filters.
The bill also requires the states and EPA to “provide for the expedited award of a contract or other award to a private entity for the construction, operation, maintenance, repair, or replacement of the filtrate or similar system.”
The bill also directs the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Oversight to “assist the EPA in the expeditious adjudication of violations of the law.”
The EPA has said that the new order will be reviewed by the agency’s inspector general, but it’s unclear if the agency will follow through with the request.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee released a statement in response to Trump’s executive order saying, “This order would be a major step backward in water quality and safety standards.
It is also a step backward for America’s clean water resources.”
The agency is also required to “review all proposed federal contracts for the use of water filts for water treatment or disposal and provide an opportunity for public comment on such proposals before they are awarded.”