Quantcast

Trump Eliminates Plastic Water Bottle Ban in National Parks, Removes White House Bikeshare Station

Popular

President Trump has made sweeping efforts to scrap Obama-era environmental protections, but the current administration's latest moves are oddly specific.

The National Park Service (NPS) announced Wednesday that it has rescinded the 2011 "Water Bottle Ban" that allowed parks to prohibit the sale of disposable plastic water bottles. That same day, news emerged that the Trump administration removed a nine-slot Capital Bikeshare station at the White House that was requested and installed during the Obama years and used by staffers.


The NPS said that the bottled water ban "removed the healthiest beverage choice at a variety of parks while still allowing sales of bottled sweetened drinks." Revocation of the 2011 memorandum is effective immediately.

"While we will continue to encourage the use of free water bottle filling stations as appropriate, ultimately it should be up to our visitors to decide how best to keep themselves and their families hydrated during a visit to a national park, particularly during hot summer visitation periods," acting NPS director Michael T. Reynolds explained.

According to the Wilderness Society, 23 national parks had adopted the policy, including Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Zion National Park. The group said the Water Bottle Ban—an effort under President Obama's Green Parks Plan to promote the use of tap water and refillable bottles on federal lands—helped parks "simultaneously reduce park waste and carbon emissions."

But as the San Francisco Chronicle reported, the water bottle ban was opposed by the beverage industry that had long lobbied to change the policy.

Watchdog groups criticized the initiative. "Just as we've seen across the board with the Trump administration, this is an example of the industry working behind the scenes to protect its profits," Lauren DeRusha Florez, associate campaign director at Corporate Accountability International, told the Chronicle. "Plastic water bottles have a tremendous environmental impact."

Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, was far from pleased with the announcement. "This action puts the NPS firmly on the side of major corporations that make up the bulk of the bottled water industry," she said. "This latest move is yet another attempt to weaken the policies that protect our vital, vulnerable natural resources."

Meanwhile, Trump has also nixed a Capital Bikeshare dock on 17th Street and State Place that was set up in 2010.

District Department of Transportation spokesperson Terry Owens told the Washingtonian that the station was removed earlier this week at the Trump administration's request.

It's unclear what the White House had against the bikeshare station. One suggestion, a DC resident explained to Breitbart, is that the Trump administration wanted to trim spending. Trump's budget proposal in May cuts funds for the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) act, which funded construction for many of DC's Capital Bikeshare stations, the Right-wing publication pointed out.

On the other hand, as Raw Story noted, "Capital Bikeshare users average saving $631 per year on personal travel cost, meaning the removal of the 9-slot station could cost White House staff $5,679 in increased transportation expenditures."

Here are some responses to the move on social media:

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Bill Pugliano / Getty Images

By Wenonah Hauter

Five years ago this week, an emergency manager appointed by then-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder made the devastating decision to save money by switching Flint's water supply over from Detroit's water system to the Flint River. Seen as a temporary fix, the new water supply was not properly treated. High levels of lead leached from the old pipes, poisoning a generation of Flint's children, and bacteria responsible for an outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease killed more than a dozen residents.

Read More Show Less
Los Angeles-Long Beach, California is listed as the nation's smoggiest city. Pixabay

Seven million more Americans lived in areas with unhealthy levels of air pollution between 2015 and 2017 than between 2014 and 2016, and climate change is partly to blame, Time reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Kissing bug. Pavel Kirillov / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that the kissing bug, which can transmit a potentially deadly parasite, has spread to Delaware, ABC News reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
"Take the pledge today." Screenshot / StopFoodWasteDay.com

Did you know that more than a third of food is wasted or thrown away every year? And that only 25 percent of it would be enough to feed the 795 million undernourished people in the world? That's why today is Stop Food Waste Day, a chance to reflect on what you can do to waste less of the food you buy.

Stop Food Waste Day is an initiative of food service company Compass Group. It was launched first in the U.S, in 2017 and went global the year after, making today it's second worldwide celebration.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Berries are among the healthiest foods you can eat.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Flames and smoke are seen billowing from the roof at Notre-Dame Cathedral on April 15 in Paris, France. Veronique de Viguerie / Getty Images

When Paris's Notre Dame caught fire on April 15, the flames threatened more than eight centuries of culture and history. The fire evoked shock, horror and grief worldwide. While the cathedral burned, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed determination to rebuild what the French regard as a sacred site.

Read More Show Less
An artist's impression of NASA's InSight lander on Mars. NASA / JPL-CALTECH

Scientists have likely detected a so-called marsquake — an earthquake on Mars — for the first time, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced on Tuesday.

Read More Show Less
Hero Images / Getty Images

Across the political aisle, a majority of American parents support teaching climate change in schools even though most teachers currently do not.

Read More Show Less