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Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One Wednesday night that the Environmental Protection Agency will issue a notice to San Francisco declaring it has committed environmental violations because of its homeless crisis.

Details: Per pool reporter Peter Baker, Trump said the EPA would serve the city of San Francisco with a notice because there was "tremendous" pollution flowing into the ocean because of waste in storm sewers, specifically citing used needles. 

"It’s a terrible situation — that’s in Los Angeles and in San Francisco. And we’re going to be giving San Francisco, they’re in total violation, we’re going to be giving them a notice very soon. EPA is going to be putting out a notice. They’re in serious violation. ... They have to clean it up. We can’t have our cities going to hell."
— President Trump's comments to reporters
  • It was not immediately clear which environmental laws Trump believes San Francisco has violated. But is remarkable that the EPA would take such action as it usually sends such notices to companies, not cities, as the Wall Street Journal notes.

What they're saying: San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a statement that Trump’s comments were "ridiculous," the New York Times reports.

"To be clear, San Francisco has a combined sewer system, one of the best and most effective in the country, that ensures that all debris that flow into storm drains are filtered out at the city’s wastewater treatment plants. No debris flow out into the bay or the ocean."
— London Breed's statement, per the NYT
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

The big picture: Per Axios' Mike Allen, Trump is also at war with California over the environment, tax returns, immigration and, indeed, virtually every topic he touches.

  • The battle intensified during his visit to California this week. Earlier Wednesday, he announced the EPA would revoke California's waiver under the Clean Air Act that enables the state to set CO2 emissions rules that exceed federal standards.
  • On Tuesday, as he planned to head to the state, Trump said he's considering an "individual task force" to take on the issue of homelessness in California.

Go deeper: Trump vs. California

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Updated 3 mins ago - World

At least 3 dead after Tonga volcano eruption and tsunami

A satellite image of the explosive eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano on Saturday. Photo: UNICEF/NOAA

At least three people are confirmed to have died in Tonga following the undersea volcanic eruption that sent tsunami waves toward the island nation and across the Pacific over the weekend, officials said Tuesday.

The big picture: Officials reported major damage along the western coast of the main island of Tongatapu, where the capital, Nuku'alofa, was covered in ash and dust, including on the runway of the airport. Officials in Tonga confirmed three deaths in the country's first official statement since the crisis began.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Charted: GOP surged as Biden slumped

Expand chart
Reproduced from Gallup. (Independents were asked their party leaning.) Chart: Axios Visuals

Gallup polling found a huge shift in party preference over the course of 2021, from a 9-point Democratic advantage in the first quarter to a 5-point Republican edge in the fourth quarter.

Why it matters: It's the biggest swing in one calendar year for Gallup's 30 years of tracking.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
1 hour ago - Science

A new NASA astronaut corps for the next era in space

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

NASA's next crewed missions to the Moon will need a larger, differently-trained and multi-skilled astronaut corps to deliver on the agency's ambitions.

Why it matters: NASA has plans to fly astronauts to the surface of the Moon in 2025 and ultimately establish a long-term presence there. That goal requires a robust corps with new, specialized training in what it takes to live and work on the Moon — and NASA needs to start planning now.

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