On Wednesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will require its corporate water filters to cost taxpayers at least $2 million per year to keep up with growing demand for water.
According to the EPA, the new system, dubbed the Aquadyne Water Filter, will cost the agency between $1.4 and $2.8 million per unit per year.
The EPA’s Aquadynee is designed to be the largest corporate water filter system in the United States.
“This is not a cost-saving measure,” EPA administrator Scott Pruitt told reporters at a press conference.
“It’s a cost for consumers, because if the EPA is paying for these, consumers are paying for the cost of doing business.
It’s a huge cost for the American taxpayer.”
The Aquadyine is a system of water filters manufactured by AquadyNE, which is based in China.
Pruitt said that the EPA had no choice but to require the Aquacyne as the largest filtrator system in America.
“If you want to see how the EPA and the Trump administration are failing the American people, this is a major problem,” Pruitt said.
“The Aquacyine is an essential water quality improvement system for the EPA.”
“We’re also making the case that EPA is using taxpayer dollars to support a system that is not only failing consumers, it is hurting taxpayers,” Pruitt added.
“These cost-sharing payments are required by law, and it’s not about making money for the agency, it’s about protecting taxpayers,” he said.
The EPA has been under fire for years over the use of taxpayer dollars for corporate water filters.
The EPA said that Aquadyene’s filters cost the U-Haul trucking company $11.8 billion in 2012 alone, but it has since said that they cost about $2 billion per year, and that the actual costs are far higher.
The Aquasyne has been in use since at least 2009.
On Wednesday, Pruitt said that, as of December 31, 2015, the EPA was “trying to figure out how to pay for these filtrations,” but that he was “not going to spend taxpayer dollars on it.”
The EPA, however, has said that it would be willing to negotiate with companies that were willing to build filterers to be paid for by taxpayers.
However, the Trump Administration has repeatedly stated that it does not want to negotiate over the costs of the Aquasynene, and Pruitt said on Wednesday that the agency was “going to be very aggressive” in pursuing such a solution.
“We will pursue all of these things,” Pruitt told the press conference, adding that he has asked his EPA staff to come up with a solution by “mid-March.”
A recent poll by the Pew Research Center found that the American public strongly supports EPA efforts to enforce the Clean Water Act.