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The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Washington, D.C.

The Tidal Basin's crumbling seawall and sidewalks are routinely underwater due to rising sea levels, Washington, D.C., July 2019.

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Just in the past three years, the Trump administration has attempted to roll back at least 95 environmental rules and regulations to the detriment of the environment and Americans’ public health. Moreover, the administration refuses to act to mitigate the effects of climate change—instead loosening requirements for polluters emitting the greenhouse gases that fuel the climate crisis. This dangerous agenda is affecting the lives of Americans across all 50 states.

Impacts of climate change

Extreme weather


Impacts of the Trump administration’s anti-environmental policies


  • The Trump administration is attempting to gut climate considerations from major infrastructure projects by eliminating the “cumulative impact” requirement of the National Environmental Policy Act. This is concerning because the economy of Washington, D.C., and the surrounding region relies heavily on national park revenue, which is highly dependent on climate and weather conditions.
    • Tourism: A 2015 National Park Service report shows that spending by more than 56 million visitors to national parks in the National Capital Region resulted in 16,917 jobs and contributed almost $1.6 billion to the region’s economy.

Air quality

Water quality

  • The Trump administration has proposed cutting the Chesapeake Bay Program’s funding by 91 percent in the 2021 budget. This is concerning because the health of the bay is in jeopardy. From 2017 to 2018, the Chesapeake Bay’s health score declined from 54 percent to 46 percent. Washington, D.C., sits within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and the district’s rivers flow into the bay.
  • Since 2019, the Trump administration has been in the process of weakening legislation regarding lead pipes. The proposed legislation gives companies twice as much time to remove lead pipes in systems testing for high lead levels. This is especially concerning in Washington, D.C., because the U.S. Department of Energy and Environment is still replacing lead pipes within the city.

To read the personal stories of Americans affected by climate change and the impacts of the Trump administration’s anti-environmental policies in your state, visit